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KUCHING, Oct 18: The coming National Environment Day 2021 presents Malaysia the golden opportunity to commit in charting the right course of action against global warming.
World Wildlife Federation (WWF) – Malaysia Conservation Director Dr Henry Chan, said this means protecting the environment, reducing the carbon footprint and at the same time creating a competitive edge in a green economy, as well as a holistic formal education that promotes the relationship between human and nature.
“Climate change and climate crisis are no longer buzz words among scientists and environmentalists,” he said in a statement today in conjunction with the National Environment Day celebration 2021.
Dr Chan noted to help address the urgency of mitigating global warming, WWF-Malaysia and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) are collaborating to undertake an independent study on the potential net-zero pathways for the country.
He said the study aims to show an optimal net-zero pathway for Malaysia by 2050 and determine the necessary policy framework and interventions needed to achieve this.
In simple words, he explained, net-zero means for every molecule of greenhouse gas released, there is also a need to take it out to make our net emission zero.
“At the very basic, our forest acts to remove these greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. As such, it is crucial that we retain as much as possible our forest that acts as our carbon sink.
“WWF-Malaysia and BCG are looking to collaborate with corporations, investors, the government, and the social sector to engage on the possibilities of a net-zero pathway for the country.
“We plan to complete the study before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties in Glasgow (also known as COP 26) this November 2021,” he said.
Dr Chan continued, “The remaining forests need to be conserved and opportunities found to rehabilitate or restore degraded areas with native tree species so that these areas would flourish and could play their ecological roles for all living things.”
He pointed out that in a time when the impacts of climate crisis are experienced globally, the country must not take a step backwards of converting forests of any type into development.
He also stressed that the Federal and State governments need to work together in increasing forest cover and protection.
“Nature is our ally in addressing the issues we face in the country and globally. Hence we need to have more nature-based solutions incorporated in developing and addressing climate change.
“Nature-based solutions are about working with nature, not against nature, for everyone’s benefit. As such, Malaysia has the potential to create a long term competitive edge and by proactively acting on climate change but it has to start today, for a sustainable and cleaner future,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chan further said the closure of schools during the pandemic has exposed disparities in education, flaws in remote learning and the essential role schools play in student health and wellbeing.
According to Dr. Chan, it has also shown a clear manifestation of the broken relationship between human with nature, and therefore, there is a need to create better learning systems that recognise the importance of the environment which covers climate, nature and people’s issues.
He opined different stakeholders need to be involved in formulating the country’s future environmental education and education for sustainable development plan for a comprehensive implementation.
“The plan should address solutions on budget constraints faced in the education sector, training of teachers, teaching methods and approaches for both students and adults, teaching resource materials, governance structure and enabling conditions.
“This effort should be seen as supporting Malaysia’s environmental related policies such as Nationally Determined Contributions, National Policy on Biological Diversity 2016-2025, National Policy on Environment and others aligning to Malaysia’s commitments to the International Agreements such as Paris Agreement, Convention on Biodiversity and Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs,” he said. — DayakDaily.