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KUCHING, Nov 29: World Wide Fund (WWF)-Malaysia urges all political parties and aspiring candidates for the upcoming 12th State Election (PRN12) to include environmental commitments in their manifestos.
This is to ensure a healthy and resilient environment for the people and nature in the State.
According to WWF-Malaysia conservation director Dr Henry Chan in a recent open letter, this includes highlighting what they aim to achieve within 100 days and one year of forming the government.
“As Sarawak enters the post-Covid-19 pandemic recovery era, it is important to remind ourselves, government leaders, and lawmakers to avert catastrophes caused by human’s folly with nature and recognise the rich natural capital values the State already has,” he said.
Dr Chan noted it is vital for parties to inform voters of their aspirations and plans for sustainable development.
“This will allow voters to make informed decisions about electing a representative who champions the environment and equality among all levels of society,” he added.
In the open letter, WWF-Malaysia asked for two things which are:
1. Ensuring the effective implementation of sound policies and plans based on environmental sustainability, as provided for in Sarawak’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030, and through the introduction or continuation of good existing policies and action plans aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Particularly, calling upon political parties to up the ante of existing policies by adopting a Green Recovery Plan which will:
a) intensify activities that support the conservation and sustainable management of all remaining forests in Sarawak in recognition of their ecosystem services to humans and wildlife and for economic well-being;
b) propel the development of a green innovative workforce and investments that support climate-resilient and low carbon economies; and
c) intensify efforts towards zero loss of wildlife and biodiversity caused by poaching and illegal trading.
2. Youth and non-state actors are essential drivers in advancing the SDGs, in addition to the post-Covid-19 plans. Like all deserved residents of Sarawak, they are equal partners in the forming of a democratic state. Future lawmakers are called upon to give assurance and provide them with:
a) equal opportunities to participate in nation-building exercises and have their voices heard;
b) avenues to promote their involvement in championing environmental sustainability; and
c) access to information and proper channels to connect with resource persons and decision-makers to build a greener and sustainable Sarawak.