Archive for July, 2009

Air Quality Improves

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: Pollution |

(Bernama) — The air quality nationwide improves Wednesday morning with most areas recording a healthy Air Pollution Index (API) reading.

A report by the Department of Environment, posted on its website, showed that 39 areas (84 per cent) of the 46 areas being monitored nationwide were in the healthy zone.

Only seven areas had moderate API readings and they included

Pasir Gudang in Johor at 74, Kuala Selangor (70), Sibu (63) and Port Klang (52).

The areas which recorded healthy API readings included Muar (49), Kota Tinggi (39), Alor Setar (47); Melaka City (35); Seremban (34); Tanjung Malim (48); Kangar (30); Petaling Jaya (38); Cheras (40) and Putrajaya (34).

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Action against errant zoos

Posted on July 27, 2009. Filed under: Bio-diversity |

-NST-

JOHOR BARU: The Wildlife and National Parks Department will not hesitate to take action against zoos which do not follow guidelines laid down by the National Resources and Environment Ministry.

Its law and enforcement director Saharudin Anan said zoo operators should seek the department’s permission before they introduce new animals to their collection.

He was referring to an incident at the Taiping Zoo where zoo officials were hauled up for having two orang utans before obtaining the proper permits.

Saharudin also said he would send enforcement officers to check on a private zoo in Kulai following a public complaint.

He was speaking to the New Straits Times after the paper received a plea from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Johor Baru to check on the private zoo, which it claimed is not being managed according to the guidelines laid down by the ministry.

An SPCA spokesman also alleged that the animals’ cages at the zoo were too small.

“The relevant authorities must ensure that conditions at the zoo do not give the perception to foreign tourists and expatriates that we do not care about the welfare of animals.”

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GBI standards proposed for upcoming projects in Penang

Posted on July 26, 2009. Filed under: Environment and Livelihoods, Environmental Science |

-The Star-

GEORGE TOWN: Penang may impose the Green Building Index (GBI) accreditation as a criterion for several upcoming development pro-jects.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state would take the lead in promoting green initiatives.

“There are certain prime sites that the state is planning to open for bidding and tender (for projects). We are considering to add a stipulation that these projects should be GBI accredited.

“Personally, I support the GBI initiative to ensure that buildings are more sustainable and energy efficient,” he said when opening a GBI Forum here yesterday.

He said education on green initiatives was essential to gain public support, adding that the housing and property sectors also needed to be consulted.

“We prefer to have the GBI adhered to voluntarily rather than have the government impose it on developers.

(more…)

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PM: Green tech to be the new driver for economic growth

Posted on July 25, 2009. Filed under: Environmental Science |

-The Star-

BANGI: The National Green Technology Policy is set to play an important role in charting the country’s development where green technology will be the new driver for economic growth.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the policy would include the setting up of a legislative and regulatory framework that would support development of green technologies and promote a culture of resource use optimisation.

The policy seeks to promote low-carbon technology and ensure sustainable development while conserving the natural environment and resources.

He said green technology offered opportunities and potential in economic regeneration, innovation, wealth creation and high-paying job opportunities.

“It can create a revolutionary impact on our lives and reduce Malaysia’s carbon footprint while enhancing environmental sustainability,” he said during the roll-out of the policy yesterday.

Najib also opened the green energy office of the Malaysia Energy Centre head office here.

He added that the policy would create opportunities for new green businesses, including the manufacturing of “green products”.

The five objectives include decreasing energy consumption while enhancing economic development and facilitatating growth of the green technology industry and enhancing its contribution to the national economy.

It also seeks to increase innovation in green technology development and enhance Malaysia’s green technology competitiveness globally besides ensuring sustainable development for future generations.

The policy will also enhance public education and awareness about green technology and encourage its use in everyone’s daily lives.

A Green Technology Council will also be established to facilitate the role of stakeholders for the successful implementation of the green technology roadmap.

It will be chaired by Najib and, alternately, by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

At a press conference later, Najib said the Government was studying incentives for the private sector that adopts green technology.

On promoting solar energy usage, Najib said the equipment needed to do so was expensive, but that the Government would continue its development.

On plans to set up a nuclear power plant in Malaysia, Najib said nuclear energy was not considered to be against green technology as long as it was deemed safe.

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Air quality deteriorates over Malaysia

Posted on July 25, 2009. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Star-

KUALA LUMPUR: The air quality in Malaysia largely deteriorated over the course of Saturday.

As of 5pm, only 19 locations in the country registered good air quality while 30 registered moderate air quality, according to the Department of Environment’s website

The air quality in Tanjung Malim was found to be unhealthy, recording an Air Pollution Index (API) reading of 113.

52 hotspots were detected in Sumatra while Borneo and peninsula Malaysia recorded 91 and 2 hotspots respectively.

Among the locations which registered moderate air quality are Batu Muda (75), Cheras (70), Putrjaya (67), Kuala Selangor (78), Port Klang (73), Kemaman (70), Jalan Tasek, Ipoh (78), Balok Baru, Kuantan (71) and Pasir Gudang (72).

Air quality is considered good if the API reading is between 0 and 50.

Moderate air quality has an API that ranges between 51 and 100 while an API between 101 and 200 indicates unhealthy air quality.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported from Jambi that the Minister of Environment Rachmat Witoelar said the authorities would not hesitate to arrest the perpetrators of forest and land fires, and sent them to prison following the issuance of a new environment law next September.

Quoting Antara news agency Witoelar reportedly said that the new law, effective from September 8, would give the authority to coordinate with other relevant authorities to arrest those who burn forests and land bushes.

He said his office would directly fix police lines at the areas affected by fires and handcuff the perpetrators, before imposing jail sentences upon them.

In the meantime, haze has begun this week to blanket a number of areas in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Antara said.

Haze and fog blanketed Pekanbaru city after the air over the Riau provincial capital was clear of haze due to heavy rainfall in the small hours of Saturday.

The dense haze and fog had prompted the attention of activists of the Tsu Chi Foundation in Pekanbaru.

They went down into the streets distributing masks to passing motorists. They also distributed the masks in residential complexes like Kuantan Jaya, in Pekanbaru city.

However, the heavy downpour early Saturday could not put out the flames raging in the peat land in Pekanbaru.

Smoke was still seen billowing into the sky of Panam, Rumbai and Kulim. Data of the Meteorology, Geophysics and Climatology Office (BMKG) of Pekanbaru, obtained from the monitoring by the NOAA 18 satellite, show that the forest and land fires were still raging in a number of areas in Riau province.

In Kalimantan, Indonesia is cooperating with Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam to protect Kalimantan (Borneo) through their ‘Heart of Borneo (HOB)’ program.

The ‘Heart of Borneo’ program is a natural resource conservation and sustainable utilization program, Hendrik Segah, HOB Coordinator of Central Kalimantan, said here on Friday.

The HOB program is aimed at protecting the sustainable utilization of one of the world’s remaining best forests in Kalimantan for the welfare of the current and future generations.

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Garbage, Main Cause Of River Pollution In Penang

Posted on July 25, 2009. Filed under: Pollution, Water resource |

(Bernama) — Industrial waste is no longer a pollution threat to rivers in the state, but garbage thrown by the public into the rivers that have caused them to be polluted.

State Department of Environment (DOE) director Dr Ahmad Kamarulnajuib Che Ibrahim said garbage had become the main challenge to efforts to clean up the rivers and to improve the water quality.

He said the environmental awareness level of industries had increased, and toxic waste was no longer channelled to the rivers or sea but to the waste treatment plant to be managed safely.

“It’s time for the public to play their role in helping the various government agencies look after the air and water quality.”

Ahmad Kamarulnajuib was speaking to reporters after the launching of the “Friends of the Environment” programme for the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary constituency by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, here, Saturday.

He said a special committee had been formed comprising representatives from DOE, Drainage and Irrigation Department, local authorities, Indah Water Konsortium and Veterinary Department to monitor rivers and to improve the water quality from Class Four to Class Three and Two.

Ahmad Kamarulnajuib said at the moment, 11 polluted rivers were being monitored, among them, the Pinang, Juru, Air Itam, Jelutong and Kerek rivers.

He said some rivers had been successfully upgraded in terms of their water quality from Class Four to Class Three and DOE hoped they would reach Class Two in two years’ time.

“Whatever it is, the effort will not be successful if the public have no concern for the environment and continue to throw rubbish into the rivers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nor Mohamed called on the people to be more involved in environmental protection efforts by being “friends of the environment” in their own neighbourhoods.

He said besides getting involved directly by cleaning their own compounds, they could also report activities that caused pollution to the relevant authorities.

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Advisory council to set roadmap for green tech

Posted on July 25, 2009. Filed under: Energy |

-NST-

BANGI: A National Green Technology Advisory Council will be formed to coordinate the efforts of government ministries and agencies, the private sector and other stakeholders in the implementation of green technology.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak with a book on the Green Technology Policy after launching the National Green Technology Policy and opening the Green Energy Office in Bangi yesterday. With him are Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui and his deputy Noriah Kasnon (right).
Datuk Seri Najib Razak with a book on the Green Technology Policy after launching the National Green Technology Policy and opening the Green Energy Office in Bangi yesterday. With him are Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui and his deputy Noriah Kasnon (right).

“The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water would be the focal point to co-ordinate and facilitate the role of all stakeholders for the successful implementation of the Green Technology roadmap,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday.

“This move is among the main strategic thrusts of the National Green Technology Policy which is aimed at strengthening the institutional frameworks.”

Najib, who will chair the council, said this after launching the National Green Technology Policy and opening the Green Energy office near here.

The policy seeks to promote low-carbon technology and ensure sustainable development while conserving the natural environment and resources.

It includes the setting up a legislative and regulatory framework that will support development of green technologies, as well as promote a culture of resource use optimisation.

“We are aware that not everyone is familiar with the various business opportunities of the Green Economy. Therefore, it is important that the understanding of these local players be strengthened through various enhancement programmes,” said Najib.

He said that it was important to ensure that the country had skilled and productive human resources as this was a crucial factor for green technology development.

“We will seek to intensify human capital development by availing training and education programmes and by providing financial packages and incentives for students embarking on green technology related subjects.”

Najib said for green technology to move forward, it needed a strong promotion and public awareness.

“Thus, the government would embark on a focused effort to increase public awareness so that the development of green technology would be well received by all quarters.”

Speaking at a press conference later, Najib said the government was looking at plans to give incentives to corporate bodies that adapted green technology.

“We are looking into it and are considering some proposals,” he said.

He said the government was also studying incentives for consumers to use solar energy.

Earlier, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui said the ministry would embark on a comprehensive education and outreach programme to raise awareness about green technology.

He said the ministry expected that by 2020, green technology would be the preferred choice in products and services, with increased participation and involvement of small and medium enterprises.

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National Green Technology Policy launched

Posted on July 24, 2009. Filed under: Energy |

-NST-

BANGI: The Government intends to establish a green technology council for high-level coordination among ministries, agencies, private sector and key stakeholders for effective implementation of green technology policies.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who will chair the council, said the move was one of five strategic thrusts under the National Green Technology Policy.

He said the policy was predicated on four primary pillars of energy, environment, economy and social perspective.

“My deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, would be my alternate and the ministry of energy, green technology and water will be the focal point to coordinate and facilitate the role of all stakeholders for the successful implementation of the Green Techology Roadmap,” he said when launching the policy here today.

He said the second strategic thrust aimed to provide a conducive environment for Green Technology development.
Najib said this included the introduction and implementation of innovative economic instruments, as well as the establishment of effective fiscal and financial mechanisms to support the growth of green industries.

“We are planning for greater promotion of foreign direct investments (FDI) on green technology to foster domestic direct investments (DDIs) and local industry participation,” added the prime minister.

He said, up till June this year, Malaysia had attracted almost RM12 billion in investments from the solar photovoltaics industry through FDIs, from top companies such as First Solar, Sun Power, Q-Cells and Tokuyama.

He said meanwhile, strategic thrust three would seek to intensify human capital development by availing training and education programmes, and by providing financial packages and incentives for students embarking on green technology-related subjects.

“We must ensure that we have skilled, qualified, competent and productive human resources as this is a crucial factor for Green Technology development,” he said.

Najib said strategic thrust four was to intensify Green Technology research and innovation towards commercialisation, and the incentives would be offered and announced in due course.

He said the final thrust for green technology to move forward was based on strong promotion and public awareness since it was a new sector in the country.

He said the government would lead by example by adopting green technology in government facilities and promotion, education and information dissemination to create buy-in of the public to support the ”green economy” and adopt ”green practices”, as part of their life would be done.

Najib also named Pusat Tenaga Malaysia’s building as the Green Energy Office (GEO) which is the first Green Building Index (GBI) rated building in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, at the press conference, when asked whether the government would introduce benefits for corporations that adopt the green technology, he said the government had given double tax deduction for such companies.

“We are looking into it. We might consider some proposals in the near future.

“But obviously, we do need to look into it in greater depth first, before we decide what kind of incentives to offer,” he said, indicating that the government was serious about this development and would like to see it happen.

Asked on incentives for consumers using solar energy, he said solar energy was quite expensive now but in a few years time, it would become very competitive, and the government would continue to support the development of solar energy in the country.
– Bernama

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新合约省3300万 (Penang saves RM3.3m in the new solid waste contract)

Posted on July 24, 2009. Filed under: Waste |

簽新處理固體廢料合約‧檳威3年將省3300萬

2009-07-24 12:49星洲日报  (USE GOOGLE TRANSLATE)

(檳城)在州政府的磋商下,成功在新簽署的處理固體廢料合約,為檳島及威省兩個市政局在未來的3年,省下3300萬令吉。

檳州地方政府委員會主席曹觀友說,州政府能節省固體廢料管理的開銷是令人鼓舞的,因為它將減輕兩個市政局的經濟負擔,再把節省的款項用在推行清潔運動及提昇基本設施,確保城市和鄉區人民獲得更完善的照顧。

曹觀友:延長合約成功降低收費

曹觀友週四(7月23日)率領威省市局官員,前往安邦惹惹垃圾轉運站及浮羅布隆垃圾場巡視。

他說,州政府同意延長Idaman Bersih有限公司在安邦惹惹垃圾轉運站及浮羅布隆垃圾場的固體廢料管理合約,為期3年。

安邦惹惹垃圾轉運站的合約是在2008年12月31日屆滿,至於浮羅布隆垃圾場垃圾場的合約則在今年7月31日期滿。

他說,在商討延長合約的過程中,州政府成功降低合約上的收費,即以每公噸38令吉成交。(安邦惹惹垃圾轉運站收費每公噸21令吉,浮羅布隆垃圾場每公噸17令吉)。

他說,州政府將確保管理公司提昇安邦惹惹垃圾轉運站及浮羅布隆垃圾場的基本設備,同時不會對週遭環境帶來破壞。

“州政府也指示這間公司使用電腦系統來秤垃圾量,以更透明的方式向地方政府索取費用。”

據到場巡視的州議員陳宗興指出,他曾在州議會會議提出置疑垃圾承包商運載垃圾的趟數,所以此次簽署的新合約皆在考量中,才會使州政府每年節省逾1000萬令吉。週四出席的行政議員尚包括劉子健、彭文寶及林峰成。

依斯邁:將更有責任處理垃圾

Idaman Bersih有限公司首席執行員莫哈末依斯邁說,安邦惹惹垃圾轉運站是在2004年開始操作,即在此處將3羅里的垃圾壓縮成1羅里後,才運往威南浮羅布隆土埋垃圾場處理,從而省下2趟的羅里運輸費。

他說,每天有150至200輛的羅里把450至500公噸的垃圾運到安邦惹惹垃圾轉運站處理。

他表示在獲得新合約後,將會更有責任的進行垃圾處理的工作。

  • 從威省各地區收集來的垃圾皆送來此處壓縮後,再送到威南浮羅布隆土埋垃圾場處理。(圖:星洲日報)

  • 莫哈末依斯邁(左2)向隨團巡視的彭文寶(右)、曹觀友(右2)及陳宗興(右3)及威省市政局主席莫達(左)等人講解垃圾被壓縮的過程。(圖:星洲日報)

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Malaysia set to use nuclear energy by 2025

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: Energy |

(Xinhua) — Malaysia was set to use alternative energy from nuclear power by 2025 as it was a cheaper source of power in the long run, according to a local newspaper on Wednesday.

The New Straits Times quoted Malaysian Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Fadillah Yusof as saying that initial costs of building nuclear plants may be one billion U.S. dollars to 3 billion U.S. dollars for a 1,000 megawatt capacity, twice the amount for building a coal-fired plant in the country.

Malaysia currently generates electricity mainly from coal, oil, gas and hydro. Fadillah said that nuclear energy was a cheaper and environmental-friendly source of power with no pollutant produced in the long run.

He said that the nuclear power would produce hydrogen that can be used and it would only produce waste after 20 years of usage.

He said that advantages of using nuclear energy included in hospitals for Computerized Tomography or CT scans and in food technology, adding that some countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam would also opt to develop nuclear power.

Fadillah said that some government agencies of Malaysia were working on forming a committee to implement the nuclear energy policy, as approved by the Malaysian Cabinet two weeks ago.

He said that Malaysia would engage professionals and consultants for advise on nuclear power, while linking up with the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency for verification and certification on the policy.

He also said that his ministry would embark on a public awareness campaign to dispel people’s negative perception and doubts on the safety of nuclear energy.

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