Biodiversity Can Be Harnessed To Generate Economic Benefits – Report

Posted on March 30, 2010. Filed under: Bio-diversity |

(Bernama) — Malaysia’s rich biodiversity can be harnessed to generate economic benefits from tourism, recreation, pharmaceutical applications and nutritional products, says the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC).

“Although a shift away from reliance on heavy resource consumptive industries for economic growth is essential, Malaysia’s natural resources endowment can be used in creative and sustainable ways as a base to build new, diverse, high value and high technology industries and services,” says the NEAC in its New Economic Model for Malaysia Part 1 Report released here on Tuesday.

A good example would be renewable energy industry industries such as photovoltaic and biomass technology, it says.

Malaysia is one of the 17 most important mega-biodiversity countries in the world with 16 million hectares of tropical forest area, covering 60 per cent of the country’s land area.

Over 90 per cent of the forest remain state-owned and 73 per cent of the total forest area is designated as national parks.

Malaysia has a total coastline of 4,675km, the 29th longest coastline in the world, teeming with coral reefs and marine life, it says.

The report says Malaysia is a culturally rich society with an array of diverse ethnic groups spread across the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak and this diversity provides Malaysia with substantial advantages.

“Diversity of culture, ethnicity, languages and religions enables a society to leverage the best of each group’s innate skills and traits for the good of the society as a whole.

“Diversity of culture also stimulates imagination, creativity and innovation,” it says.

The report says Malaysia’s rich and unique cultural heritage and even its colonial history are assets for forging relationships with many countries, especially in the high growth economies of China, India, the Middle East and Indonesia.

“Malaysia’s diverse language networks help to support the development of tourism and industry links in those markets,” it says.

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