Fight to save nature

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

-The Star-

AS we herald the New Year, it is my wish to see that in the next general election, every member of parliament and state assemblyman has a manifesto that includes the conservation of nature and the environment to ensure sustainable development for the future.

For too long, we have taken nature and the environment for granted.

In developed nations, all political leaders and elected representatives are champions of the environment and have key performance indicators (KPIs), related to conservation. Why not in Malaysia?

Hence, our leaders must buck up on their knowledge of the various United Nations internationally ratified environmental agreements of which Malaysia is a party to.

There has been lack of political will in this area that reflects on whether we are a caring society.

We must develop with our future generations in mind and it starts with knowledge of the dynamic environment, our living legacy and heritage. This area is wanting!!

In this respect, I hope Local Agenda 21 (involvement of the stakeholders) is utilised by the respective government departments especially the local authorities.

It is also imperative to emulate successful countries such as Japan, Australia and the Scandinavian nations in working closely with the NGOs in partnership.

The Government departments have the resources and manpower while the NGOs have the technical know-how and international expertise.

If the two parties can combine, it will be a potent force for the environment as the approach to development must take an innovative, sustainable and holistic approach.

The KPIs of the elected political representatives can include protecting fragile environments, conservation of valuable habitats namely the forests and wetlands, biodiversity protection, environmental education, combating poverty via permaculture (sustainable agriculture) promotion, initiating research initiatives and reaching out to all stakeholders.

With a population of about 27 million people, we have to start immediately before adverse climate changes engulf us and disrupt our future development plans.

ASSOC PROF MAKETAB MOHAMED,
President,
Malaysian Nature Society.

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