NGOs form green pact

Posted on April 19, 2011. Filed under: Ecology |

-Free Malaysia Today-

Activists will mark Earth Day with demands for action, not pledges, to save the environment.

KUALA LUMPUR: Green activists will march to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment this Friday to demand a halt in deforestation and other activities that threaten the environment.

The march, to mark International Mother Earth Day, will be organised by the Save the Earth Committee, a coalition of more than 20 non-governmental organisations coordinated by Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM).

Malaysia lost nearly two million hectares of forest between 1990 and 2010. That represents a depletion rate that is faster than in most Asian countries, according to a memorandum the coalition will submit to the ministry after Friday’s march.

“And yet there is no action to curb the problem,” said S. Kalei Jothi, who heads PSM’s Environment Desk.

The memorandum will also ask the government to abandon the nuclear power option, halt the rare earth project near Kuantan, stop the use of incinerators and establish an efficient public transportation system.

Jothi noted that the government had, over the years, made several pledges to protect the environment but had not acted on them.

“For example, the Prime Minister pledged at the Copenhagen talks (in 2009) that Malaysia would reduce carbon emission, but that pledge has not been translated into policy.”

As of today, 22 civil societies have signed the Save the Earth memorandum, but PSM is confident that the number will increase by Friday.

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