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Unveil better resources, solutions for climate change

PETALING JAYA: Environmental groups have called for better resources for conservation efforts as well as concrete measures for tackling climate change.

Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (Ecomy) president and chief executive officer Andrew Sebastian said the government could provide incentives to do away with single-use plastics.

Malaysia, he said, had fallen behind in enforcing simple things such as curbing the use of single-use plastics.

“We should do away with single-use plastics and call for a complete ban on them.

“Incentivise people and industries to go without single-use plastics and opt for eco-friendly measures instead.

“This will be a big win, at least for 2024,” he said, adding that more resources should be allocated towards the environment.

“All the major issues faced by Malaysians are related to the environment and how we treat it.

“This is neither new nor surprising, but it needs proper financial backing and resources for 2024,” he added.

Andrew added that severe weather patterns, among others, were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to climate change.

“The increasing global temperature means trouble for everybody, and every government has to play its part,” he said.

Ecoknights founder Yasmin Rashid said more could be done to minimise traffic and carbon emissions by vehicles.

She suggested that implementing the polluter pays policy and imposing it on vehicle owners entering the city during peak hours could serve as potential revenue streams for city councils.

Planting more trees in the city and parks could also be done to counter the urban heat island effect and make the city more walkable, she said.

“Shaping a low-carbon city takes quite a bit of funding and effort by the local authorities, but this is where economies are made and tourism takes place,” she said.

“Directing more funding towards developing low-carbon cities helps the city save energy bills, enhance mobility, encourage public transportation, increase community participation, increase tourism revenue, enhance local economic prosperity, and that all creates a space where people can thrive vibrantly,” she added.

While setting aside a budget to address climate risks through adaptation or mitigation was a good first step, Yasmin said a hierarchy of needs or importance that the government could work on was needed.

“This allows the money to be channelled towards urgent causes through an order of priorities.

“This is important as it is fundamental to future-proofing the people and country for further exacerbated climate risks,” she said.

Klima Action Malaysia (KAMY) programme director Ili Nadiah Dzulfakar said there was a need to think beyond just funding flood defences.

She instead proposed investing in “soft infrastructure”, noting how it was crucial for building resilience.

“This means better training for our communities, enhancing social protection for our people to lessen inequities, and strengthening vital institutions including the judiciary, healthcare, schools and universities.

“Preparing our people for climate change is not only strategic but also a fundamental human right,” she said.

Ili Nadiah also highlighted the need to pivot towards a gender-responsive budgeting approach to ensure funds are allocated in ways that address and prioritise women-specific challenges and opportunities in the face of climate change.

Funding was also needed for data and research in order to bridge the knowledge gap around women and climate change.

It is also crucial to finance initiatives that put young women at the forefront of climate and disaster risk reduction management, Ili Nadiah said.

“Directing more funds towards women’s healthcare, especially reproductive health, will also make them less vulnerable during disasters,” she added.

Read the original article at The Star Online.



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