Sustainable Development (SD) is defined as “development which meets the needs of current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Bruntland Commission’s Report, 1987).
Malaysia has placed great emphasis on achieving the right balance in terms of socio-economic development and environmental health, in particular the conservation of biodiversity and eco-systems. Malaysia has been recognized as one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries. Our coastlines are fringed with productive mangroves and spectacular coral reefs. All these help to maintain the health of our natural environment and represent inculcate good eco-systems.
In East Malaysia, one initiative called “Heart of Borneo” is to conserve approximately 200,000 square kilometres of forest. We also has set a target of recycling 40% of our waste by 2020 where we pledged to reduce our national carbon emissions by 40% by the same year.
Sustainable development is not only targeting the environment aspect but also economic and social. It is the driver for new technology and innovation. Our government also encourages the financing of socially-beneficial and sustainable venture such as the Sustainable and Responsible Investment Sukuk framework introduced by the Securities Commission, and the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Index launched by Bursa Malaysia.
Prime Minister has also introduced new tax incentives to encourage industries to adopt green technology; set targets for installed capacity of renewable energy; and made green growth an integral part of the 11th Malaysia Plan.
Making sure that sustainable development is put into actions, it cannot be just the matter for government. Private sectors, academicians, NGOs must play a role. Strong partnership is required in ensuring that Malaysia and the world are able to strike a balance for our future legacy.