Thursday, May 6, 2010

Environment issues to take centre stage on April 26, 2010

PUTRAJAYA: A meeting of minds of people passionate about the environment is set to take place during the inaugural Malaysia Green Forum 2010.

The forum, to be held on April 26 and 27 with the theme “Greener and Sustainable Malaysia” is organised by Landskap Malaysia with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Putrajaya Corporation, partners include UEM Group Berhad, Sime Darby Berhad and TSR Capital Berhad.

Landskap Malaysia chairman Tun Jeanne Abdullah said the aim of the forum was to provide a platform for stakeholders with interests in various green issues to meet, discuss and exchange ideas.

“Those who care about the environment can discuss topics ranging from the natural landscapes to the built environment,” she told a press conference.

Jeanne said an invitation has been extended to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to launch the forum while Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan was expected to close the event.

She added at the end of the forum, a resolution would be handed over to Sidek on ways to protect the country’s natural and living environment.


Green mission


A conference next week hopes to chart the way for a sustainable future.

WHEN alarm bells went off in the late 1980s about the hole in the ozone layer, not many people took notice. As with most things, if you don’t see or feel the effects directly, it’s hard to believe it exists.

Now, more than two decades later, the effects of environmental degradation is not just staring us in the face, it’s burning our skins and destroying our homes. It’s crunch time and we need to do something, and fast.

To move things along, Landskap Malaysia – an environmental non-governmental organisation headed by Tun Jeanne Abdullah – is bringing together policy makers, academics and community representatives to discuss what the Government and the people need to do to preserve our environment and, by extension, ourselves.

The inaugural Malaysia Green Forum 2010 to be held at Dewan Sri Siantan, Kompleks Perbadanan Putrajaya, Putrajaya Presint 3, on April 26 and 27 aims to formulate resolutions that will hopefully be put in place.


“We need to create awareness and it’s time to reach out to people and hopefully, people (the authorities) will listen to what the people have to say,” said Jeanne in an interview.

The Green Forum is jointly organised by Landskap Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Perbadanan Putrajaya and will be attended by 450 participants. There will be four international and 16 local speakers addressing a wide range of topics. The papers that will be presented include Green Cities, Better Cities: How Green Spaces Can Play A Role In Successful City Branding; Water, Development And Sustainability; Influence Of Climate Change On Malaysia’s Weather Pattern; and Landscape Planning For Sustaining Malaysia’s Biodiversity.

Jeanne will deliver the keynote address on A Holistic Approach To A Greener And Sustainable Malaysia.

“A lot of people have called us (Landskap Malaysia) to say they want to attend the forum and though there are limited seats we will try to accomodate them because these are people who are interested in the issue and they should be there. It’s a chance for them to speak up.

“It’s time for us to be firm and it’s time we had some firm policies and enforcement. That’s what we want and I want to hear what people want. At the end of the forum, we will compile our resolutions and hand them to the Government and we hope they will consider what the people have to say. The resolutions will not reflect the voice of one or of a few. It will reflect the voice of everyone.”

Landskap Malaysia, the brainchild of former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Jeanne, is a non-profit organisation that aims to increase the community’s awareness, involvement and appreciation towards the country’s landscape and natural environment. The four core areas the organisation focuses on are education, advisory, research and development, and outreach.

“This forum is timely. It follows the Copenhagen climate change conference (last December) where the Prime Minister made a commitment that Malaysia would reduce our carbon emissions by 40% by the year 2020. One of the goals of the forum is to look at how we can do this,” says Jeanne.

Attitudes towards the environment have changed, she noted. People want to change but don’t necessarily know how.

“If you talk to the layman, a lot of them are keen to do something, especially the younger generation. There are many youths doing a lot of good on their own. Ten years ago when people started speaking of the ozone layer, no one cared because we believed we would not be affected. But we are feeling it now. We are feeling the heat like never before. It’s so hot we feel it in our bones. People want this (change),” she said.

More and more Malaysians, observed Jeanne, are getting involved in programmes and initiatives to help save the environment.

“The youth are doing a lot. Everywhere you see programmes (for the environment) being carried out. Even during Earth Hour when we had to switch off the lights, in many cases it was the younger ones who reminded us,” she said.

Although the Green Forum is not open to youths, Jeanne shared that Landskap Malaysia has many programmes for children.

“We need to make children aware and get involved. We want to start a Green Rangers programme where children can go out and plant trees and be involved in green activities. This can, in the long run, become a career option. When I was a kid, I dreamt of becoming a forest ranger. A forest doctor of sorts. The forest has so many jobs to offer and we have so much to learn about and from the forest,” she said.

For the Green Forum, the focus will be on effecting serious change and eliciting a commitment from all parties – the government, the NGOs and the people – to mend our ways and help heal and preserve the environment.

“We in Malaysia are very blessed. We are shielded from strong winds and storms and so on. Our soil is very fertile. I feel sad that when we want to build a housing estate, we just flatten everything. I understand that it’s easier to do that but the terrain is important. It helps with the water flow, for example. But developers see it as a hindrance. When we drive to KLIA, everything is flat. There is no more forest,” she lamented.

“We need development but we also need a balance. And the time is now.”

For more information, contact the Malaysia Green Forum secretariat (03-8946 4013) or e-mail:

Landskap Malaysia Akan Wujudkan Bank Benih

Tun Jeanne Abdullah menerima Anugerah Keahlian Kehormat yang dikurniakan oleh Institut Landskap Arkitek Malaysia (ILAM) semasa jamuan makan malam serta anugerah tahunan baru-baru ini. Jeanne yang juga Pengerusi ILAM menerima anugerah tersebut atas sokongan dan sumbangan beliau dalam pelestarian alam sekitar serta kepimpinannya. - Foto BERNAMA

PETALING JAYA: Landskap Malaysia akan mewujudkan sebuah bank benih bagi mengekalkan pokok dan membantu kerajaan dalam perkara berkaitan isu alam sekitar, kata Pengerusinya Tun Jeanne Abdullah hari ini.

Beliau berkata bank benih itu akan dilancarkan Isnin ini bersempena Forum Hijau Malaysia di Putrajaya.

"Ia juga sebagai menyokong komitmen kerajaan untuk mengurangkan 40 peratus pelepasan karbon menjelang tahun 2020," katanya ketika melancarkan program menanam pokok "1 Murid 1 Pokok" di Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Petaling di sini.

Beliau berkata Landskap Malaysia turut merancang mewujudkan program Renjer Hijau untuk pelajar sekolah bagi menyemai kesedaran mengenai isu alam sekitar dalam kalangan generasi muda.

"Semua pelajar sekolah akan dapat menyertai Renjer Hijau dan mengambil bahagian dalam semua program sukarelawan bagi memulihara alam sekitar. Kami telah pun menyediakan kertas kerja yang akan dikemukakan kepada Kementerian Pelajaran tidak lama lagi untuk kelulusan," katanya.

Dalam program menanam pokok itu, sejumlah 165 pelajar Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Petaling menanam pokok di perkarangan sekolah dan akan menjaganya sehingga mereka menamatkan persekolahan.- BERNAMA

Kerajaan menyokong Landskap Malaysia dengan pemberian geran RM2 juta

Najib Tun Razak menyatakan sesuatu kepada Abdullah Ahmad Badawi semasa melawat pameran sambil diperhatikan Jeanne Abdullah (dua dari kiri) pada Forum Hijau Malaysia di Putrajaya, semalam.

PUTRAJAYA 26 April - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak mengumumkan bantuan geran bernilai RM2 juta kepada Landskap Malaysia untuk melaksanakan program landskap dan pemeliharaan alam sekitar.

Perdana Menteri berkata, kerajaan tidak pernah meremehkan kepentingan penanaman pokok yang merupakan sumber oksigen untuk membersih dan menyejukkan udara secara semula jadi.
"Saya gembira dengan pengumuman Kementerian Sumber Asli dan Alam Sekitar untuk menanam 26 juta pokok dari 2010 hingga 2014.

"Agak mendukacitakan apabila ramai orang hanya melihat pokok sebagai balak yang mempunyai nilai wang, ini merupakan bala kepada alam sekitar," katanya.

Beliau berucap merasmikan Forum Hijau Malaysia (MGF) anjuran Landskap Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) dan Perbadanan Putrajaya di sini hari ini.

Turut hadir Penasihat Landskap Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi; Pengerusi Landskap Malaysia, Tun Jeanne Abdullah dan Menteri Sumber Asli dan Alam Sekitar, Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas.

Forum tersebut diadakan sebagai sokongan ke atas kenyataan Najib pada Persidangan Perubahan Iklim di Copenhagen, Denmark, Disember tahun lalu untuk mengurangkan pelepasan karbon sebanyak 40 peratus menjelang 2020.

Najib berkata, sebagai Pengerusi Majlis Teknologi Hijau, beliau memantau rapi untuk memastikan sasaran Malaysia untuk mengurangkan pelepasan karbon dapat dicapai.
"Saya ingin memaklumkan bahawa persediaan satu kerangka yang memfokus kepada sektor tenaga, sisa dan perhutanan sedang giat dilakukan," katanya.

Beliau berkata, banyak usaha perlu dilakukan untuk meyakinkan rakyat supaya mereka menyesuaikan diri dengan gaya hidup yang dapat membawa manfaat kepada alam sekitar.
"Kita juga berdepan halangan untuk mencari tenaga alternatif yang efektif dari segi kos.
"Kita bergantung kepada negara maju untuk mengakses teknologi hijau dan ia terlalu mahal untuk digunakan secara luas," katanya.

Dalam pada itu, beliau menyeru supaya program penyelidikan, pembangunan serta pengkomersialan memfokus kepada usaha mengurangkan kos teknologi supaya ia boleh dimanfaatkan oleh rakyat.

"Memandangkan alam sekitar merupakan isu global, saya menggalakkan institusi penyelidikan dan industri tempatan supaya bekerjasama dengan universiti atau syarikat antarabangsa," katanya.

Sementara itu, Najib berkata, banyak bank komersial belum bersedia untuk terlibat dalam projek teknologi hijau kerana menganggap ia berisiko dan takut dengan kegagalan.

"Minda takut gagal perlu diubah dengan menganggap kegagalan itu sebagai pengajaran untuk kebaikan jangka panjang," katanya.