Archive for the ‘Environmental Education’ Category

Ikea completes replanting of three million rainforest trees in Luasong.

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Swedish furniture retailer Ikea has completed the replanting of three million rainforest trees at Luasong in east coast Sabah as part of its efforts to rehabilitate the degraded forest since 1998.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences’ lecturer Jan Faulk, who has been involved since the beginning of the project with state-owned Yayasan Sabah, described it as successful as it involved a focus on rehabilitation with an eye to putting back the diversity of the rainforest.

“It is a unique rainforest rehabilitation project. Today we are seeing the wildlife returning to the once burned down forest,” he told reporters after joining Ikea of Sweden Global Wood Supply and Forestry manager Ulf Johansson in a meeting with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Faulk said a lot of research was done by scientists from Sweden, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and also from Australia.

“It is a gift from Ikea. All over the world, they have shops selling furniture. It is only here in Sabah they are doing rehabilitation. There is no revenue back,” he said, adding that project involved hiring 150 people working round the clock for the past 20 years.

Faulk said with the main replanting exercise completed in the area, it will remain a place for research as the forest was now fully protected.

Johansson, meanwhile, said that during their meeting with Shafie they discussed the downstream timber industry development.

“We would like to see more acacia plantations in Sabah. The more plantations developed on degraded land, the more jobs and happy customers we will have and there will be less pressure on natural forest,” he said, adding that it could lead to furniture manufacturing in the state.

By Muguntan Vanar
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Initiatives for a greener environment

Friday, November 16th, 2018
Eco Saviour Team members giving visitors an explanation about their project at the Toyota Eco Youth Programme closing ceremony.

EVERY Wednesday evening, Baling residents in Kedah head out for a meal, buy groceries or spend time with friends and family at Jerai night market which operates from 4pm to 8.30pm.

After the many stalls close, debris such as plastic bottles, wrappers and food scraps are strewn on the ground. Days pass before garbage trucks pick up the trash.

This dismal state of affairs prompted SMK Baling students to educate the community about environmental awareness as part of the Toyota Eco Youth Programme.

The students, who called themselves Baling Eco Saviour Team, emerged as the winner of the Toyota Eco Youth Programme, defeating 10 other participating schools.

SMK Baling students wins First Prize in the Toyota Eco Youth Programme.

Themed Waste Management this year, the initiative was first launched in 2001 as an environmental competition among eight schools in the Klang Valley. This year, 11 schools nationwide took part in the programme.

Initially, the programme participants had to find solutions to environmental problems within the school. In 2011, the programme was extended to include the community. Students not only had to engage the community with their project but also rope in relevant parties such as non-government organisations, local authorities and academicians.

Earlier this year, participating students and teachers attended a course on the Toyota 8-Step Problem-Solving Methodology ̶ an approach practised by UMW Toyota Motor employees to solve any problems including those involving the environment.

Baling Eco Saviour Team coordinator Ramzi Rahim, who won the Toyota Eco Youth Programme best teacher award, said: “Only six students attended the course. Upon their return, they conducted in-house training for the other participants to learn the methodology.”

Team leader Nur Batriesya Arizan said: “We were on our way home from a school workshop and came across the aftermath of the night market strewn with garbage. That was how the idea for the project came about.

“It was an eyesore. Dumpsters were not available to dispose of the rubbish .

The vendors and visitors of the night market appeared like they have no sense of responsibility.”

The students were determined to tackle the waste management problem at Jerai night market after many complaints from the residents.

The biggest hurdle to the success of the project was getting the vendors to cooperate with the team.

“We distributed plastic bags to all the vendors in our first attempt at managing waste. Some were reluctant to cooperate and even threw the plastic bags away. That was a really heartbreaking moment for us.

“However, we did not give up easily. We continued supplying plastic bags in the hope that the vendors would use them,” added Nur Batriesya.

Team member and group presenter Puteri Nurul Syarafana Megat Badlishah said: “Initially, nobody took us seriously since we were only secondary school students. It was hard to get the vendors to support us at the beginning.”

Nur Batriesya added: “After two weeks, we managed to change their mindset and they started using their own plastic bags.”

Gaining support from the teachers, residents and night market vendors, the team implemented measures including providing dumpsters and running programmes such as Gotong Royong Perdana, and the 3R and Our Waste, Our Responsibilities campaigns. By the end of the project, the team had successfully reduced waste at Jerai night market by 70 per cent.

The students after the Gotong Royong Perdana.

Ramzi added: “I am glad to see that the dumpsters are fully utilised. Due to environmental awareness, the night market is now well-taken care of.”

There are plans for an environmental club in order to sustain this project.

“Once a month, club members will visit Jerai night market to make sure it is clean,” added Nur Batriesya.

Puteri Nurul Syarafana is proud of the impact of the project.

“Initially there were 83 vendors at the night market but the number has increased to 98 after the project. We hope that other night markets will be benchmarked against Jerai night market,” she added.

To mark the completion of the project, SMK Baling, Baling District Council, SWCorp and Gabungan (30) Ent signed a memorandum of understanding to ensure its sustainability and a greener environment.

Rozainum Ahmad, director of co-curriculum and art at the Education Ministry, attended the prize-giving ceremony of the programme.

“We are pleased to see rising standards and creativity of the students over the years. From simpler projects such as disposal of used cooking oil and recycling and energy-saving initiatives, we now see more advanced and creative projects that meet the waste management theme this year,” said Rozainum

Eco Saviour Team members giving visitors an explanation about their project at the Toyota Eco Youth Programme closing ceremony.

Asia’s largest zoo croc injured by stone-throwing Chinese tourists

Saturday, November 10th, 2018
A group of overexcited Chinese tourists threw stones – as well as a 17cm-diameter rock – at Asia’s largest crocodile in captivity on Monday, injuring the reptile. – NSTP FILE PIC

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of overexcited Chinese tourists threw stones – as well as a 17cm-diameter rock – at Asia’s largest crocodile in captivity on Monday, injuring the reptile.

The tourists – a family of laughing adults and children – reportedly wanted to make the 1,250kg African crocodile move, as they were initially sceptical that it was real. When it reacted, they were thrilled and began taking pictures, and possibly videos.

According to the South China Morning Post, the family persisted in throwing projectiles at the 5.8-metre animal despite objections from fellow tourists and visitors at the Xiamen Central Africa Zoo in Fujian province on Nov 5.

But when the 37-year-old male crocodile named Xiao He began oozing blood from three cuts it incurred from the largest rock thrown at it, the tourists fled.

The zoo’s manager was immediately notified, and staff rushed to treat the crocodile using special medicine shipped in from Taiwan, the South China Morning Post reported.

Since news of the incident broke, social media users have been scathing over the tourists’ cruelty, as well as the example the adult members of the group had set for the children


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Green banking initiative to ease global warming

Sunday, November 4th, 2018
Rapid urbanisation and industrial growth have contributed to the increase in air pollution. – NSTP FILE PIC

EARTH is currently facing a host of environmental concerns. These problems arise from climate change, global warming and pollution — all of which have a significant impact on biodiversity, forestry, agriculture, water resources, and human health.

These environmental issues are also global; environmentalists, nature lovers, and the general public agree that we need to put a stop to such problems which are mainly man-made.

We need an eco-friendly policy to help us deal with such adverse effects which put pressure on industries and services.

Green initiatives are seriously needed to promote sustainable development and environmental protection.

In Malaysia, air and water pollution are expected to become more challenging as a result of rapid economic growth over the past two decades.

Rapid urbanisation and industrial growth have contributed to the increase in air pollution. The sources of air pollution are from the transportation and industrial sectors through the burning of fossil fuels.

The growing number of vehicles remains the main cause of the air quality deterioration, particularly in cities.

Therefore, the quality of air and water directly affects the socio-economic condition of the society.

Banks, as financial institutions can play a role in promoting green initiatives and sustainable economic growth through “green banking” practices.

The concept is a strategic approach to healthier marketing demands in modern business areas.

Green banking is any form of banking that benefits the environment. According to the Indian Banks Association (IBA, 2014): “Green Bank is like a normal bank, which considers all the social and environmental/ecological factors with an aim to protect the environment and conserve natural resources”.

It is also known as the “ethical” or “sustainable” bank. Its purpose is to perform “banking activities but with an additional plan towards taking care of earth’s ecology, environment, and natural resources including biodiversity”.

Green banking is gaining traction — it is making technological and operational improvements by changing clients’ habits in banking. Paperless banking, for example, reduces cost, and helps in environmental sustainability — it reduces the use of paper, power and energy.

By Dr. Saunah Zainon.

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SMK Sultan Sulaiman goes green with bucidas

Sunday, November 4th, 2018
V. Mohan Raj (standing, with tie) with some Sixth Formers of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Sulaiman after planting a bucida tree at their school’s premises in Jalan Sultan Mahmud, Batu Burok in Kuala Terengganu. – NSTP

KUALA TERENGGANU: Plants are lifesavers for humans and help boost the ecological system.

Hence, 315 Sixth Formers and 20 teachers from the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Sulaiman in Jalan Sultan Mahmud, Batu Burok dug deep into their pockets to purchase 41 bucida molineti trees from a local nursery.

They then planted the young trees around the school compound to not only beautify the landscape but help ‘green’ their surrounding.

Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Sulaiman principal Wan Rohana Wan Mansor (squatting) with some of her teachers after she donated the first bucida tree at the school’s premises in Jalan Sultan Mahmud, Batu Burok in Kuala Terengganu. – NSTP

The school’s ‘Go Green Sixth Formers’ project teacher-advisor V. Mohan Raj said that two types of bucida were purchased – the standard green tree at RM10 each and the batik-trunk version at RM25 each.

“This is part of our go-green effort to keep the school’s surrounding as a healthy place to study and work.

“At the same time, we want to instil an environmental awareness and eco-friendly attitude towards nature, for all.

e decided on purchasing and planting bucida trees as they are not only eye-catching and beautiful but can withstand hot weather and are easy to maintain and grow,” said Mohan Raj, who has taught at the co-educational school for 18 years.

And school principal Wan Rohana Wan Mansor set a fine example by being the first to donate a tree, followed by the other teachers.

“We hope to plant more trees around our school and hope other schools will follow suit in our effort to protect the environment,” said Mohan Raj, who is also an active member of the Darul Iman Scooter Club.

The club members travel state-wide and other parts of the country to assist old folks and orphans with financial aid.

The bucida molineti is native to the Bahamas and is also found in great numbers in Cuba, South Florida in the United States and the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

By Adrian David .

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Climate change: Nature-based solutions

Sunday, October 14th, 2018
(File pix) Locals remove debris on a street covered with muddy water at Majorca, on October 10, 2018. Extreme floods and droughts have a profound impact on development, particularly in less developed parts of the world. AFP Photo

ALMOST every day we hear news about catastrophic flooding or drought somewhere in the world. And many nations and regions are on track for even more extreme water problems within a generation.

This is the warning that is sounded in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

Extreme floods and droughts have a profound impact on development, particularly in less developed parts of the world. About 140 million people are affected — displaced by the loss of incomes or homes — and close to 10,000 people worldwide die annually from these twin calamities. Global annual economic losses from floods and droughts exceeds US$40 billion (RM166.14 billion); add in damages from storms like America’s recent Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and the cost balloons.

Flood and drought economic losses — comparable in dollar terms to all global development aid — affect the water, food and energy security of nations. To cope with these problems, massive investments continue to be made in large reservoirs.

However, in certain regions it has started to make little engineering sense to build additional “grey (concrete and steel) infrastructure” due to a lack of suitable sites and, or, rapid evaporation. In others, ageing grey infrastructure may no longer provide the originally envisioned benefits because hydrological parameters and patterns are changing.

The appropriate response is to recognise the benefits of “green (natural ecosystems) infrastructure” and to design grey and green infrastructure in tandem to maximise benefits for the people, nature and the economy.

“Nature-based solutions” were the theme of this year’s UN World Water Development Report. Nature-based solutions include:

SOIL moisture retention systems, and groundwater recharge to enhance water availability;

NATURAL and constructed wetlands and riparian buffer strips to improve water quality; and,

FLOODPLAIN restoration to reduce risks associated with water-related disasters and climate change.

The role of green water storage infrastructure is particularly important.

The enormous potential of such approaches are only now being fully understood but its clear that green infrastructure can directly improve the performance of grey infrastructure for disaster risk reduction.

Indeed, large-scale managed aquifer recharge efforts can, in certain conditions, alleviate both flood and drought risks in the same river basin.

Recent studies suggest that agricultural income could be boosted by about US$200 million per year in a river basin greater than 150,000 km2 in area, with only 200 km2 of land converted for accelerated groundwater recharge in wetter years. Not only is additional water made available to farmers in drier periods, downstream flooding costs can also be eliminated. And the capital investment required could be recouped in a decade or less.

Such sustainable, cost-effective and scalable solutions may be relevant in developing countries, where water-related disaster vulnerability has risen to unprecedented levels and the impacts of climate change are most acutely felt.

Nature-based solutions are not feasible everywhere and, where they would help, they alone are not the silver bullet for water risks and variability — they cannot be counted on to replace or achieve the full risk reduction effect of grey infrastructure.

Nevertheless, nature-based solutions need to be considered in all water management planning and practiced where possible. Especially at river basin and regional scales, management planning should consider a range of surface and subsurface storage options, not just large concrete dams. The challenges include:

AN overwhelming dominance of traditional grey infrastructure thinking and practices (and associated inertia against nature-based solutions);

THE need for more quantitative data on the effects of nature-based solutions;

A LACK of understanding of how to integrate natural and built infrastructure for managing water extremes;

OVERALL lack of capacity to implement nature-based solutions;


A PREDOMINANTLY reactive rather than proactive approach to water-related disaster management.

Nature-based solutions have much greater potential if included in risk reduction planning and adopted before disaster strikes.

These challenges will take time to overcome, but there is hope. The UN General Assembly has designated Oct 13 as the International Day for Disaster Reduction, which this year has taken the theme of reducing economic losses from disasters.

The theme corresponds to a target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which underlines the need to shift from post-disaster planning and recovery to proactive disaster risk reduction and calls for strategies with a range of ecosystem-based solutions.

Some 25 targets within 10 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals the of UN Agenda 2030 either explicitly or implicitly address various aspects of water-related disaster management.

By Vladimir Smakhtin.


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Strong risk of crisis as early as 2040

Thursday, October 11th, 2018
Water from a melting glacier runs down through a hole in the Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland. The UN climate change report says to prevent 2.7 degrees of warming, greenhouse pollution must be reduced by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2050. REUTERS PIC

A LANDMARK report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought, and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent”.

The report, issued last Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.

The report “is quite a shock, and quite concerning”, said Bill Hare, an author of previous IPCC reports and a physicist with Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organisation.

“We were not aware of this just a few years ago.” The report was the first to be commissioned by world leaders under the Paris agreement, the 2015 pact by nations to fight global warming.

The authors found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much as 2.7°F (1.5°C) above pre-industrial levels by 2040, inundating coastlines and intensifying droughts and poverty. Previous work had focused on estimating the damage if average temperatures were to rise by a larger number, 3.6°F (2°C), because that was the threshold scientists previously considered for the most severe effects of climate change

The new report, however, shows that many of those effects will come much sooner, at the 2.7-degree mark.

Avoiding the most serious damage requires transforming the world economy within just a few years, said the authors, who estimate that the damage would come at a cost of US$54 trillion (RM224.6 trillion). But while they conclude that it is technically possible to achieve the rapid changes required to avoid 2.7 degrees of warming, they concede that it may be politically unlikely.

For instance, the report says that heavy taxes or prices on carbon dioxide emissions — perhaps as high as US$27,000 per ton by 2100 — would be required. But such a move would be almost politically impossible in the United States, the world’s largest economy and second-largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China. Lawmakers around the world, including in China, the European Union and California, have enacted carbon pricing programmes.

President Donald Trump, who has mocked the science of human-caused climate change, has vowed to increase the burning of coal and said he intends to withdraw from the Paris agreement. And on Sunday in Brazil, the world’s seventh-largest emitter of greenhouse gas, voters appeared on track to elect a new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has said he also plans to withdraw from the accord.

The report was written and edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries who analysed more than 6,000 scientific studies. The Paris agreement set out to prevent warming of more than 3.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels — long considered a threshold for the most severe social and economic damage from climate change. But the heads of small island nations, fearful of rising sea levels, had also asked scientists to examine the effects of 2.7 degrees of warming.

Absent aggressive action, many effects once expected only several decades in the future will arrive by 2040, and at the lower temperature, the report shows.

To prevent 2.7 degrees of warming, the report said, greenhouse pollution must be reduced by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2050. It also found that, by 2050, use of coal as an electricity source would have to drop from nearly 40 per cent today to between one and seven per cent. Renewable energy such as wind and solar, which make up about 20 per cent of the electricity mix today, would have to increase to as much as 67 per cent.

The World Coal Association disputed the conclusion that stopping global warming calls for an end of coal use. In a statement, Katie Warrick, its interim chief executive, noted that forecasts from the International Energy Agency, a global analysis organisation, “continue to see a role for coal for the foreseeable future”.

Despite the controversial policy implications, the US delegation joined more than 180 countries last Saturday in accepting the report’s summary for policymakers, while walking a delicate diplomatic line. A US State Department statement said that “acceptance of this report by the panel does not imply endorsement by the United States of the specific findings or underlying contents of the report”.

The state department delegation faced a conundrum. Refusing to approve the document would place the US at odds with many nations and show it rejecting established academic science on the world stage. However, the delegation also represents a president who has rejected climate science and climate policy.

The report attempts to put a price tag on the effects of climate change. The estimated US$54 trillion in damage from 2.7 degrees of warming would grow to US$69 trillion if the world continues to warm by 3.6 degrees and beyond, the report found, although it does not specify the length of time represented by those costs.

In addition, it said, the United States along with Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam are home to 50 million people who will be exposed to the effects of increased coastal flooding by 2040, if 2.7 degrees of warming occur.

At 3.6 degrees of warming, the report predicts a “disproportionately rapid evacuation” of people from the tropics. “In some parts of the world, national borders will become irrelevant,” said Aromar Revi, director of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and an author of the report. “You can set up a wall to try to contain 10,000 and 20,000 and one million people, but not 10 million.”


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Melaka, a green city example

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018
Melaka has made great strides in becoming a green city. FILE PIC

IN the last five years, Melaka has made great strides toward building a sustainable, green city.

By 2020, the government-run 7,248ha Melaka World Solar Valley aims to power most of the daily activities of manufacturers, housing developers, farmers, and other stakeholders.

Recently, a public-private partnership installed 100,000 LED street lamps along the Alor Gajah–Central Melaka–Jasin (AMJ) highway, which will improve road safety and reduce carbon di oxide emissions.

The urban landscape has also changed. While glinting glass panels adorn this Malaysian state, a former trading hub with rich multicultural heritage, walkable neighbourhoods with mixed-use development have increased foot traffic and reduced car use in the fast-growing state.

The Melaka River, once a polluted drainage canal, is now a popular gathering place and tourist attraction.

Melaka’s transformation is the result of meticulous planning, a comprehensive approach supported by government policies and projects, private sector engagement and citizen initiatives.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is proud to have worked with Melaka to develop its roadmap, the Green City Action Plan. In addition to a technical assistance grant to underwrite the plan, which was completed in 2014, ADB also helped Melaka implement it, including by structuring bankable projects for solar energy and street lighting, setting up a database to track indicators in environment and economic growth, and conducting training in urban development, environment planning, and knowledge sharing.

The Melaka projects are the first to be implemented under the Green Cities Initiative of the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), an ADB-supported sub-regional cooperation programme focused on the development of 32 provinces in these three countries. It aims to help states and provinces discover and use their relative comparative advantages to work together in the sub-region. So far, four other cities — Songkhla and Hat Yai in Thailand, Medan and Batam in Indonesia — have developed similar plans.

A “green” city means an area that is resilient and inclusive, manages its natural resources well, promotes low carbon growth to remain competitive, and improve the livelihoods of all citizens.

With each green city plan, countries are moving away from business-as-usual economic growth models to forge a clear, concise vision for a city’s future based on factors such as comprehensive analysis and consensus among key stakeholders.

Each plan lays out “green projects” with clear development impacts, covering urban infrastructure and development, environment and climate resilience. It also identifies investment, financing mechanisms and other strategies to achieve balanced, sustainable growth in a community, often including cultural and heritage preservation.

Just like Melaka’s, those plans present a paradigm shift, where cities pursue integrated urban development and environmental planning as they make a transition to a cleaner, greener, and more prosperous future.

The initiative is very relevant, because cities are the primary drivers of economic growth across countries in Asean, producing about 70 per cent of the region’s gross domestic product.

Almost 300 million people in Asean already live in cities, and another 90 million people are expected to move in by 2030, pushing up the urban share of the population to nearly 45 per cent.

But urbanisation is placing a growing environmental strain on cities, such as air, water and noise pollution, traffic congestion, and inadequate solid waste management.

Poorly managed urbanisation also worsens risks posed by climate change. Cities also face massive infrastructure financing gaps, at US$60 billion (RM248.3 billion) per year based on ADB’s estimates.

Tackling these challenges will require city governments to integrate social and environmental considerations into locally customised economic development plans.

Success won’t happen overnight. It will require innovation, testing and application of new ideas, learning and sharing of lessons, and development of new approaches to emerging challenges.

The Green Cities Conference, to be held today in Melaka, will bring city leaders together to collaborate on green growth strategies. It also seeks to continue to support the Green Cities Network established under the IMT-GT and the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area.

ADB is all for the network of Asean green cities, which serves as a platform for peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing. We are also leading initiatives to help build capacities in urban management and promote green transportation.

Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of IMT-GT, the conference also provides a window for action following Melaka’s success in transforming into a green city.

By Ramesh Subramaniam.

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Memorable lessons in turtle conservation

Saturday, September 29th, 2018
The cadet girl guides forming the shape of turtles with the palms of their hands.

The cadet girl guides forming the shape of turtles with the palms of their hands.

FIFTY eight Cadet Girl Guides and 13 Guiders from six Institute of Teacher Education campuses visited the Ma’Daerah Turtle Sanctuary in Kemaman, Terengganu to learn about the protection and conservation of sea turtles.

“As future teachers, we hope that they will share their experiences and hopefully bring awareness to the community around them about sea turtle conservation,” said Girl Guides Association Malaysia Institute of Teacher Education branch chief commissioner Joyce Ong Choon Kim.

The girls learned that they can get involved in caring for the sea turtles by assisting in the hatcheries, maintaining clean beaches and helping with marine conservation so that they can live and breed in a safe environment.

The highlight was releasing baby turtles back into the sea.

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Plastic waste imports to be levied, permits tightened.

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018
Zuraida on her surprise visit to an illegal plastic waste factory here on Tuesday.

Zuraida on her surprise visit to an illegal plastic waste factory here on Tuesday.

KUALA LANGAT: Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin is proposing that a levy be imposed on plastic waste imports in a bid to better manage the problem of plastic pollution from the recycling industry.

She said while Malaysian factories were currently importing plastic for free, this was set to change soon as the government planned to impose a levy of RM15 per tonne.

“I hear it’s a very lucrative business.

“Now we are going to put a levy on them. Importers would have to immediately comply with this levy once it’s in place,” she told reporters after meeting with various agencies at the Kuala Langat District Council here on Tuesday (Sept 25).

“The names of companies that import plastic and export plastic must be listed down to show how genuine the business is.

“The applicants must also get the approval of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) in order to get the AP,” she said.

Zuraida added that the APs issued by her Ministry would also be made to tally with the Customs Department’s capacity to receive plastic waste at the ports.

“Previously, there was no tally between the permits issued and the Customs Department’s capacity,” she pointed out.

The meeting was held to discuss the issue of local factories importing and recycling plastic waste from countries like New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom after China banned plastic imports.

In July, the Ministry revoked the AP on plastic waste imports, affecting 114 legal plastic waste factories all over Malaysia for three months up till Oct 23.

The move was taken in light of reports of serious pollution in Kuala Langat caused by factories involved in processing plastic waste.

According to Zuraida, there were 114 plastic recycling factories that were active all over Malaysia.

In Kuala Langat alone, there were 24 illegal plastic waste factories, with another 17 already ordered to close down, she said.

By Fatimah Zainal
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