TOPICSWhat is Environmental ManagementCountry Background Economy Environmental ProfileNatural Resources of MalaysiaMonitoring Authorities of MalaysiaCore Problems of Malaysian ModelRecommendations
Environmental Management It supports sustainable development. It is concerned with that sphere of nature, which is affected by humans. It calls for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach. It encompasses various paradigms of development. It takes cues from physical sciences, social sciences, policy making and planning. The timescale involved is often long and the environmental concerns range from localto global. It assists us to identify and address problems simultaneously.
Country Background: Malaysia is the 67th largest country by total land area, covers an area of about 329,758 sqkm and has a hot-wet climate. The annual rainfall ranges from 2,500 to 4,000 mm a year. The population of Malaysia is about 28 million. Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy and thirteen territories. Malaysia is one of the very environmentally rich countries in the world. The Country have high biodiversity consists of renewable and non-renewable resources.
Economy The economy of Malaysia is heavily dependent on the prices of palm oil and petroleum. It has the 28th largest economy of the world, In 2010,GDP per capita stands at US$15,800. Economy by Sector, agriculture 12.0% industry 40.0% services 48.0%. The country has experienced rapid urbanization in last few decades. Malaysian Exports: $239.8 billion and there imports are: $197.2 billion. Main industries are: rubber and palm oil manufacturing, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals,medical technology, electronics, tin mining and agriculture processing, petroleum productionand refining. At one time, it was the largest producer of tin, rubber and palm oil in the world.
Environmental Profile Malaysia possesses strict environmental rules and regulations. Currently it has more than 43 environment-related legislations. The core environmental legislation is the EnvironmentalQualityAct of 1974. The Ministry of Science,Technology, and Environment is responsible for the environment. Every state has its separate Department of Environment which assist environmental policiesand in the decision-making process. Malaysia is suffering from various environmental problems such as pollution, landdegradation, deforestation, biodiversity degradation, depletion of environmental resources,wetland degradation, urban solid waste management, etc
Timeline of Malaysian Environmental Legislature
Natural Resources of Malaysia Mineral Resources:Malaysia is very rich mineral resourceful country in the world but the exploitation rate is also identified.The Government has formulated a National Mineral Policy (NMP) in January 2009.
Fisheries ResourcesMalaysia is a nation with more sea than land and there are more than 120,000 licensed fishermen.Fisheries resources have depleted since 1970 in Malaysia due to Over fishing, by-catch and Destructivefishing practice.Government implemented Fisheries act 1985 for sustainable management of fisheries.
Agriculture Resources: Malaysia is rich is agriculture with biodiversity but the soil quality is degrading due to chemical fertilizers. The practice of monocrops has caused serious deterioration of land characteristics and a decline in productivity. Plant Quarantine Act 1976 is the implemented to monitor and control agriculture resources.
Forest Resources: Malaysia is committed to the implementation of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM). To ensure the timber production in Malaysia, the control and regulation of forest resources is carriedout using the area control and volume methods. Forestry Act 1993 is the Malaysian legislature for forest.
Air Resources It is a life sustaining precious natural resource without which mankind cannot survive. Air pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide also have harmful effects on Malaysian naturalecosystems. Environmental Quality act 1978 protects clean air from pollutants.
Water resources: As the world has industrialized and its population has grown, the problem of water pollution has intensified. With regards to the water pollution, generally in Malaysia it is caused by point and non-point sources. Point sources comprise sewage treatment plants, manufacturing and agro-based industries as well as animal farms. Non-point sources are made up of diffused sources such as agricultural activities and surface runoffs. the total available internal water resources for Malaysia are 630,000 mcm/year. Monitoring through Environment QualityAct 1974 & Environmental Quality (Effluents) Regulations 1979.
Wildlife and Domestic Animal Resources: The wildlife diversity is quite affected with the many ways with a very limited habitat. As oil palm and other plantations spread, then the area for wildlife declines. wildlife has also declined within forested areas/ the greatest reason for this has been a major increase in hunting in recent years. Malaysian parliament imposedWildlife ProtectionAct 1972 for conservation of animals and their species.
Land Resources: Land is other major natural resources of Malaysia but these resources are degraded in many ways. Intensive agriculture with HYV (HighYieldVariety) along with imbalance in fertilization has degraded lands The soil quality is also degrading. LandConservationAct 1960 (Act No. 385), revised 1989 is land conservation legislature in malaysia.
Coastal resources: The coastal zone of Malaysia supports economic activities i.e. Urbanization, agriculture, fisheries,aquaculture, oil and gas exploitation, transportation and communication, recreation, etc. Heavy metals contamination is also significant in coastal areas where mercury levels exceeding the standards. Malaysian waters off the coast are also polluted by oil and grease originating from oil spills. The MalaysianGovernment is integrated coastal zone management policy.
MonitoringAuthorities of Malaysia In order to sustain a public health, all kinds of dangerous substance should be protected and regulated byMalaysian government. To ensure public safety and maintenance of public order in Malaysia following authorities have a majorrole:The Role of JudiciaryThe Role of the Institutional and Administrative ResponsibilitiesThe Role of the Coordinating LawsThe Role of International Soft Laws Policy and ComplianceThe Role of the Non GovernmentalOrganizationThe Role of Malaysian Environmental Policy
The Role of Judiciary:This Court can interpret the Constitution and constitutional provisions and can also settle the disputes between theState and the Federal Governments.This Court bears absolute jurisdiction over the environmental issues in Malaysia due to the constitutionalinterpretation regarding the environmental issues.There is no specific Environmental Courts in Malaysia which is very pressing need of the country. The Role of the Institutional and Administrative ResponsibilitiesThe National Planning Council headed by the Prime Minister is one of many institutions in the government leveldealing with the environmental issues in Malaysia.The Economic Planning Unit (EPU),The Public Services Department, Manpower Planning and Modernization Unit(MAMPU), Inter-agency Planning Group (IAPG) are the other main departments collaboration between govt. andprivate sector.The Department of Environment (DOE) also established giving the charge with the environmentaladministration under the Ministry of Science,Technology and Environment (MOSTE).
The Role of the Coordinating Laws:In order to work smooth environment, coordination between the Federal and the State Government isessentialThe coordinating mechanism in the name of ‘councils’ and committees have been established.The councils are generally consultative bodies established by law to advise the federal and stategovernments on policy formulation and legislative changes.The Ministry maintains a relationship with states through regular council meetings on the Environment. The Role of International Soft Laws Policy and ComplianceThe government of Malaysia is still very healthy to the international relations including the internationalenvironmental laws and legal matters.The government has already passed some environmental instruments to protect the environment but thereare constraints and barriers in the compliance under the international environmental policies in Malaysia.
The Role of the Non GovernmentalOrganization:In Malaysia, there are 20 NGOs have been working for greening the country.These NGOs have been taking many initiatives such as environmental education, awareness buildingactivities, publications, environmental protection measures, environmental rights etc.They operated mainly by applying pressure to the authorities through lobbying and public campaigns. The Role of Malaysian Environmental Policy:The MalaysianGovernment passed the National Policy for the development and conservation ofenvironment.The policy states‘‘for continuous economic, social and cultural progress and enhancement of the quality of life ofMalaysians, through environmentally sound and sustainable development.’’The objectives of the policy are the stewardship of the environment, conservation of nature’s vitality anddiversity.
Core Problems of Malaysian Environmental Model Lack of enforcement Lack of trained lawyers to deal with regulating environmental quality. Non implementation of the law that "polluter pays“ Lack of authority in issuing licenses to development projects including industries after formal assessmentin the light of environmental considerations Lack of monitoring and continuous assessment Lack of coordination between legal authorities and technical authorities in framing as well as respectingenvironmental issues. Lack of qualified planners/ policy makers Lack of holistic approach Procedural and structural weakness of bureaucracy in implementation of policies In adequate information of natural resources and scientific research etc.
Recommendations: To Implement the Religious Including Islamic Principles of Environmental Laws Environmental Participation The Rule of Law Need to ensure Ethics,Transparency and Accountability Access to Justice Need to Introduce the Freedom of Information Act Need to do some Institutional Improvements Need to enhance Coordination Need to provide withTrainings Need to strong Political Commitment To Enhance JudicialTrainings To comply with the Environmental Issues