In-depth

palmtreeUNDP supports initiatives that contribute towards ensuring environmental sustainability. | Photo: UNDP Malaysia

Energy and the environment are essential for sustainable development. Biodiversity, for example, is essential for the functioning of ecosystems and supports the provision of essential ecosystem services. The poor are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation and lack of access to clean, affordable energy services, and are also the most vulnerable in the face of climate change. Environmental issues are also transboundary as climate change, loss of biodiversity and ozone layer depletion impact the entire global community and cannot be addressed by countries acting alone.

In Malaysia, environmental issues and natural resource management are coordinated through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE). To enhance integrated land use planning, a National Physical Plan (NPP) 2005-2010 was adopted, and improved standards and indicators for land planning and natural resource management have been implemented. The National Biodiversity-Biotechnology Council (NBBC) was established to coordinate efforts for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of biological resources. Since the December 2004 Asian Tsunami, there has been increased focus on the conservation and rehabilitation of coastal natural resources, especially mangrove forests, and more attention is being put on linking land management and planning with climate change.

What We Do

climate change conferenceUNDP provides strategic and innovative policy advice on climate change to address the challenges faced by the country. | Photo: UNDP Malaysia

Malaysia’s rapid development demands a proper environmental planning and design.  Whilst the country recognizes its rich natural heritage and abundant energy resources and their contribution to strong and continued development, there is also increasing awareness about the need to safeguard the environment, to harmonize development and environmental goals and to incorporate the framework of sustainable development into mainstream development planning. As the magnitude and array of environmental problems become more complex and urgent, there is a need to find approaches and methodologies that can deal with these challenges effectively and efficiently.

UNDP supports initiatives that contribute towards ensuring sustainability. Toward this end, our work focuses on three core strategies which includes, the enhancement of environmental management of biodiversity and natural resources; mitigating Green House Gas (GHG) emissions (including the implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects) and reducing Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) consumption; and the incorporation of environmental considerations into the planning and development of non-environmental agencies.

UNDP also provides strategic and innovative policy advice on climate change and works with relevant government ministries and their agencies to strengthen their capacities to address the challenges faced by the country, especially as they relate to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. Efforts to improve planning and implementing energy efficiency (EE), renewable energy (RE) and green house data (GHG) data management in various economic sectors are also part of UNDP's work in this area.  UNDP seeks to complement and support initiatives undertaken by the government such as through rural electrification projects using solar and hybrid technologies and other pilot initiatives that help the poor build sustainable livelihoods, especially in the islands, Sabah and Sarawak.

This pillar supports UNDP's global thematic area on Energy and Environment for Sustainable Development.

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