UNDP leads policy and technical support for Malaysia’s green growth agenda

Apr 21, 2015

The United Nations Development Programme is working to facilitate Malaysia’s Green Growth framework to guide the country in shifting to a greener economy.

Over 100 policymakers and experts from relevant ministries of planning, finance, environment, energy, transport and trade, as well as selected UN agencies, development partners and civil society attended the UNDP led conference titled Towards Pursuing Green Growth in Malaysia: Lessons Sharing Conference and Review Workshop in partnership with the Government of United Kingdom

The conference was launched by YBhg. Datuk Seri Dr. Rahamat Bivi binti Yusoff, Director General, Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department.

Addressing the event, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, Resident Representative of UNDP Malaysia said, “Green growth can offer new opportunities for new markets and industries that can create good and long-term jobs.” Many business opportunities can be reaped in growing markets such as organic agriculture, renewable energy and eco-tourism; and new opportunities in green, resource efficient technologies and practices arise in areas such as waste management, green chemistry and bio-based products.  

In Malaysia, green growth has been identified as one of the key thrusts or game changers in the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016 – 2020 that will drive the country in fulfilling its 2020 Vision, which is to become a high income and developed nation. Malaysia’s Green Growth Strategy will encompass climate resilient development and sustainable use of natural resources.

Datuk Seri Dr. Rahamat Bivi said, “This conference presents a unique opportunity for Malaysia to share experience of green growth with other countries, international organisations and the UN system. I wish to reiterate that Malaysia is committed to achieve its Vision 2020 – that is ensuring high economic growth while providing better quality of life for the people and safeguarding its environment and natural resources.

Green growth is not totally new to Malaysia. The current Tenth Malaysia Plan specifically mentioned that the country’s agenda includes protecting the environmental quality of life, caring for the planet, while harnessing economic value from the process. The upcoming Eleventh Plan, 2016-2020 will see a wider and deeper implementation of green growth related initiatives, being packaged under the green growth trajectory and seen in a more comprehensive and holistic manner.”

As Malaysia charts its green growth pathway, it becomes particularly important and beneficial for its policymakers and practitioners to benchmark against and draw experiences including best practices and lessons from countries which have initiated and implemented green growth strategies, and also from countries which have gained some early successes.

The Strategy focuses mainly on achieving the country’s development agenda and ensuring that Malaysia is a winner in the new global economy by embarking on a low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive development, which will diversify and transform existing economic sectors, improve the quality of life and well-being of people, and reduce the environment risks and ecological scarcities.

Michelle added, “As a long term development partner to Malaysia, UNDP strongly supports the country’s efforts to pursue green growth from planning to implementation in the coming years. We can achieve multiple bottom lines: reducing inequality and vulnerability, creating a vibrant and sustainable economy, and safeguarding Malaysia from the impacts of climate change and risk of natural disasters for today and future generations.”

Among the participating countries were Germany, China, Korea, Brazil and United Kingdom where green economy is underway through heavy investments in low carbon industries, as well as organisations such as the OECD, the United Nations Statistics Division and the Climate Bonds Initiative.

“I believe Malaysia can be on par with countries such as Germany, China, Korea, Brazil and United Kingdom if focus are on development that is low carbon, resource efficient, minimal pollution and socially inclusive as well as resilient. We need to diversify and transform existing economic sectors, rebuild natural capital such as forests, land and water as a critical economic asset and source of public benefits, strengthen talents in green sector, improve the quality of life and wellbeing of people as well as reduce environmental risks and ecological scarcities” added Datuk Seri Dr. Rahamat Bivi.

Participants from Malaysia include senior officials from the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of International Trade and Industries, the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

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