Sustainability in Malaysia – 1

Malaysia flagI am in Kuala Lumpur for outreach purposes since almost a week now.

Kuala Lumpur is a very new city in the sense that it never stops to grow, expand. For sure the architects I met in a network workshop, were sad not to have the possibility to get a sense of the urbanization plan. But still, it seems that the projects are looking into the LEED standard on green buildings.

At the same time we feel that Malaysia is looking into sustainability, not every people, not every companies but campaigns are done in that sense to get people’s awareness on OUR challenges the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When you arrived to the KL International airport, you need to take the KLIA train to get to KL Sentral. 30 min ride with free wifi and awareness spots on screens. This is where I saw that video:

The video made by the Global Goals initiatives. I found it great to have it in public transport. People have time to spend in the train so it is a good opportunity to create awareness.

Following this video two important Malaysian organisations support a website for students and educators to get materials and spread the word. Here you will find the portal.

Malaysia is known for its oil & gas industry and oil palm production/cultivation. Several articles have been released due to the big Haze Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia suffered.

The Haze is the phenomenon derived from the slash&burn practices traditionally used in agriculture to clear lands before planting. And then when uncontrolled, the fire expands and smocks reach villages, cities where the atmosphere becomes unbearable.

Who has light the fire, who can fight them? – Johan Verburg

Inforgraphics on the 2015 Haze

When you talk with the large companies, some of them work towards “no-deforestation” objective. They prohibit that plantations are subject to slash & burn practices. For this year Haze, some scientists confirmed this and appointed the responsibility to smallholders that continue to use such practices, and therefore that might lose control of their fire.

So what role large companies, NGOs and particularly government can play in preventing land/peat and forest fires by working with and empowering rural communities to take a different path, and create legal/financial incentives for smallholders to stop these practices.

I hope that big players, even though their first role is not to do development projects, will work and partner with NGOs to deal with this issue that impacts everyone, customers (branding), consumers (boycotting issue) and for sure their own reputation.

Let’s see how the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution is being used by Singapore to find and give responsibility on some of the Palm Oil and Paper industries.