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KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 (Bernama) -- The formulation of the National Adaptation Plan (MyNAP) relating to the impact of climate change should involve more agencies such as the Town and Country Planning Department (PLANMalaysia) and the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department as well as cooperation between ministries to ensure its goals are achieved.
Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Faculty of Forestry and Environment senior lecturer Dr Mohd Yusoff Ishak was of the opinion that the government should have formulated the plan earlier because as an upper middle-income country, Malaysia seemed to prioritise economic development over climate change adaptation.
“It is a good plan that we should have had it a long time ago...although there is a national policy on climate change, it is more focused on mitigation which is reducing the negative impact of climate change than adapting to it.
“The frequent occurrence of natural disasters is believed to have changed the government’s stance and it is time now for MyNAP to be refined by all parties to achieve its aspirations and goals,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Tuesday announced that the government would formulate MyNAP which would include a long-term action plan and strategies for various sectors.
The sectors include public health, infrastructure, water resources and security, agriculture, forestry and biodiversity.
Commenting further, Mohd Yusoff said as scientists predicted that there would be frequent occurrences of floods on a large scale, the government would have to bear the high costs of costructing disaster-resistant infrastructure.
“Malaysia needs to be realistic and consider the method of relocating people from flood-prone areas as an investment and no longer an option,” he said.
Mohd Yusoff added that the formulation of MyNAP should also take into account the level of community readiness in understanding the impact of climate change.
“This is because many are still unclear of the impact of climate change compared to the effect of COVID-19. Public participation is needed, especially in disaster drills (to increase their preparedness) in facing the possibility of disasters.
“There is still a low level of public awareness (of climate change). We still have the mindset that floods will only hit the east coast states (of the peninsula) or the disaster will only occur in December without making the necessary preparations,” he said.
On the proposed use of electric vehicles (EV) in the organising of large-scale events, Mohd Yusoff said it depends on the country’s ability to create and develop EV ecosystems.
“This includes a clear policy on green mobility and the existence of skilled and semi-skilled workers,” he said.
Sharing the same sentiment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Water Security (IPASA) director Prof Dr Zainura Zainon Noor said to ensure that MyNAP is can be implemented comprehensively and effectively, the involvement of all stakeholders such as federal government agencies, state governments, industry players and the community is vital.
“This is to ensure that all parties can provide their inputs and its implementation will not be sectoral,” she said.
Zainura said although the government had implemented various efforts to address climate change, there was still much to be done to minimise its impact on the population such as loss of life and property destruction in the future.
“This includes installing more early warning systems that can give early warning to residents living in flood-prone areas as well as for the the relevant authorities to improve their emergency response plan by taking into account current developments and situations,” she said.
On plans to encourage state governments to adopt the Malaysian Climate Change Adaptation Index to increase response to the impact of climate change, Zainura said so far many parties were still unaware of the importance of the index which could be used for disaster management purposes.
She said the index could serve as a yardstick that would provide information on the level of vulnerability and readiness in facing climate change based on previous and current data trends.
“The index will also help the federal government and state governments to identify matters that need to be improved according to the findings that are obtained through the cumulative scoring of the indicators listed in it,” she said.
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