NGOs want political parties to make commitment to environmental sustainability

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have written an open letter calling on political parties to recognise the environmental aspirations of Malaysian citizens.

The letter also asked the parties to include their commitment to the environment in their manifesto and ensure that the commitment is given priority in the implementation of sustainable development for current and future generations.

The signatories to the open letter are Biji-Biji Initiative, Civil Society Organisations for Sustainable Development Goals (CSO-SDG) Alliance, Ecocentric Transitions, EcoKnights, Environmental Protection Society Malaysia (EPSM), Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP) Spiral, Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch, Power Shift Malaysia, Reef Check Malaysia, Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (SAWO), Sabah Environmental Trust, Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society, Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM), Treat Every Environment Special (TrEES), Wetlands International Malaysia and WWF-Malaysia.

“We write to urge political parties to make sound environmental aspirations a priority and a reality. The open letter was prepared in a neutral and non-partisan manner and it contained no praises nor criticisms to avoid misuse by political parties for their own propaganda or campaign,” said the group in a press statement yesterday.

The group also urges the media to interview the president of political parties for their response to this open letter which is available in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil.

“We believe that Malaysians must aim to achieve development in a sustainable way to balance our aspirations for economic growth without compromising the nation’s natural capital, such as environmental assets, social systems and cultural resources.

“Only then can we ensure higher standards of living for current and future generations. It is common for NGOs to increase their lobbying effort before an election,” added the press release.

“With GE14 around the corner, this will add to the election fever and debate and the topic of environment will not only be of interest to the younger generation but also parents and grandparents.

“Rural and urban constituencies are equally concerned about the environment as that is part of human well-being.”

The group welcomes more organisations to be a signatory to this open letter, believing it would make a more compelling voice.

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