Sunday, September 22

Govt gives nod to Environmental Performance Index

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IN ACTION: Uggah about to kick the ball to begin a futsal event held in conjunction with KDJA charity car boot sale and sports day. Also seen are Integrated Sports Complex manager Datuk Patrick Liew (second left) and KDJA chairperson Alice Wee (third left).

KUCHING: The Federal Cabinet has agreed to set up an Environmental Performance Index (EPI) under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) to enhance socio-economic sustainability.

EPI Malaysia 2012 is expected to focus on three major areas, namely resources efficiency, environmental governance, and environmental awareness and behaviour.

It will be a collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) for the year 2012, revealed Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas.

“Environmental issues are more and more in the forefront now. The way we manage our environment must be reflected in the global arena.

“If you ask me how MBKS (Kuching South City Council) is doing in terms of protecting the environment, details about waste disposal, river quality, how many trees planted, and so on, I may need to refer to the respective agencies.

“With this EPI, the measurements should indicate these to enable the ministry to be more efficient in allocating resources in terms of manpower and funds,” he told reporters covering the charity car boot sale and Sports Day organised by Kuching Division Journalists Association (KDJA) at the Integrated Sports Complex here yesterday.

Uggah pointed out that Malaysia was ranked 54th among 163 countries in the EPI Global 2010.

EPI represented an instrument to measure environmental performance by gathering quantitative data, he
explained.

A group of experts from Yale University and Columbia University, working closely with the World Economic Forum, established the instrument, according to a media release.

It added that the input data for EPI Global was obtained from several sources, including World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Global Environment Monitoring System (GEMS), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), governments and academics.

EPI quantitative values were formed based on two major environmental management objectives, namely environmental health and ecosystem vitality.

Also present at the event yesterday were Integrated Sports Complex manager Datuk Patrick Liew and KDJA chairperson Alice Wee.