KUCHING (Dec 7): Environmental sustainability is an integral part of Sarawak’s development initiatives, said Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Urban Development Datuk Len Talif Salleh.
Thus, he pointed out, the state government remains steadfast in pursuing balanced development that looks after the wellbeing of the people.
“This involves ensuring that economic growth is in harmony with responsible management of our natural resources and the inclusion of plans for adapting to and mitigating climate change,” he said when officiating the launching ceremony of the 11th Premier of Sarawak Environmental Award (PSEA) 2023/2024 at a hotel here yesterday.
The deputy minister said Sarawak has a role to play in addressing the global challenge of climate change as the state shifts toward a greener and more sustainable future.
In this regard, he informed that Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg is personally attending the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference currently taking place at Dubai.
He said the conference will serve as an avenue for countries to reaffirm their commitment to limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
“Besides, Sarawak stands as the pioneering region in Malaysia to enact laws regulating carbon activities within its territory, particularly in the land and forestry sectors.”
He said the state had amended the Sarawak Land Code (Carbon Storage) Rules 2022 to embark on Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) activities; enacting The Forests (Forest Carbon Activity) Rules 2022 to facilitate carbon trading activity; and approving The Environment (Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Emission) Bill, 2023 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
He said these were part of the state government’s commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Thus, the sustainable development agenda hinged on the support from various stakeholders, including the private sector, government agencies, business communities, non-governmental organisations and civil society, he added.
Len Talif later announced the prizes for champions of the various categories of the 11th Premier of Sarawak Environmental Award 2023/2024: RM20,000 for winner of the large enterprises and government-linked companies category; RM15,000 for medium enterprises; RM10,000 for the small enterprises, including city and municipal councils; and RM8,000 for district councils, teams, individuals, eateries and food outlets.