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This article was originally published on Malaymail


“The government’s Budget 2017 presented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, themed ‘Accelerating Growth, Ensuring Fiscal Prudence, Enhancing Well-being of the Rakyat’ highlighted the importance of protecting nature. These included protecting water catchment areas, forest reserves and national parks. It also was mentioned that the budget was not just about income, but it was related to the quality of life, which includes the enjoyment of a clean environment. We commend this move, however, we would also like to express our concern on the lack of specific allocations presented to protect our natural capital, as per the 11th Malaysia Plan and National Policy on Biological Diversity 2016 — 2025.

Fiscal measures need to be put in place to assist the State governments in setting aside forests for ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. Emphasis should be made on pursuing green growth and the country’s resources need to be deployed in a more sustainable manner. It has become more critical in light of the haze, flooding, landslides and water shortage crisis faced.

New development indicators beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) such as Green Economy indicators, resource indicators and inventory, and sustainable consumption and production (SCP) indicators should be developed. . The economic importance of ecosystem services are reflected in The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Scoping study, which was undertaken in 2015 to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the true value of our ecosystems and biodiversity.

Economic resilience can only be increased if natural capital is accounted for in the measurement of economic growth and the wellbeing of the rakyat. Overexploitation of natural capital such as deforestation, overfishing and land degradation will negatively impact both wellbeing and GDP…”

Read on at: Malaymail.