KUCHING: Preserving and protecting the environment require global efforts, thus it is vital that Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) establish close cooperation with neighbouring countries in handling environmental issues and phenomena, said Minister of Special Functions Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem.
He pointed out that no single country in the world could say it had nothing to contribute towards safeguarding the environment as it was the duty of everyone.
“There must be a global effort. You may say we are only a small country and whatever we do will not bring any impact to the global environment which is wrong because everybody must chip in their part,” he said.
He said environment was a global matter and therefore there must be cooperation, especially between neighbouring countries.
“We must have cooperation from neighbouring countries because this is a global matter. For example, the haze from Kalimantan cannot say to itself let’s stop at the border with Malaysia.
“There is no such thing so you need international cooperation with our neighbours and they need our cooperation. There must be a global effort,” he said.
In this regard, he said NREB must work together with other relevant agencies, bodies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
“Our officers must associate themselves with international efforts…must know what is going on in other countries also and not just within the local scene,” he said.
He said being the leading environmental manager in the state, NREB should also think well beyond curing the damages caused to the environment over the years, stressing that its officers must not only know what they were doing but most importantly must be able to predict and pre-empt all possible consequences if laws and regulations to protect and safeguard the environment were breached.
“To cure is fine but it is even better to prevent it from happening in the first place because prevention is always better then cure.
“So you must have a capacity in doing something new. Capacity to predict what is going to happen…capacity to pre-empt what is going to happen if you don’t follow this or that,” he said.
Adenan, who is also NREB chairman, said this when opening the NREB senior officers’ conference (SOC) 2012 at a leading hotel here yesterday.
He said it was pointless for a country to have laws and regulations to protect the environment if they were not implemented properly and fully.
“We can have beautiful elaborate comprehensive laws but if they are not implemented properly and fully it will not achieve what we have set on. The laws are as good as the implementation,” he said.
State environmental quality controller Peter Sawal also spoke at the conference.
Source: The Borneo Post