World Environment Day Message by Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang and Chairman of Penang Green Council on 5 June 2016 in KOMTAR:
Making Penang a Cleaner, Green, Safer, Healthier and Happier State.
5th June marks the World Environment Day (WED) every year. This year’s theme for WED is “Go Wild for Life”. WED 2016 is themed on the illegal trade of wildlife, alarming that such trade is pushing species to the brink of extinction. The theme encourages us to take action to help safeguard animals or plants that are threatened.
WED is a platform for action, offering chances to raise awareness and encourage actions to care, nurture, protect, and address environmental issues. Recently, there are questions raised about the concern over the environmental impacts of Penang Transport Master Plan and the accompanying government’s land reclamation projects. The State Government is committed towards making Penang a green state and would never forsake environmental protection. For that reason we have already declared that the reclamation of 3 islands of 4,500 acres would only proceed subject approval of the Detailed Environment Impact Assessment (DEIA). This is further testified when the state government moved a motion in the Penang State Assembly affirming this position. Clearly land reclamation as a last resort to finance the RM 27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (TMP) to overcome traffic congestion through a five-in-one mode of taxis, buses, LRT/ monorail, water taxis/ ferries and cable car. Without reclamation, there would be no TMP. There would also be no land available for future expansion of the Penang International Airport. Similarly there would also be no land for future residential and industrial usage. As a symbol and reaffirmation of the state government’s transparency and accountability, nearly 50 members have been appointed to the Penang Transport Council that advises a policy and mechanism to implement the TMP. The members include for the first time ever not only NGO critical of the state government but also opposition representatives.
In order to find a balance between protecting the environment and economic development, we need to promote economic opportunity for all, for instance, creating more working opportunities in Penang. “Sustainable prosperity” should be the result of sustainable development that enables all human beings to live with their basic needs met, with their dignity acknowledged, and with abundant opportunity to pursue lives of satisfaction and happiness, all without risk of denying others in the present and the future the ability to do the same. This means not just preventing further degradation of Earth’s systems, but actively restoring those systems to full health. The State Government has always put a high priority on environment, minimising impacts on environment in the planning, implementation and execution of the state development policies. The present state government had never allowed loggings on permanent forest reserves, not a single square inch has been taken.
In response to the issues of sustainable development, Penang Green Council proposes a “Penang Green Agenda” to look into two fundamental elements of sustainability:
1. Ecological Footprint: To create a global comparable indicator to measure Penang’s sustainability
2. Environmental Crisis: Identifying current and future environmental challenges and threats in the coming decades.
The Penang Green Agenda will formulate strategies of adaptation and building resilience of community in Penang to meet future environmental challenges by referring to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that adopted by the world leaders in September 2015 at a historic United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015.
In the initial proposal, some of the key scopes that are related to Penang’s sustainability will be deeply studied; they are climate change, water and food security, sustainable consumption patterns, loss of hills and forests, environmental impacts of land reclamation, green economy, transportation, and urban growth.
Penang does not want to impose water rationing as a solution to the Super El Niño phenomenon that had led to a severe drought and depleting water resources in the state and also in neighbouring Kedah and Perlis. We will find alternative ways to seek new water resources to overcome the water crisis and not take the easy route by implementing water rationing. Therefore, I call on all Penangites to start saving water now so that we do not have to resort to water rationing.
Let’s all 1.6 million Penangites individually be the agent of change to make a difference by making Penang a Cleaner, Green, Safer, Healthier and Happier State.
Lim Guan Eng
每一年的6月5日是世界环境日。今年的主题是为生命呐喊（Go Wild For Life）。今年世界环境日以世界各地野生动物非法贸易为主题，意在唤起各国和社会进一步的认识和行动，打击对于濒危物种贸易公约所涉及的保护物种的非法贸易。这个主题鼓励我们采取行动，协助保护受威胁的动物和植物。
1. 生态足迹（Ecological Footprint）: 建立一项全球性指示来衡量槟城的永续性。
2. 环境危机（Environmental Crisis）: 确认当前及未来环境的挑战及未来数十年面对的威胁。