Green groups play vital roleNew Straits Times, Jan 5, 2010 | by Jeong Chun Phuoc
THE issues highlighted in “Credibility of Green Groups Questioned” (NST, Dec 31) are not new in Malaysia since the establishment of newer green groups or green non-governmental organisations (NGO) after the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS).
The growing number of such establishments is to complement the perceived ineffective role of the MNS in tackling real underlying environment issues.
International funding for these NGOs have radically changed the policy directions within the environmental trade matrix.
These developments cannot be ignored by exporting countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia concerning timber, marine food and palm oil exports to the European Union market and elsewhere.
It is perhaps opportune for the government to reprise its current effort in elevating environmental standards, environmental protocols and best safety practice with a view to spur industrial export awareness and strategic compliance to a higher level.
Although it is a known fact that green NGOs are, to a certain extent, an instrument of public lobbying utilised by certain industrial sectors, the government must be positive and responsive in addressing the concerns raised by such groups.
Labelling these green NGOs as militant or even banning them will cause commercial repercussions and attract unwanted reactions from trading partner countries.
In the struggle to uphold environmental values and improve the quality of the global environmental landscape, green NGOs, whether local or foreign, play complementing roles in achieving environmental performance objectives within the larger “National Policy on the Environment” framework.
JEONG CHUN PHUOC
and an advocate in Strategic Environment and Taxation Intelligence(SETI)
He can be contacted at Jeongphu@yahoo.com