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Budget 2018 fails to address core environmental issues, say NGOs

PETALING JAYA: Environmental groups have welcomed Budget 2018's push for green technology, but were disappointed that it did not effectively address Malaysia's core environmental issues.
"We are encouraged to see an attempt by the Government to push for more green investments with the RM5bil allotment for the Green Technology Financing Scheme," said Greenpeace Malaysia chief operating officer John Loh.
He added that he hoped this would entice more companies to invest in sustainable investments that will generate green jobs and protect the environment.
"However, we would have loved to see the Government allocate more for environmental protection as well, to support Malaysia's pledge to cut carbon emissions intensity by 40% by 2020," he said.
"While TN50 has been mentioned, there was no reference to the equally important intermediate agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals which Malaysia has signed up to," he said.
Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) president Henry Goh agreed that the budget lacked provisions for wildlife and environmental enforcement.
"With increasing incidents of encroachment, poaching and wildlife getting killed, the budget did not address shortfalls like manpower or technologies for enforcement," Goh said.
He said more should have been allocated to address the loss of biodiversity and enhance the protection of wildlife, especially those in the critically-endangered list.
Meanwhile, Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka) president Datuk Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil said the RM517mil allocation for flood mitigation was a good initiative, but that alone would not effectively reduce flash floods in the country.
She said Budget 2018 failed to go to the root of the problem, which is the loss of water catchment areas due to large-scale deforestation.
"We are going to see a lot of floods due to climate change and deforestation. Conservation and preservation should be prioritised in the budget," she said.
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