NEW YORK, Sept 24 — At a time when the world is facing serious climate change and forest degradation due to development, Malaysia still has 54 per cent of forested areas across the country.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is confident that the percentage will increase following ongoing aggressive reforestation measures.
He said as one of only 17 bio-diverse countries in the world, Malaysia is aware of its responsibility to maintain and preserve its natural resources for future generations.
“During the Earth Summit in 1992, Malaysia pledged to maintain at least 50 per cent of its land mass under forest and tree cover,” he said when delivering Malaysia’s National Statement at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) here on Friday.
He said climate change is a universal problem affecting the entire world, and Malaysia was not spared as, last year alone, it was struck by the most serious floods in its history, resulting in losses estimated at US$1.4 billion (RM6.1 billion).
“Many lives were lost and almost 100,000 people had to be moved to temporary evacuation centres.
This situation happens not only in Malaysia but in several other countries as well. Clearly, mitigation and adaptation measures need to continue,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said the fact remains that developed countries must bear the responsibility of increasing aid for developing countries by fulfilling their commitment to providing a yearly allocation of US$100 billion unconditionally.
“This will help realise actions taken against climate change that should have been implemented since 2020,” he said while reiterating Malaysia’s commitment to carrying out its responsibilities and roles to ensure environmental conservation and sustainability.
In this context, he said various measures have been implemented by Malaysia, such as introducing the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standard to meet requirements for the purpose of sustainable development.
He said Malaysia is also committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent based on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030.
“In this regard, Malaysia has set a target of achieving 31 per cent renewable energy use by 2025. Malaysia is also committed to achieving its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” he added.