In conjunction with World Environment Day today, Iskandar Malaysia continues to reaffirm its commitment towards building a resilient environment that will not only impact its environmental preservation goals but also reinforces economic prosperity and the quality of living in the region.
Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) said, “As an economic corridor, Iskandar Malaysia’s focuses on holistic and comprehensive growth, understanding the importance of balancing economic prosperity, quality living and a resilient environment. Much has been done to preserve the environment at this fast-growing region and as we arrived at our 15th anniversary this year, we continue to expand and enhance our efforts to ensure a more sustainable future for the region, its people and businesses.”
“This is not merely a feel-good aspiration or something that we pluck from the sky, as we have projected to reduce Iskandar Malaysia’s carbon intensity by 58% in the year 2025 compared to 2005 levels.”
2 key initiatives that will lead and enhance Iskandar Malaysia’s green agenda this year is the enhancement of the ‘Low Carbon Society Blueprint for Iskandar Malaysia 2030- Climate Action Plan’ and the partnership in the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability’s programme.
Through the enhancement of the ‘Low Carbon Society Blueprint for Iskandar Malaysia 2030- Climate Action Plan’, Iskandar Malaysia is now formulating a Climate Action Plan and roadmap for the region that covers both climate mitigation and adaptation. Iskandar Malaysia will also apply a scientific approach to the carbon emission baseline and future scenarios study and this will lead to the materialisation of Iskandar Malaysia Climate Action Plan by 2030.
As for the partnership with AEPW and ICLEI programme, this is an initiative to provide opportunities to address the needs of urban local governments, which are primarily tasked with the daunting challenge of ensuring sustainable and scientific plastic waste management.
Through this partnership, some of Iskandar Malaysia’s plans in plastic waste management include rethinking the role of plastic in business and daily life and explore innovative, efficient and eco-friendly material as an alternative, promote and incentivise research and innovation on plastic alternative and develop policy, guidelines and standards for compliance and monitoring purposes.
The expected outcome of this partnership is the implementation of waste management infrastructure to eliminate leakage of plastic waste into the environment.
As a start, Iskandar Malaysia aims is to target plastics made from post-consumer materials to keep the waste away from landfill and directs it towards recycling plants, thus reducing plastic waste.
In the past years since its inception, one of the first steps taken by Iskandar Malaysia was to produce the ‘Low Carbon Society Blueprint for Iskandar Malaysia’. Launched in November 2012 at COP18 in Doha, Qatar, the blueprint illustrates strategies to slash Iskandar Malaysia’s carbon intensity emissions by half by 2025 to create a greener, more sustainable yet economically dynamic environment.
The blueprint was quickly adapted to the need of the 5 Local Authorities located in the region, ensuring that the many parties involved in the environmental efforts are driven by the same directions and goals.
“We understand the importance and the need to work together with various stakeholders, be it the government, private and even the community at large to make a difference and achieve our common goals in building a more resilient environment for everyone. It’s not a one-man or one institution’s effort but everyone must play a role that is suited to their expertise and responsibilities. As for what Iskandar Malaysia has achieved and will be delivering in the future, we would like to thank all our stakeholders who have given us the necessary support to continue greening the region,” said Datuk Ismail.
Through the blueprint’s 12 Actions, various high-level and on-ground initiatives were born such as the introduction of the Green Economy Guideline, the Iskandar Malaysia Ecolife Challenge (IMECL), the adoption of the Building Energy Monitoring & Reporting System (BEMRS) and the Comprehensive Assessment System of Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE), the Green Accord Initiative Award (GAIA), the Partnership of Interdisciplinary Studies of Shoreline Ecosystems (PESISIR), Green Community Carbon Reduction Programme and being a member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCOM) and the CDP Cities Reporting Platform.
The Green Economy Guideline provides investors with a clear guide to Iskandar Malaysia’s strategic environmental and economic policy direction with respect to investing in the green industry in the region. This is recognised by the Green Accord Initiative Award (GAIA) which encourages commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship and to increase voluntary environmental initiatives especially by private organisations in the economic region.
These green businesses and buildings are further bolstered by BEMRS, a reporting tool for measuring building energy performance as well as to track and monitor the Green House Gases (GHG) emission through the achievement of the building energy-saving programme. Meanwhile, the CASBEE assessment tool is widely adopted and used in Japan and has been customised for a tropical country like Malaysia.
On the ground, the Sg Segget Rejuvenation Project has improved the water quality of the river to two (2) classes higher thus reducing the pollution to the Tebrau Straits and overcome flooding issues in Johor Bahru city centre apart from beautifying Sungai Segget and Jalan Wong Ah Fook to be a new commercial, cultural and recreational area in the city centre.
The Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) project is also designed to be environmentally friendly from the usage of electric of hybrid busses to the application of local rubber in the tyres and roads.
GCOM and CDP Cities Reporting platform puts Iskandar Malaysia on the global platform and provides recognition and connection to international environmental players and experts around the globe.
IMELC, on the other hand, goes on-ground amongst the community to educate students, parents and teachers on low carbon issues and ideas through simple challenges such as saving electricity and water and through recycling. More than 55,000 students and 546 schools from around Johor participated in the challenge in the year 2020.
Tracking of Iskandar Malaysia’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) performance from 2015 to 2017 is based on the international standard Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory and Iskandar Malaysia’s GHG emission intensity by GDP in 2017 represents a significant decrease of 12.9% compared with its base year, 2010.