Natural Disaster And Sustainable Environment in Malaysia: Issuses And Challenges
Writer : Felix Tongkul
Date : 29-30 Oct 2008
Publisher : Seminar on Science and Technology 2008
Location : Labuan
Malaysia, located outside the “Pacific Rim of Fire” is fortunate that it is not severely affected by natural disasters such as big earthquake, violent volcanic eruptions and strong typhoons. However, Malaysia has other types of natural disasters such as monsoon floods, landslides and severe haze. The country has also experienced extreme climatic events, ranging from freaky thunderstorms to severe drought. The 2004 Asian tsunami which propagated from the Indian Ocean also affected Malaysia. This paper discusses the link between natural disaster and environmental degradation in Malaysia. It points out that these disasters are increasingly caused, or aggravated, by environmental changes brought about by human activity. On this note it stresses the importance not only of traditional early warning mechanisms, but of longer term warnings—what we might call early awareness—of the environmental and social development conditions that cause or aggravate disasters. Finally, this paper stresses the importance of incorporating such awareness into policy making at all levels, and the need to build the capacity of all states, to do so.