Moving Onwards

CETDEM has spoken up for the environment and influenced environmental policy making since its inception. It has also operated the nation’s first organic farm, and contributed to the development of the Malaysian Organic Farming standard and certification scheme.

It has organised numerous exhibitions, talks and forums on the environment, and educated the public with courses, farm visits and projects such as the Community Initiative on Household Waste Composting. Its Hari Organik, now popular with local communities in Petaling Jaya, has been gathering steam over the last year.

With 25 years of dedication to the nation and planet to be proud of, CETDEM is not about to rest on its laurels. And what is the next step?

The Chairman says they will be looking at establishing a think tank on sustain-able development by the end of 2010. This independent think tank will conduct research and engage in environmental advocacy, and is something Malaysia does not have.

The closest equivalent to an environmental think tank, says Gurmit, is the In-stitute for Environment and Development (Lestari) which is under Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. CETDEM will look at the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research as a possible model for its think tank, and will try to raise the RM1 million needed to set up and run the think tank for the first four years.

With the think tank, CETDEM’s plans for the next 25 years will see the organisation focusing on the topics and programmes as listed as following:-

Study low carbon development in Malaysia. Low-carbon economies have minimal output of greenhouse gases and try and mitigate global warming.

Long-term programmes on sustainable solutions, especially through the mar-riage of sustainable development and green technology.

Deepen its work on transport solutions and issues which will lead to a sustain-able transportation system and increased public transport ridership. CETDEM intends to conduct a baseline study of all the state capitals’ public transport ridership, mobilise an awareness campaign to motivate people to use public transport and lobby the new Land Public Transport Commission to improve the quality of public transport. “We’ve heard that public transport ridership in Malaysia is only 17 per cent, while some claim it’s 30 per cent. But we don’t know where these figures come from,” says Gurmit.

Addressing the question of water. The organisation wants to tackle unresolved water issues, such as whether Malaysians are optimally utilising their water resources for end use in various areas and if the current method of repairing water pipes is the most efficient.

Examining the National Green Technology Policy closely. CETDEM maintains that the policy does not really look at the role or the promotion of clean technologies or pollution prevention technologies. It will then also look at developing innovative ideas on the use of green and sustainable technology beyond the policy.

Continue to work with local communities, such as keeping up the activities under the Organic Farming Community Centre in Section 19, which acts as a model for an organic farm in an urban environment.

Sustaining its work on energy, climate change and organic farming.

CETDEM will seek to strengthen its organisational structure and mobilise sus-tainable resources to be able to deliver on its mission. It will also tap into the skills of CETDEM members, especially in providing consultancy services.

CETDEM aims to put into practice sustainable solutions that can be duplicat-ed. This ensures that with awareness building comes workable follow-ups and practical solutions that people can adopt.