Tuesday, 18 October 2022
The Academy of Sciences organised a public forum as part of its development of a National Planetary Health Action Plan
The Malaysian government has recently embraced the concept of planetary health to drive our country’s sustainability pathways.
This is led by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) through the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM), beginning with the development of the National Planetary Health Action Plan.
As part of this process, ASM organised a planetary health forum.
While ASM’s mandate is to develop a national action plan that is driven by “science, technology, innovation and economy (STIE)”, it was great that ASM, in their wisdom, have convened a very diverse panel.
Prof Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, champion for planetary health, spoke strongly for sustainable development that enhances public health, social equality and wellbeing.
Prof Emerita Dato’ Rashidah Shuib (USM) showcased the importance of the gender lens in governance and development.
Datuk Azman Ismail, (MD of PLUS) from the transport infrastructure sector, shared about PLUS’ progress in GHG emissions reductions and ESG (and valiantly took a question from Prof Rashidah about making highway travel more women-friendly).
Dr. Nagu, deputy sec gen of MOSTI, a wonderful proponent of sustainability, was sadly unable to join us at the last minute.
As for Jia Yaw, he was invited to provide the civil society perspective. He focussed on the underlying systems of governance. Jia Yaw spoke about the importance of an express provision in the Federal Constitution recognising the right to a safe, clean and healthy environment. He also emphasised the twin priority issues of access to information and public participation.
It was a long (3.5 hours!) but very engaging discussion, superbly moderated by Prof Dato' Ir Dr Abu Bakar Jaafar, vice president of ASM.
You can watch the recording here: https://fb.watch/ge2Imqci2Y/
You can read an excellent write-up of the panel discussion by the Mahathir Science Award Foundation here: https://msa-foundation.org/blog/planetary-health-forum/