The Sustainability Shift: Refashioning Malaysia’s Future

ADNAN A. HEZRI is Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia.

Areca Books & ISIS (Reprint, 2021)
240 pages including References and Index

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ISBN: 9789675719288 Product ID: 25589 SKU: 9789675719288 Categories: , Tags: , ,

The Sustainability Shift: Refashioning Malaysia’s Future discusses the specific ecological threats facing Malaysia and the intellectual as well as practical ‘shift’ required for a more sustainable future. The book explores themes of environmental degradation, climate change and imminent ecological collapse faced by humanity today. These issues demand an urgent response from individuals, industries and national governments. Yet, in most countries, national policies are still based on fragmentary thinking and unsound science. Malaysia, a resource-rich upper-middle-income economy, is no exception.

It will certainly make a difference globally if Malaysia—home to an important tropical rainforest with mega-diverse species richness—can make a transition to sustainability. Malaysia faces a spectrum of institutional challenges as it grapples with this transition. Instead of looking at environmental problems through a compartmentalised perspective, it is essential to understand the common root causes of overarching unsustainability.

The sustainability shift essentially means that development processes must operate using the logic of sustainability principles. It provokes us to reframe our relationship with the ecosystem, rethink the character of development and redefine what constitutes social progress. This book explores possibilities and requirements for reforming institutions to enable the sustainability shift. In order to avoid uncritical adoption of the concept without realising the value-laden and complex nature of the sustainability vision, we emphasise the balance between the universality of the global sustainability agenda and Malaysia’s national characteristics, developmental stage and policy style.

For the needed policy shift to occur, changes have to take place along three trajectories: restructuring the policy framework from one that focuses on environmental problems to one which addresses sustainability; broadening the organisation-centric approach to institutional change in order to overcome the ‘silo-effect’; and changing the focus of aspirational goals to policy and programme implementation.

Over two decades after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, advancing sustainable development from the local to the global levels remains a major challenge and responsibility. Faced with complex multi-sectoral crises, the 2015 United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to serve as a guide for the international community in implementing actions to better advance the sustainability transition. The emphasis is for the new goals to fully reflect the three dimensions of sustainable development, whereby economic, environmental and social policies are designed and implemented in a mutually reinforcing manner.

The launch of SDGs allows for nationally adapted and differentiated approaches for implementing what is seen as a common and collective responsibility. It requires governments to prepare the ground for implementation on a national scale. Yet, effective implementation of sustainable development objectives is an institutional challenge with which all governments are struggling.

List of Figures, Tables & Boxes
Abbreviations and Anonym
About The Program
Preface
Acknowledgements

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

A New Dawn
Confronting Sustainability
The Policy Shift
— From Environment to Sustainability
— From Organisation to Institution
— From Abstract Goals to Implementation
The Context
— Sustainability Hotspot
— Environmental Security
— Opportunities from Crisis
Structure of the Book

CHAPTER 2: ON SUSTAINABILITY

The Origin of Sustainability
Modern Ideas of Sustainability
— Scarcity and the Classical Economists
— Ethics of Conservation
— International Development Experience
— Limits to Growth
Sustainable Development on the Global Stage
— The Brundtland Report
— United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
— World Summit on Sustainable Development
— United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
— The United Nations Sustainable Development Summit
Features of Sustainable Development
— Differentness of Sustainability
— Trade-offs and Uncertainty
— Ambiguity and Diversity
— Interconnections and Integration
— Normative Principles
Summary

CHAPTER 3: NATURE PROTECTION

Shifting Priorities
— Ecological Integrity
— Ecological Sustainability
Biodiversity Hotspot
— Floral Diversity
— Faunal Diversity
— Habitat Loss
Wildlife and Forest Conservation
— Parks and Wildlife Management
— Forest Reservation
— Land Use Planning
Ecological Transition
— Threats to Conservation
— Refraining Policies
Emerging Approaches
— Financing Conservation
— Landscape Conservation
Summary

CHAPTER 4: POLLUTION CONTROL

Pollution as a Policy Problem
Pollutants and their Impacts
— Land Pollution
— Air Pollution
— Water Pollution
— Impact on Human Health
Policy Responses and Implementation Challenges
— Environmental Quality Law and Institution
— Environmental Impact Assessment
— Waste Management Framework
New Approaches for the Shift
— Pollution Prevention (P2)
— Industrial Ecology
— Sustainable Consumption and Production
Summary

CHAPTER 5: RESOURCE NEXUS

Global Resource Scramble
— New Scarcity
— Nexus Thinking
Resource Endowment and Policies
— Energy
— Minerals
— Water
Resource Governance Issues
— Social Licence to Operate
— Spending from Revenues
— Savings of Surplus Wealth
— Pricing and Privatisation
Resources Security
— Water Security
— Food Security
— Energy Security
Two-way Nexus Interactions
— The Food-Water Nexus
— The Energy-Food Nexus
— The Energy-Water Nexus
Three-way Nexus Interactions
Summary

CHAPTER 6: CLIMATE CRISIS

Climate Negotiation
— International Governance
— Collective Surge
— Shared Commitments
The Case of Malaysia
Malaysia’s Vulnerability
— Drought, Floods and Landslides
— Agricultural Yield
Malaysia’s Mitigation Responses
— Electricity Generation
— Transportation Sector
— Energy Efficiency
Malaysia’s Adaptation Responses
— Reactive Adaptation
— Proactive Adaptation
Summary

CHAPTER 7: SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

Attributes of Sustainable Society
— Inclusive Development
— Public Participation
Environmental Movement in Malaysia
— Environmental Consciousness
— Structure of the Movement
Mobilisation of the Movement
— Green Advocacy
— Against Technology
— Public Education
— Strategic Engagement
Towards Sustainability Citizenship
— Second-Generation NGOs
— Business Environmentalism
— Lifestyle Environmentalism
— Political Arrangement
Summary

CHAPTER 8: THE GREEN ECONOMY

Development Reconsidered
— Mainstream Orientation
— The Green Market
— Malaysia’s Developmentalism
Greening Development
— Piecemeal Greening
— Integrated Greening
— Whither Social Justice?
Malaysia’s Green Architecture
— Piecemeal Responses
— Integrated Responses
— Challenges in Mainstreaming
Green ‘Engine’ of Growth
— The Building Blocks
— Potential Pathways
Summary

CHAPTER 9: POWERING THE SHIFT

Thinking Institutionally
Institutional Hardware
— Organisation
— Statutory Law and Constitution
— Property Rights
Institutional Software
— Common Vision
— Policy Statements
— Indicators
Institutional ‘Heartware’
— Embedding within Culture
— Sustainability Education
Acting Institutionally

References
Index
About the Author

Weight 0.434 kg
Dimensions 22.8 × 15 × 1.7 cm
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