(File pix) Parties should inform voters of their aspirations and plans for sustainable development in Malaysia. Pix by Danial Saad

THE Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 193 countries, including Malaysia, at the United Nations Summit in 2015 encompass environmental, social and economic dimensions.

These are considered universal goals for development and indicators of a country’s wellbeing.

We believe that environmental conservation deserves a greater emphasis in political parties’ aspirations for the country.

Sustainable development should ensure a win-win in the environmental, social and economic dimensions.

By informing voters of your aspirations and plans for sustainable development in Malaysia, you allow them to make informed decisions with their votes.

We, the undersigned, urge you to recognise the environmental aspirations of Malaysian citizens, especially youth, by:

INCLUDING these aspirations in the party manifesto; and,

ENSURING they are given priority to ensure sustainable development for current and future generations.

We appeal to you to inform the voters how you will work towards realising those aspirations for the people and, more specifically, what would you do in the first 100 days, if you are elected to form the government.

Malaysia is recognised as one of the top 12 countries in the world for mega biodiversity.

We are blessed with rainforests, mangroves, peatland and montane forests, which rank Malaysia the fourth in the world for most tree species.

Our surrounding seas are important parts of the Coral Triangle, which contains more than 75 per cent of the world’s known coral species. Our biodiversity is one of the reasons tourists come to Malaysia.

Humans cannot survive without nature. While development is meant to increase our standard of living and grow our economy, unsustainable development destroys the environment, which provides clean air, fresh water, food and protection against extreme weather.

We must aim to achieve development in a sustainable way to balance our aspirations for economic growth without compromising our natural capital.

Only then can we ensure higher standard of living for current and future generations.

In the absence of sustainable development and without protection of nature, the risks of flash flood, air pollution, landslides, shortage of water supply and expanding urban heat islands will increase.

We have seen these happening, and the frequency and intensity will get worse due to the pressures of increasing population and changing climate.

This open letter has been prepared in a neutral and non-partisan manner on behalf of our supporters — your constituents.

They expect us to engage the political system to advocate sustainable development and to urge you to make this a priority above party politics.

By informing voters your aspirations and plans for sustainable development in Malaysia, you allow them to make informed decisions with their votes.


THIS OPEN LETTER IS SIGNED BY 20 ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANISATIONS

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