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Wednesday December 12, 2012

Penang invited to join global environment initiative

GEORGE TOWN: Penang has been nominated as the first small city to join The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), an environmental initiative aligned to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) programme officer Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Memon said yesterday that the state and its residents had shown encouraging commitments toward zero waste strategies.

“The (CCAC) initiative was launched in February this year by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UNEP executive director Achim Steiner with five initiatives.

“One of these initiatives is improving municipal solid waste planning, where Penang can get involved, and the IETC Japan office is helping in this area,” said Dr Memon, who was here for the 2012 Review and Planning Workshop on the Penang Eco Town project.

He said to date, several large cities had been chosen to join in the initiative but CCAC was now looking at smaller cities in places like Asia for participation.

“So far, several major cities have been identified where solid waste management strategies are being carried out: Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Mexico City in Mexico, Cali in Colombia, Lagos in Nigeria, Accra in Ghana, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Amman in Jordan.

“Now, we are negotiating to bring on smaller cities and I have proposed Penang to be the first smaller (partner) city,” Dr Memon said.

He said IETC had been working with Penang in environmental initiatives since 2009 and noted the state's commitment towards going green.

Penang Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Com-mittee chairman Phee Boon Poh, who was present at the Eco Town event, said he would bring the IETC invitation to the state executive council for its decision and endorsement before the CCAC held its task force meeting in Vancouver, Canada, from March 11 to 15 next year.

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