IPOH: Environmental education is expected to be introduced as a subject in schools and universities by 2019.
The draft would be presented to Cabinet next year, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
Dr Wan Junaidi said he mooted the suggestion earlier this year, not only for the subject to be introduced in the primary and secondary schools but also at kindergartens and universities.
“We are already in discussion with the Education Ministry.
“Once that’s done, then we are hoping to bring it to Cabinet by the middle of next year,” he told a press conference after speaking at the “Asean Dialogue” session at Pangkor Dialogue 2017 here yesterday.
Dr Wan Junaidi said with the syllabus in place, it would greatly help in addressing environmental pollution problems and the importance of sustainable development, among others.
“As a school subject, we can instil in children the importance of protecting the environment at an early age. It will be a great step forward,” he said.
During his talk, Dr Wan Junaidi said it was impossible to carry out development without thinking of sustainability.
He said the management of natural resources was important so that future generations could enjoy it.
“In Malaysia, we have several forests in Sabah, Perak and Langkawi that attract tourists from far and near,” Dr Wan Junaidi said.
“If these are destroyed it will also impact tourism.”
Dr Wan Junaidi said people were visiting countries in Europe and the United States, but there was just as much to see in Asean countries.
“For example, many people are not aware that the Sarawak Chamber at the Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak is the largest in the world.
“It is so big that about 100 Boeing 747 planes can fit inside,” he added.
On a separate matter, Dr Wan Junaidi said more areas in the country would be included under the National Heritage Trust (Amanah Warisan Negara) to protect and maintain green zones.
He said that among these places were Pulau Anak Tikus, Kilim Geoforest Park and the Dropstone area measuring 1,200m in Langkawi.
“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced earlier that Taman Tugu in Kuala Lumpur has been placed under the National Heritage Trust.
“After the first discussion with Khazanah Nasional Bhd, I felt there are more treasures that must be included,” he added.
The Taman Tugu project will be completed in two years, comprising about 1,000 species of flora and fauna, camping grounds, hiking spots and pedestrian walkways.