KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will continue to advocate and strengthen maritime and oceanographic research for a sustainable South China Sea as many nations sharing the sea depend on its living and non-living natural resources for food, trade, transport, tourism and security.
The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry’s deputy secretary-general (Science, Technology and Innovation) Dr Mohd Nor Azman Hassan said this in his speech at the opening of the 3rd South China Sea Conference 2019 (SCS2019) here yesterday.
The text of the speech was read out by Industry Division secretary Norsham Abdul Latip.
“Unfortunately, the South China Sea is facing a plethora of threats from climate change, pollution
and over-exploitation of its resources, including modifications of coastal and natural marine environments.
“Therefore, the ministry will play its role in ensuring environmental sustainability which is pollution-
free and resistant to the threats of climate change,” he said.
Mohd Nor Azman said in working towards a blue economy, it was crucial that sustainable economic development be balanced with the conservation and safeguarding of marine resources and the environment.
The four-day SCS2019 brings together ocean stakeholders from various sectors and serves as a platform for the exchange of information concerning research activities in the South China Sea.
Meanwhile, Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences senior research fellow Prof Datuk Dr Azizan Abu Samah said the Strait of Malacca was the second busiest strait in the world.
He pointed out that geographically, the area was sitting at the most important transport and biodiversity route.
“The Strait of Malacca receives approximately 200 vessels per day as a transit of transfer.
“(Therefore), we must appreciate the importance of the Strait of Malacca and South China Sea to our economy and (food) security well-being, and put it as a much higher agenda in terms of our policies,” Azizan told reporters on the sidelines of the conference. — Bernama