KUANTAN: In conjunction with World Environment Day, the Regent of Pahang has called on all Malaysians to conserve the environment.
Tengku Mahkota Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (pic) also called on all civil and private agencies in Malaysia to be active participants in climate and biodiversity talks at the United Nations level.
He added that these agencies should also support key initiatives such as proposals to protect and maintain at least 30% of land and ocean by 2030.
"While environmental awareness and concern is growing across the world over the past five decades, a variety of human activities have destroyed the 'network of life' we need for food supply, water, clean air and the like.
"We need to translate aspirations into reality," said Tengku Hassanal in a statement on Sunday (June 5).
He said the 27th Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) would be held in Egypt while the UN Biodiversity Treaty (COP15) would begin in China this year as two main events related to the environment.
"As a member state, Malaysia must actively involve itself by joining international dialogues. We need to support with pride most of the agreed upon commitments but we should also be realistic.
"For example, Malaysia needs to achieve its carbon neutral target by 2050. This aspiration is important and commendable, yet at the same time, we need to realise that the move to abolish fossil fuel subsidies will have a huge impact on Malaysians," he said.
Tengku Hassanal added that reducing energy consumption to some extent would cripple and affect the national economy, thus the public needed to be educated on saving energy in various ways such as reducing the use of air conditioning or be more energy efficient.
The Regent also said he was thankful most countries including Malaysia were striving diligently to develop plans to reduce biodiversity destruction.
"Currently, over one million species of animals and plants are facing the threat of extinction. Accordingly, a visionary plan, namely the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is being negotiated in the Convention on Biological Diversity for approval at COP15.
"The core of the plan is a proposal based on scientific research to allocate 30% of the world's land and waters as protected and conservation areas.
"Malaysia needs to participate to achieve this ideal target and in doing so, join the citizens of the world in addressing this issue. Not to mention, our country is one of 17 megadiversity countries in the world recognised for being rich in its diversity of flora and fauna," said Tengku Hassanal.
The Regent said when reports of the destruction of Tasik Chini emerged last year, he went for a site visit and to witness for himself the situation.
"Straight away, I decreed that the Chini Forest Reserve be expanded to increase protection for the flora and fauna as well as to ensure that the Orang Asli's livelihood around the lake is not further threatened.
"Alhamdulillah, the Pahang government has already completed gazzetting the expansion of the Chini Forest Reserve on August 5, 2021, from 4,600ha to now 6,502.8ha," he said.
Tengku Hassanal said Tasik Chini was a natural gem of Pahang and was the first Unesco Biosphere Reserve in Malaysia, thus its high-value and world-class uniqueness must be conserved and rehabilitated.