A nationwide planetary well being technique might assist the twelfth Malaysia Plan make lasting systemic change

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The twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP) was launched in October 2021 with some fanfare – and with good motive. The plan marks a change within the authorities’s method. It focuses on three key themes: resetting the economic system; strengthening safety, wellbeing and inclusivity; and advancing sustainability.

As we begin to emerge from the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic we should transfer from plan to implementation to start our restoration, however achieve this with out inflicting additional hurt. This isn’t simple. We have now been disadvantaged of so many issues for the final 18 months. Everyone seems to be eager to “get again to regular”. However we have to look ahead with our sights not simply at our particular person wellbeing but additionally on how we, as residents, use what the 12MP plan gives to assist us begin to do issues in a different way.

Planetary well being, talked about seven instances within the plan, can increase the potential of the 12MP for lasting systemic change. The planetary well being method emphasises humanity coming collectively, assuming larger accountability for our collective actions, working with a stress on equalising accountable entry to and use of the finite assets our planet can provide us, underwritten by the necessity to act urgently.

One solution to increase the potential of the 12MP to advance planetary well being is for the federal government to develop a Nationwide Planetary Well being Technique. No different nation on the earth has accomplished this but – can we be the primary? Typically, nationwide and sectoral plans and insurance policies solely deal with both human welfare or the atmosphere – with one incessantly being on the expense of the opposite. Malaysia’s Nationwide Planetary Well being Technique will present that each are important, and that steadiness and concord between the 2 might be achieved.

The excellent 12MP is a doc some may discover powerful to digest. And a number of the plan is about how our elected representatives and officers may help us to recuperate from the pandemic in a method that’s secure and sustainable. The Planetary Well being Technique can act because the connector between this technical physique of labor and us, our well being and the well being of our nation. It could actually reply the query “So what can I do?”

The technique ought to lay out a collection of rules underpinning the implementation of the 12MP. These ought to embrace:

> Emphasising the necessity for steadiness and concord amongst this land, its non-human inhabitants, and us. We’re at present method off.

> Demonstrating accountable stewardship of the finite assets the nation possesses. The actual fact is all of us eat excess of the nation and the planet can produce. Fixing this isn’t not possible – we have to plan it out and rethink what’s necessary in our lives.

> Not reinventing the wheel. There’s a number of good planning and coverage work already however we have to get on and implement it; issues like our now 11-year-old nationwide local weather change coverage which says all the proper issues.

> Working throughout sectors. The pandemic has proven us {that a} well being disaster can also be an financial, social, and political problem. The identical whole-of-society, whole-of-government method should underpin the nation’s method to the local weather disaster and its human well being and social impacts.

> Getting our leaders to steer. Planetary well being wants cross-government coordination and so the push for and dedication to a Nationwide Planetary Well being Technique should originate from the best ranges of presidency. Planetary well being management should begin with the Prime Minister. This may occur, as confirmed by the success of our nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme.

> Offering house to pay attention. The character of governments in democracies is that they suppose in three-to-five-year chunks. The planetary well being technique wants to interrupt this cycle and interact in longer-term considering and be sure that the voices of those that are often not listened to however most severely impacted by crises are heard.

> Underlining the significance of doing no hurt. We have to ensure that our rush for progressive solutions that resolve social issues or improve provision of companies to the folks doesn’t create new harms, particularly to human well being and the atmosphere.

> Training good governance – an space that calls for consideration in private and non-private sectors.

> And, lastly, recognising that it’s not nearly Malaysia – that this piece of land we name house is linked to different items of land that others name residence. Via nature, we’re all linked with one another and want to make sure that our plans assist planetary well being globally.

My sense is that almost all of us can pertains to these rules and so they can present a part of the reply to the query “What can I do?” as we watch the world burning, drowning, coughing and being buried in plastic.

I will probably be pushing exhausting, by means of the Malaysia Local weather Motion Council, that such a technique is drawn up. But it surely’ll solely be of worth if we will generate a motion that may assist us to observe and implement it. I hope you can be prepared to interact.


Dr Jemilah Mahmood, a doctor and skilled disaster chief, was appointed the chief director of the Sunway Centre for Planetary Well being at Sunway College in August 2021. She is the founding father of assist organisation Mercy Malaysia and has served in management roles internationally with the United Nations and Purple Cross for the final decade.



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