Archive for January, 2008

Penang and Local Agenda 21

Monday, January 21st, 2008

The local council for mainland Penang, MPSP has recently launched its website on Local Agenda 21 (LA 21) as part of the council’s efforts to further promote awareness on various LA21 initiated activities and encourage more participations and inputs from local communities to implement various plans and programmes for sustainability at the local level. The event was officially launched by the council President, Encik Farizan Darus. Various community-based programmes on environmental, cultural, safety etc were being organized and implemented by various working groups of MPSP LA21. blogged for more insights on the activities and programmes of LA21.

The MPSP Council President, Encik Farizan Darus officiating the launching of MPSP LA21 website…

What is LA21 ?
In a nutshell, Local Agenda 21 (LA 21) is a program that provides a framework for implementing sustainable development at the local level. LA21 aims to build upon existing local government strategies and resources (such as corporate plans, vegetation management plans, and transport strategies) to better integrate environmental, economic and social goals.

LA21 was first described in Agenda 21 - the global blueprint for sustainability that was agreed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 (the Rio Earth Summit). Chapter 28 of Agenda 21 identifies local authorities as the sphere of governance closest to the people, and calls upon all local authorities to consult with their communities and develop and implement a local plan for sustainability - a ‘Local Agenda 21′.

The national LA21 is under the leadership of Ministry of Housing and Local Government, with the assistance of the UNDP in Malaysia. According to Malaysia’s Ministry of Housing and Local Government website, Local Agenda 21 (LA21) is a programme to forge partnerships between local authorities (such as District Councils, Municipal Councils, City Councils and City Halls) and the communities they serve to work together to plan and care for their surroundings towards sustainable development. LA21 adopts a “bottom up” approach. That is to say the local community themselves are involved from the very initial planning stage.

As an individual or Malaysians, you could benefit from LA21 by:

Your views being taken into account in the planning and implementation of LA21 programs to improve the quality of life in your area ;

Your local authority will be more sensitive and effective to your needs;

A more conducive environment and a higher quality of life ;

Having more pride and ownership over your surroundings ;

More related information about LA 21 as well as its benefits.

Although there has not been any national implementation of LA21 activities to date, there are several local councils in Malaysia which have already undertaken activities relating to LA21, namely Penang local councils of MPSP and MPPP, and Selangor’s MBPJ. Selangor is the first state in Malaysia which have commenced E-agenda 21 since 2006.

If you wish to know more about upcoming MPSP LA21 activities, email to its secretariat or contact +6012 4779330 (Mr Chew).

MPSP LA21 has recently organized a seminar on “E-Waste” in Dewan MPSP on 19.1.2008. Datuk Dr Ong Hean Tee, former Penang State Executive Council Member and Chairman of PEWOG(Penang Environment Working Group) was invited to present his paper on “E-Waste” and its impacts on Penang environment. According to Dr Ong, uncontrol recycles from electronic and electronic (E-Waste) can cause environmental hazard and contamination to river /sea water and affecting food chain system and human health whilst issues threatening the environment include over population, over-development, deforestation, biodiversity loss, air pollution, chemical pollution, ozone layer thinning, global warming and climate change. PEWOG hopes to assist Penang State Government and Malaysia Federal Government to achieve a clean and safe living environment for the people of Penang and Malaysia though forging a partnership with the local and state authorities under LA21.

Datuk Dr Ong Hean Tee presenting his paper on “E-Waste” and its impact on Penang environment at the recent LA21 initiated programme held at Dewan MPSP, Bukit Mertajam..

YB Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, Penang State Executive Council Member in charge of Local Government, Traffic Management, Information and Community Relations Committee officiating another LA 21 initiated program at Dewan MPSP in Bukit Mertajam on 20.1.2008.