As the availability of clean water has become a global concern across nations, various stake-holders in Malaysia have come together will share their experiences, concerns and future plans in a biennial national forum themed in Malaysia - 'Water for Sustainable Development'. This is to reflect that the water is everyone's concern, especially when facing the uncertainty of climate change. The 'clean water and sanitation' has been adopted as global goal 6 or SDG 6 in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations for the year 2030.
MyCDNet's biennial national forum themed 'Water for Sustainable Development: What's Next' focusing on the issues of sustainable water development and management in Malaysia is being organised on Wednesday at the University of Malaya to be attended by over 90 key players from different sectors: government agencies and organizations, water operators, educational institutions, NGOs, the corporate sector, consultants and others. The conference is being organised by the Malaysian Capacity Development Network for Sustainable Water Management (MyCDNet), in collaboration with the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), Asia Pacific Environmental Consultants Sdn Bhd (ASPEC), Global Environment Centre (GEC) and Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK), and supported by Cap-Net UNDP, the forum emphasizes the status of water development and management in Malaysia especially in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and to initiate conversations on what should be done to overcome the challenges faced and to enhance water security in this uncertain climate future. The supporting partners include EKL Business Sdn Bhd, BMT Asia Pacific and KnT Consult Sdn Bhd.
Dato' Ir Lim Chow Hock, Malaysian Network Manager of MyCDNet said "For years, we have been taking the convenient road of development that is harmful to our environment. Now, we are facing critical challenges on sustainable development with depletion of water resources and adverse impacts of environmental degradation including freshwater scarcity. With climate change added to this problem, sustainable water development and management roadmap are vital in preserving our water resources and that is where meeting the SDGs is so important." Tn Hj Khairi Selamat, the forum organising committee chairman emphasised that "by understanding where Malaysia stands in achieving these SDGs including the challenges that come with it, the forum aims to provide a platform and an occasion for all participants and organisations that have a stake in the water and climate change sectors, to collectively share their thoughts on how best to support the nation's goal in meeting these SDGs by 2030".
Puan Azizah Ariffin, Deputy Secretary-General (Water and Sewerage), Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources while launching the forum said Malaysia is blessed with water resources coming from surface water and ground water. However, we face problems in the form of water demand pressures and river pollution that increase the threats to water security. To tackle challenges related to water for sustainable development, integrated approaches which cut across ministries and sectors are needed. Everyone has to share the burden of safeguarding our water resources for the current and future generations. Global experience has also shown that community involvement in water for sustainable development programme design, management, and delivery is important in ensuring sustainability and accountability. She believes that this Forum has successfully brought together stakeholders, leaders and key players in the country towards discussing solutions towards achieving water for sustainable development in Malaysia and looks forward to any proposals that might ensue from this Forum.
(With inputs from Global Environment Centre)