The SWITCH-Asia programme includes four national policy support components. In these projects the EU Delegations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines directly work with the local governments to support them on the formulation of SCP action plans or specific regulations.
The environment data for Malaysia gives room for concern. Malaysia has the highest natural resources depletion rate (7.9%) in the ASEAN region. It has the highest ecological footprint and the greatest dependence on fossil fuels (RE 5%, 2010) in the region. As Malaysia`s industrial sector is, the formulation and implementation of SCP policies can offer solution to the Malaysian setting. At the meeting on the applicability of the SWITCH-Asia programme Mr. Pablo Iglesias, from the EU Delegation to Malaysia, shared his experience during the planning process of the Malayan leg of the policy support component. The project in Malaysia is budgeted with 1,5 Mio Euro. This budget – according to Mr. Iglesias, is not suitable for a sectoral approach. So the PSC Malaysia has taken the project approach. A service contract has been awarded to the consultancy GFA to implement the project. The project just kicked off in February 2012.
Mapping exercise helps to identify host agency
During the planning of the policy project, the EU Delegation did a mapping exercise. They analysed the value chain and investigated which ministry of authority is responsible or which regulation is applied during a certain stage of the chain. This analysis showed that multiple pieces of legislation and regulations related to SCP apply to a specific stage of the value chain. Various ministries are involved. In Malaysia, the analysis showed, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment which in many countries has the mandate for SCP is mostly responsible for issues related to the end-of-life stage. The EU Delegation asked the question: Who should lead a policy project on SCP in Malaysia? On the basis of the mapping exercise the answer was Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister’s Department.A unit with coordination and overseeing function. With the mandate to coordinate policies and plans. The Policy Support in Malaysia seeks to enhance coordination and organization by establishing the EPU as National SCP Focal Point, by working on a National SCP Policy and a monitoring system. To strengthen the policy framework, the project aims to address issues including eco-labelling initiatives, green product policy, and green public procurement policy. In addition to initiate demonstration project in various sectors - possibly in the electronics and electrical sector, tourism, wood-based industry, or recycling of Waste.
Coordinated by Prime Ministers Department
Mr. Ahmad Rizal Khalit, principal, assistant director in the Economic Planning Unit, at the Prime Ministers Department in Malaysia will be counterpart in implementing the PSC in Malaysia. The EUP works across ministries. According to Mr. Khalit it is important to have a single coordinating agency on SCP. He explained that the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) under the Prime Minister’s Department Malaysia is the principal government agency responsible for the 5 years development plan. This will make it the perfect agency to coordinate SCP and sustainable development, Mr. Khalit stated. He informed the audience that the current 10th Malaysia Plan already includes a focus on sustainable development addressing issues such as waste recycling, green technology and eco-labelling.
The project is at a very early stage. However, the EPU has already worked with partner agencies to collect input from various ministries and their line agencies to underscore key areas under SWITCH-Asia assistance; and to identify priority areas in SCP patterns. During the inception phase the project seeks to meet with all relevant target groups and stakeholders to ensure awareness of the project and commitment and participation in the project. During implementation the project will strengthen the national SCP policy and organisation. It will seek synergies with current initiative by other government agencies such as government green procurement, eco-labelling and energy consumption.
Mr. Khalit closed with highlighting that the Government of Malaysia committed in the implementing SCP as it plays an important role as a catalyst to economic development. It is hope that this initiative will identify opportunities and barriers in implementing SCP in Malaysia and the findings will be expected to assist the Malaysian government to formulate strategies and adopt an appropriate approach to effectively implement the SCP