On 31 August 2019, Jeffrey, one of our Green Drinks KL members, was invited to become a delegate speaker by Youtar (UTAR Chinese Discussion Team) at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman Kampar Campus. The talk covered on 3 topics:
i) Economic Development and Environmental Preservation
Economy and development is the blood line for a society. With less economic development, there will be a number of social issues like poverty and lack of job opportunity, hence destabilizing the social system which will lead to social unrest and possibly war. However, the current global trend of economic development focus too strong on taking natural resources in the betterment of human wealth and well-being which had derailed far from environmental sustainability, preservation and protection. Therefore, we are facing a number of environmental challenges which are already having impacts on our everyday livelihood and well-being. For instance, climate change, the 6th great extinction, uneven food supplies, cities in danger from sea level and etc.
Therefore by looking on today's world situation, it is both a great challenge at the same time great opportunity to find new frontier to enable environmentalist to go hand-in-hand with economist and businesses in making business and corporate more environmentally sound.
ii) Current issues (Amazon Forest Fire and Foreign Waste/Plastics)
Amazon Forest Fire
Amazon forest fire via social media successfully get the attention of the global community. The Amazon forest by itself and natural course gets on fire annually during the drought season as a function to maintain the forest soil fertility. However, the forest fire which happened this round falls out of the norm and massively destroyed our "Earth's Lung". This is a complex issue and we can all agree on Amazon forest fire is a result due to the many factors which human are destabilizing the environment via emitting more Green House Gases (GHGs) and massive change in land-use system by deforestation in the name of corporate and development purposes.
Is the 1st world countries are really doing well in environmental sustainability? The need for development in 3rd world countries opens new doors for processing foreign waste for more job opportunity and as a cheaper way to acquire raw material to make products more economical for people living in 3rd world to buy. This results in foreign waste/plastics issue is an international issue concerning developing and developed countries. Public protest brings up underlining and hidden environmental issues to the surface where government can act upon and instill new policies and regulations to reduce pollution to the environment.
iii) Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainability Reporting (GRI)
Since the launched of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) in 2015, more and more companies, corporate and institutions join the sustainability reporting movement to disclose their business environmental and social impacts and performance in their annual report. Therefore, sustainability reporting transform "Business as usual" into "Making business more environmentally and socially sound". Sustainability is not about focusing on environment preservation but is the unification of economic development, social inclusiveness, environmentally sound practices with good governance hence bringing positive impact to the society (corporate social responsibility) and well-being of the planet.
Lastly, Green Drinks KL would like to thank Youtar for organizing this wonderful session to the public at Kampar. We hope that the public gain critical insights in understanding the global environmental sustainability trends during this talk.