III. EXISTING INSTITUTIONS AND MEASURES FOR INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS INTO DEVELOPMENT PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING
A. Planning aspects
5.Other supporting measures for environmental planning and management
Environmental awareness and civic consciousness among the public needs to be raised to a point where the people themselves demand that the industries do not create pollution and that they initiate anti-pollution measures etc. The parties that should be involved in such efforts should not comprise only the federal and local governments, but also communities, NGOs, environmental bodies etc. The lack of cooperation by the general public and industries is the main hindrance to the enforcement of environmental regulations and enforcement by City Hall of Kuala Lumpur.Department of Environment role in environmental awareness campaigns/programmes
Under the Department of Environment, the promotion of environmental awareness and environmental education has been intensified, with a total of 101 activities having been organized including environmental exhibitions, awareness campaigns, seminars/workshops, competitions and environmental camps. The national-level Malaysia Environment Week was launched on 21 October 1995. A total of 32,013 Department of Environment publications were distributed locally and internationally, a 140 per cent increase over similar efforts during the previous year. On 22 August 1995, the Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment and the Minister of Education jointly launched the Department of Environment quarterly environmental magazine for students, entitled ERA Hijau (Green Era), and the "Know Your Environment" series for primary school pupils (years 1-3) which comprises publications dealing with water, air, habitat, food, plants, rivers, industry, towns, transportation and wastes. (Department of Environment, 1996)
The role of education and training in raising environmental consciousness is crucial as it not only imparts knowledge and information for creating the awareness and skills needed to implement programmes, but also imbues the values and beliefs necessary for developing a sense of social and moral responsibility towards issues related to mankind and the environment.a. Role of federal government in environmental education
The Sixth Malaysia Plan (1991-1995) identified some environmental issues and concerns that required immediate action and management. Integrating environmental considerations in the formulation of projects and programmes will ensure efficient management of the environment and its natural resources as well as balanced development. In section 15.31 of the Sixth Malaysia Plan, it is stated that:"Environmental education as a tool for creating environmental awareness was introduced in the upper primary school curriculum in 1986 in the form of the subject Man and His Environment. This subject is intended to provide knowledge, perception and positive attitudes towards the environment in a holistic manner."
The Plan called for a more effective environmental management, and it identified the issues and concerns that required effective management including: increasing air and noise pollution in urban areas; constraints on the supply of affordable housing as well as efficient sewerage and sanitation services; the lack of adequate waste disposal facilities; pollution resulting from unorganized disposal of consumer products; the encroachment of economic activities on vegetation, forests and catchment areas; and soil-related pollution.
It was also stated that:..."The conservation of the environment is the responsibility of all...environmental awareness programmes will be intensified to promote greater consciousness among the public, since the lack of environmental awareness may be due to the ignorance of the long-term adverse implications of pollution hazards to human welfare"...
There is a need to inculcate positive environmental attitudes, values and environmental awareness among the public through greater exposure, increased knowledge and better scientific understanding of the environment. Knowledge and awareness influence attitudes and values towards caring more for the environment...
..."Focus will be given to conservation, environmental and ecological balance within the context of sustainable development. Education, including formal education, non-formal education, public awareness and training have been identified as being areas through which one can educate the individual to address environmental issues and provide a solution to the problems brought about by the exploitation of the environment.(Sixth Malaysia Plan, 1991-1995)
According to Chelliah (1995), in her presentation on environmental education, some efforts have been made to introduce an environmental curriculum at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in Malaysia. For example, the current provision for environmental education in the primary school curriculum has been implemented together with the new primary school curriculum, beginning in 1982, at 305 pilot schools and then at all primary schools in 1983. A new subject, entitled "Man and the environment", was introduced at year 4-6 of the primary school curriculum. That subject is an interdisciplinary subject covering elements of science, health science, geography, history, social studies and civics. The elements of environmental education have been integrated into that subject as the modules are based on studies of the individual, the immediate surroundings (the house), the school, the village and the district, while not forgetting the plants, the animals and physical components of the environment and man's relationship to them (Chelliah, 1995).
Students are also encouraged to take part in extra-curricular activities within the school that infuse the elements of environmental education through activities such as nature clubs, gardening projects, school beautification projects etc. The objective is to instill in young children an appreciation of the natural environment.
At the secondary level, the interdisciplinary approach has been used to teach environmental education. However, the contributions from each discipline vary, with the major portion being contributed by geography, science, general science, additional science, moral education and living skills.
b. Role of the Ministry of Education and non-governmental organizations
At the tertiary level, the Ministry of Education and WWF Malaysia jointly organize teacher training courses on environmental education and the use of the environment for investigation. The courses are held at the National Environmental Education Centre in the Institute Aminuddin Baki. The "train the trainers" concept is used to ensure that environmental messages are passed on to students, other teachers and decision makers in the field of education; various programmes are planned so that environmental education can enrich knowledge and introduce new perspectives into all school subjects at. as many schools as possible throughout the country. One such programme is "Greening of the school", where key personnel from all States are trained to set up model "green" schools and organize environmental education courses at the regional level throughout the country.
Environmental education is offered as an optional paper in the Diploma of Education offered by several universities such as the University of Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and University Putra Malaysia.
The Ministry of Education together with WWF Malaysia is working towards a Model Training Centre for Environmental Education at the Institute Aminuddin Baki. The Curriculum Development Centre, together with officials from WWF Malaysia, has developed modules which are cross-curricular in nature and which incorporate the "in" and "for" aspects of the environment and stations have been set up in the Institute to show teachers how it is done, so that they can set up similar stations in or around their school compounds. The aim is to create awareness and sensitivity towards what is happening in, and to, the environment.
c. Non-formal environmental education programme
To encourage awareness of the factors causing the environmental degradation, in order to build a philosophy of conservation based on individual responsibility, various agencies have been actively participating. Some examples are given below.
d. Role of the mass media
The Malaysia Radio and Television Network hosts a segment called "Telehijau" which features conservation and wildlife stories. Various television networks regularly feature environmental issues and activities. Several newspapers made a stand for the environment by regularly featuring scientific expeditions, promoting paper and metal recycling programmes and World Environmental Day, and by assigning permanent environmental to the environment in their newspapers.e. Other agencies such as businesses
Businesses and corporations in Malaysia have also joined hands in sponsoring various environmental causes and the distribution of environmental pamphlets.