ICLEI South Asia, in association with ICLEI South-East Asia and the Indonesia-Malaysia- Thailand Growth Triangle Joint Business Council, is supporting the development of Green City Action Plans (GCAPs) of four Malaysian cities under the Malaysia GCAP Subproject 1. The GCAP programme has been designed by the Ministry of Economy and Asian Development to benefit fourteen Malaysian cities between 2021 to 2025. In this connection, the Ministry of Economy of the Government of Malaysia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with support from the above-mentioned organisations, organised the National Forum on Green City Action Plan on 7 August 2023 in Ipoh, Malaysia on the sidelines of 6th IMT-GT Green Cities Mayor Council (GCMC). The forum brought together key stakeholders, policymakers, urban planners, environmental experts, and local authorities from across Malaysia to deliberate on crucial initiatives for creating greener and more resilient cities, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Luqman Bin Ahmad, Deputy Secretary General (Macro), Ministry of Economy, Government of Malaysia shared a keynote address and highlighted the importance of GCAP and its linkages with the 12th Malaysian Plan. Mr. Luqman has encouraged all the local government officials and stakeholders to actively take part in the GCAP process and align their local action and priorities considering Malaysia’s climate commitment and global sustainable development goals. Senior Malaysian officials made presentations on the role of the Twelfth Malaysia Plan in greening the economy and its main goals and strategies, as well as on the GCAPs and regulatory reform for sustainable productivity in local governments. Mr. Keshav Jha from ICLEI South Asia gave a technical presentation on Subproject 1, highlighting its approach and progress. He has also shared the current status of GCAP preparation in the first batch of four Malaysian cities (Penang Island, Langkawi, Kota Bharu and Kuching (Padawan).
In the following panel discussion, industry experts analysed issues such as potential scalable and replicable GCAP Quality Infrastructure Investment (QII) projects, the green housing revolution, and water and urban development. Mr. Emani Kumar, Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia, spoke on energy-efficient street lighting. Mr Kumar moderated another discussion on the role of cooperation partners in the implementation of the GCAP’s QII pipelines, in which senior representatives of the Human Resource Development Corporation, Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation, WWF Malaysia, PR1MA Corporation Malaysia and the RHB Islamic Bank participated. At the conclusion of the event, Dr Haji Mohd Shaharin Bin Umar, Director, Regional Development Division, Ministry of Economy, Government of Malaysia, highlighted the importance of knowledge sharing and learning from each other and appreciated the support extended by all partners, private sector and the delegates from Malaysian cities for their active participation in the forum.
Overall, participants received insights through technical presentations and panel discussions on various facets of sustainable urban development, including renewable energy integration, efficient transportation systems, green infrastructure, waste management, and community engagement. National and international experts shared their thoughts while showcasing innovative solutions and best practices that can be adapted to Malaysia’s unique urban context.