Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Shortage of environmental law experts in country


Environmental Action Committee (EAC) Chairperson Suzannah Liaw hopes environmental law experts and activists will join the Sabah Law Association Sub-Committee on Environment and Climate Change (SLA ECC) and contribute effectively to the EAC. Speaking at the launching of the SLA ECC at the Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry yesterday, Liaw said the EAC was set up when environmental laws were gaining global recognition. She also said that there are so few lawyers specialized in environmental laws that in many ways it could be said to have been hampered in the progress for legislative change. “Even now there are only a handful of real environmental law experts in this country. It is through legislation that we can find the solution to the problems. The laws act as both as a deterrent to polluters and also as a punishment,” she said. “The establishment of the SLA ECC is apt as it is time for the EAC to enter into a smart partnership with SLA by inviting them into their Steering Committee and core management group to join a selected distinguished individuals from various relevant Government agencies, NGOs and the media,” she added. “We welcome the SLA on board the EAC Steering Committee and Management Group to together recognize the need to be responsible to all of humanity. If we must develop our State, we must do so without destroying our environment and to practise proper sustainable development,” she said. Liaw who is also the Chairman of the Environmental Action Committee Management Group, said that the key phrase, “human capital”, therefore must start from a young age thus the EAC’s initiative in instilling a sense of responsibility towards the environment through projects such as recycling in school. “The pristine and natural environment that we have here, should be the focus of our tourism development. There is a serious need to develop products and ideas which will allow ecotourism to flourish in this State. We need to educate our people to learn to protect their own turf and understand that Sabah is one of the most perfect places on earth to put that into practice,” she said. “That is why we must balance the ideas of our ecotourism against the ideals of sustainable development,” he added. She also said that it is one of the many ways in which EAC hoped to nourish interest in the field and they will in turn pass on their knowledge