High ranking EU official praised Malaysian environmental sustainability initiatives, for simultaneously achieving environmental and economic development goals. The new European Union (EU) Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Malaysia, Luc Vandebon, recently commented that “Malaysia is taking the right initiatives.”
Vandebon highlighted Malaysian provincial efforts in forest management, stakeholder involvement and conservation of tropical forests as a “great example, not only for Malaysia, but for the rest of the region”.
Vandebon further applauded Malaysians efforts in forest management, especially regarding developments towards a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) under the EU’s coming Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) programme, which focuses on forestry governance and management and the harvesting of tropical timber.
These sentiments were supported by data published by two elite US universities that recognised Malaysian efforts to improve environmental policy and implementation. The Environmental Performance Index, a global survey conducted through institutes affiliated to Yale and Columbia universities, ranked Malaysia amongst the top 25 nations. Malaysia outranked the US, Australia, and a number of European countries.
In the last two years, Malaysia jumped from 54th to 25th place to become the highest ranked nation amongst ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). The study was conducted in collaboration with The World Economic Forum and The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission.