The need for a check-and-balance between the economic growth and the environmental sustainability has long been realized by the government of Malaysia.
Spearheaded by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), with the cooperation of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and various other governmental agencies, an environmental performance measurement system is being developed modeled after the Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The Malaysia EPI aims to provide a simple and practical approach of environmental performance benchmark and ranking among the fourteen states of the country.
The three objectives of Malaysia EPI are environmental health, ecosystem vitality and socioeconomic sustainability. While the work is still in progress, more than thirty potential indicators have been identified spanning fourteen policy categories namely environmental health, water effects on humans, air pollution effects on humans, hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, air pollution effects on ecosystem, water effects on ecosystem, biodiversity and habitat, forestry and green areas, fisheries, agriculture and land-use, climate change, resource efficiency, environmental awareness and behaviour, and environmental governance.
Malaysia EPI is developed with a focus on improving the data quality and availability, identifying current environmental issues pertinent to the nation’s wellbeing and recommending to the government on the indicators that need attention for improvement. It is designed to encourage a wider participation by communities mostly under the jurisdiction of the state governments for positive contributions towards a better environmental management and performance.