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Is Legoland Malaysia sitting on sustainably-developed land?

December 11, 2015

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When Singaporeans talk about escaping the island for a day, Legoland Malaysia is one of the options that come to our minds. But how much do we know about Legoland, other than it is an amusement park based on the theme of Lego bricks? A press briefing at COP21 shed some light on Kota Iskandar, the administrative centre for the state government of Johor, Malaysia, and the region where Legoland is located in.

Directions

The Iskandar economic region started developing almost 10 years ago, and has been experiencing rapid growth of 7% to 8% yearly since. In view that the growth comes with an increase in energy consumption, government officials of Iskandar understood the need for the area to be more energy-efficient. Hence, they created the Low Carbon Society project in collaboration with domestic partners like University of Technology Malaysia and overseas partners in Japan. In fact, the first blue print of the project was launched at COP19. Since then, the government had been able to implement the project through five local authorities.

Success of Iskandar due to 3P partnership

The success of the Iskandar region in terms of sustainable development can be linked to the consultative partnership among the public sector, private sector and people. In 2009, when Prime Minister Najib pledged for emissions reductions, universities like the University of Technology Malaysia were involved in a Science to Action (S2A) initiative. Universities would work with researchers to quantitatively monitor emissions so as to predict and resolve future emissions scenarios. The goal was to achieve the co-benefits of emissions reductions, a better quality of life and economic growth.

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Prime Minister Najib has agreed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by 2020 compared to 2005 levels subject to assistance from developed countries. (Photo credits: Bernama)

Similar sustainable efforts seen in Putrajaya

Similarly, Putrajaya, the new central administrative region of Malaysia, has also been making significant progress in sustainability. With the help of a mandate to certify buildings as green buildings, Putrajaya’s ambition to reduce emissions by 60% is set well above Malaysia’s national target of 40%. It launched a scheme named Towards Putrajaya Green City 2025 and will look into greening its transport sector next.

Future direction

The successful case studies of Iskandar and Putrajaya have been shared among Malaysia states and ASEAN neighbours like Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia. Malaysia is taking its sustainability efforts seriously, and is progressing one block at a time.

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Information in this article is based on a COP21 press briefing held by University of Technology Malaysia on 7 December 2015. The speakers involved were Dr Ho Chin Siong (University of Technology Malaysia), Datuk Ismail Ibrahim (Iskandar Regional Development Authority), Datuk Haji Ismail (Putrajaya Corporation), Dato’ Omairi Hashim (Putrajaya Corporation), Dr Junichi Fujino (National Institute for Environmental Studies)

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