Landscape must be considered as a necessity, said Prime Minister at IFLA2020

Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin delivering his speech at IFLA2020

Kuala Lumpur, 18 August 2021 – The Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, officiated the opening of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) 2020 World Landscape Architects Summit today. He believes that landscape is environmental infrastructure that a nation must have as a necessity to provide multiple benefits to people, the environment and the economy, especially in a time of crisis like the current COVID-19 pandemic.

He said, “This pandemic serves us a wakeup call; and Malaysia—just like many other countries that have been badly hit by COVID-19—needs to rethink and review the development agenda. Sustainable development and landscape architecture play a vital role in driving the nation’s development trajectory on a low carbon and climate-resilience pathway. Malaysia will continue to support the accelerated actions of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development; and recognises the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) principles in its development agenda.”

“We are pleased to inform that we have managed to retain 55 per cent of our rainforests, exceeding five per cent of our earlier commitment,” he said, adding that Malaysia remained committed to complying with the Paris Agreement on limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and reducing carbon emission.

The Government of Malaysia has over 60 legislations and regulations governing the protection of wildlife and the environment, health, safety and welfare of workers and pollution control. The Prime Minister emphasised the importance of strong legislations and rules to help safeguard the environment.

Urban landscape systems are a prerequisite towards healthy communities and, at the same time, one that could mitigate the climate crisis. Urban farming is to be integrated into the design and efforts carried out by the local communities shall continue, especially those living in major towns and cities.

The Prime Minister concluded, “I believe that landscape architects are game-changers of the future natural and built environment. Therefore, landscape architects need to design regenerative public spaces—dynamic, adaptable, diverse, multifunctional spaces to facilitate symbiotic relationship and equitable social structure in order to meet the needs of communities across demographics.”

The five-day IFLA World Congress, from 18 to 22 August 2021, is organised virtually by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government through the National Landscape Department in collaboration with the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia and IFLA. The international congress is a gathering of almost 1,000 participants from Malaysia and overseas, including professionals in landscape architecture and landscape industry practitioners.

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