Welcoming speech for Penang Green Agenda 2030 Launch

Welcoming speech by Ms Josephine Tan, General Manager of Penang Green Council during Penang Green Agenda 2030 Launch on 27 th February 2021.

Thomas Edison once said – “Many of life’s failure are people who did not realise how close they were to achieving success when they gave up”. Penang Green Agenda (PGA) took over 3 years to complete. Today, we stand proud to the achievements of the people and the team behind it who worked relentlessly, never gave up whilst taking task to the future of Penang.

Ladies and gentleman,

Some of you might be very familiar with us but to our friends who are joining us for the first time today, we, Penang Green Council (PGC) is a government linked corporation established in 2011 by the Penang State Government to nurture facilitate and coordinate environmental causes in Penang. Upholding our mission to enable, empower and enrich all stakeholders to practice sustainable development that protects the environment and quality of life, we have formulated Penang Green Agenda (PGA). It takes route of a three years policy planning project, aimed at formulating strategies and building resilient communities in Penang to meet and adapt to future environmental challenges by 2030.

With ambitions we hold, with success as our goal. We look forward for PGA to provide a framework for sustainable future growth in Penang, a roadmap towards achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), establishing a forward-looking approach for Penang’s planning and development and last but not least, prioritisation of policy options that will catalyse real changes on the ground. Albeit saying so, the State government can’t merely be doing it on its own, the involvement of various stakeholders during the development and execution phases are equally important as PGA is formulated not for one but for ALL. To ensure PGA is comprehensive enough for Penang, it went through the three main stages, namely identifying environmental issues Penang needs to overcome, developing a roadmap towards resilience of issues per se and today, its launching and adoption in the coming future. Previously, a series of stakeholder consultation session, workshops, surveys, symposium and roadshows have been organised in the span of 3 years. 10 working groups with each tackling one issue identified. To our stakeholders of various backgrounds and knowledge based who made up the 10 working groups, my sincere appreciation to all of you for giving us your time, effort, personal capacity and I hope that you have made yourselves proud too because, we indeed are.

As we were so excited to introduce PGA to all of you, we have actually kicked started a few recommendations out of it. Among the many, we got the ball rolling with the establishment of The RE & EE taskforce lead by YB Zairil that will lay the groundwork for a new dedicated Disaster Management Unit lead by YB Phee. In fact, the team is also preparing the concept of Green and Sustainable Tourism as Penang is accorded in the list as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Undeniably that tourism took a downturn in 2020 due to Covid-19, but PGA is not just about yesterdays and todays, it is about the bigger future. Our resilience will soldier through this tough period and Penang together with the world will see many more sunrise to come.

Together with this launch today, PGC also brings you the Climate Change Impact on Penang report. This report is a compilation of various studies done by both local and global researchers. What is special about this report is that it primarily focuses on climate change in Penang. It explores potential disasters along with its impacts on natural resources and public health, which has serious socio-economic implications. To spur actions, the report has also attempted to link different government departments to the issues discussed throughout the report. This report will be published on our official website by March.

All these reports will be widely available to everyone on our website which you will find throughout the launch today. Together let us break barriers and work together as one for one same ultimate goal.

Thank you, stay safe and I hope today will be memorable.