IKIM, University Malaya, and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia are collaborating on a UNESCO-sanctioned research project on Bioethical Perspectives of Haze in Malaysia. As part of this project, an Expert Group Consultation (EGC) was convened at the IKIM Grand Hall on 18 September 2017.
I was asked to moderate Panel 1 on International and Intragovernmental Initiatives in the Reduction and Management of Haze in Malaysia. The distinguished panelists were Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr. Abu Bakar Jaafar, Chairman, Academy of Science Malaysia HAZE Task Force who spoke on “Haze from the Scientific Perspective”, Pn. Mashitah Idrus, Director (Air Division), Department of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment who gave an “Overview of Government Initiatives” and Dato’ Mohammad Radhi B. Abdul Razak, Deputy Director (Service Industry Section), Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department who discussed “Haze and the Sustainable Development Goals”. The other two panels were on “Tackling the Haze Problem through the Promotion of Ethical Investment and Best Agricultural Practices” and “the Bioethical Dimension of Haze”.
The EGC was well attended by representatives from academia, think tanks, government agencies, the corporate sector as well as NGOs. This led to lively discussions on ways to frame the “wicked problem” of the haze through an ethical lens that would be acceptable to the broadest sections of society, which can hopefully lead to more lasting solutions. Mr. Irakli Khodeli, Programme Specialist (Social and Human Sciences), UNESCO Jakarta was also present and gave the opening and closing remarks. It was heartening to learn that UNESCO is committed to supporting ASEAN in its vision of a “Haze-Free ASEAN by 2020”. The EGC was streamed live here on TVIKIM.