PUTRAJAYA, Aug 18 — The landscape industry needs to be empowered as a contributor of the national economy, as well as a new catalyst and contributor to generate a new economy, said caretaker Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said policies and legislation must be strengthened to ensure the effective presence of landscape importance in every development, especially in creating green infrastructure and a quality living environment for the benefit of all citizens.
“Landscape is a green infrastructure that a nation must have as a necessity that provides multiple benefits to people, the environment, and the economy. It facilitates symbiotic relationships and equitable social structures to meet the needs of communities across demographics and abilities,” he said in his speech at the 57th International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) World Congress and World Landscape Architects Summit 2021 online today.
He said landscape architects were “essential game changers” of the future natural and built environments.
“Parks, gardens, and green spaces are healing and restorative outdoor spaces, and we need to understand that all these are matters of public health,” he said, adding that the landscape architects needed to design regenerative public spaces which are dynamic, adaptable, diverse and multifunctional.
He said the government viewed public urban landscape systems as a prerequisite towards healthy communities and, at the same time, one that could mitigate the climate crisis.
Muhyiddin said Malaysia has over 60 legislations and regulations governing the protection of wildlife and the environment, health, safety and welfare of workers and pollution control.
“Having strong legislations and rules help to safeguard our environment. 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°C and reducing carbon emission.
Muhyiddin said sustainable development and landscape architecture played a vital role in driving the nation’s development trajectory on low-carbon and climate-resilient pathways.
“The pandemic has caused great disruptions to our livelihoods and the economy. Therefore, we must ensure the recovery of our economy while continuing to grow and safeguarding the environment at the same time,” he said.
The five-day IFLA World Congress, which began today, 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.