Bioeconomy to Bring Sustainability Forward in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, 25 September 2018 – Sustainable development in Malaysia is expected to mature thanks to the increasing contribution of bioeconomy activities in the country. According to Malaysia’s Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change (MESTECC), Y.B. Puan Yeo Bee Yin, the use of renewable biological resources in bioeconomy activities can ensure that food, energy, water, healthcare and other livelihood assets are continuously and readily available in the country, without causing excess wastage and endangering the environment.
“By increasing electricity generation through renewable resources such as biogas and biomass, we are reducing the usage of fossil fuels and high energy demanding materials to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” she said in her speech during Bioeconomy Day, which was organised by Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corporation (Bioeconomy Corp). “I am pleased to note that Bioeconomy Corp has facilitated several projects that generate electricity from biomass and biogas, including feedstock from waste such as POME, rice husks and woodchips that also help to mitigate waste and environment issues.”
She added that there are currently 33 bio-based renewable energy plants under the Bioeconomy Projects that will contribute an additional 26.412 megawatt (MW) electricity supply to the National Grid via sale to Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). These plants allow rural communities all over Malaysia to access and afford electricity for domestic use and business purposes which contribute to their societal wellbeing.
Chief Executive Officer of Bioeconomy Corp, Dr. Mohd Shuhaizam Mohd Zain emphasised on the importance of building collaborations with other industries and sectors for bioeconomy to truly flourish and contribute to Malaysia’s sustainable development. “These collaborations can be done via inter-industry application, public-private sector collaborations, and academic-industry cross-over. One such example is the Bioeconomy Plantopia, a tree planting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme introduced through Bioeconomy Day. By working together with local schools and corporate sponsors, this initiative promotes the importance of biodiversity, living green, reducing carbon footprint and ensuring sustainability for Malaysia,” he said, adding that a minimum of 20 schools will be targeted to participate in the programme by 2020.
This was the second Bioeconomy Day held in 2018. With the theme of Bioeconomy Beyond Borders, the event featured forum sessions that focused on the economic prospects and future direction of bioeconomy development in Malaysia, including topics such as transforming bio-based resources for bioeconomy, market access, and the global bioeconomy supply chain. An exhibition by bio-based companies in Malaysia was also held during the event, as well as the launch of Bioeconomy Plantopia Programme and Bioeconomy Plantzania Mini Carnival to expose school students to bioscience.