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NREB ready to learn from big cities on air pollution issues
Posted on : 15 Nov 2018  Source of News: http://www.theborneopost.com
 

KUCHING: The Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) is ready to learn from the experience of big cities like Beijing and Shanghai in China which faced serious air pollution problem to enable the state to prepare for such a situation in the future.

NREB controller Peter Sawal said although the air pollution in the state and Kuching City for instance, was not serious presently, things could change as Sarawak was embarking on a journey to be a developed state and high income society.

“The population in Kuching is increasing; now we have about 700,000 and the number would increase to one million in few years time. So the air pollution problem faced by Beijing and Shanghai and other developed nations can also happen here because by that time, the air pollution may not be caused by open burning like what is happening now, but from other sources…so we need to learn from the experience of other countries,” Peter told a press conference at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.

The conference which was also attended by executive director of Clean Air Asia (CAA) Bjarne Pedersen and president of Ckean Air Forum Society Malaysia (MyCAS) Dr Noor Zaitun Yahaya was held in conjunction with Better Air Quality (BAQ) Conference from Nov 14-16.

Peter pointed out that areas in the state in general enjoy clean air, except at certain time because of open burning and trans-boundary haze. However, the problem managed to be addressed despite NREB having limited resources and capacity.

He said that the conference which was a bi-annual event and held for the first time in Malaysia was timely as the state aimed to achieve a developed state status.

“We will take the opportunity through the conference to learn, share and know what are the technologies that have been developed and the various measures taken in other countries which can be applied in the state when addressing air pollution,” he added.

Peter also said that the state will totally ban open burning after 2020 and hoped to create an awareness among stakeholders to ensure that the state can have good air quality and contribute towards efforts to address global warming and climate change.

BAQ 2108 is organised by CAA, MyCAS, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and NREB. It involved 200 local and international speakers, apart from local and foreign delegates.