Awg Tengah: Ordinance amendment to empower NREB for environmental autonomy

Posted on 16 May 2024
Source of News: Borneo Post

By Jude Toyat, Borneo Post

KUCHING 15 May 2024 - The Sarawak government is in the process of amending Chapter 84 (1958 Edition) of the Natural Resources and Environment Ordinance to include relevant provisions for empowering the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB).

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said this is to enable Sarawak to gain comprehensive environmental autonomy from the federal government.

The Second Minister for Natural Resources and Urban Development said the Sarawak government has also approved organisational restructuring and human resource requirements to ensure sufficient and competent workforce.

“NREB officers have also been exposed to monitoring and enforcement activities of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and the regulations under it, such as the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005.

“If there is a need for borrowing or absorbing manpower from the Department of Environment (DoE) Sarawak into NREB, it will be discussed and reviewed together with the Malaysian Public Service Department and DoE Malaysia first before it is implemented,” he said in his ministerial winding-up speech today.

Additionally, Awang Tengah explained that NREB is also developing the Environmental Information System Sarawak (EnvISS), a scheduled waste management system equivalent to DoE’s, such as the Electronic Scheduled Waste Information System (eSWIS), Mypremis, and the Environmental Quality Electronic System (eKAS).

He said the process of transferring environmental autonomy under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will be carried out in phases.

Under the first phase, the Sarawak government aims to take over governance related to the management of scheduled wastes starting in 2025.

Aspects of industrial effluent management, air quality control, and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) management will be taken over in the subsequent phases.

To strengthen the implementation of the Transfer of Autonomy on Environment under the MA63, a framework was prepared and approved by the board on Aug 2, 2023.

This framework, overseen by the ministry, consists of a steering committee, a technical committee, and four working committees, each responsible for legal matters, human resources, system development, and infrastructure.

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Last Updated On 18 Jul 2024

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