Bioeconomy key to high-income status: minister

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 (Bernama) -- Malaysia has identified bio-economy as an important element in transforming Malaysia into a high income country by 2020, said Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

He said biodiversity plays an essential element in the Government's commitment and agenda towards sustainable development as Malaysia moves to realise the vision of being a fully developed nation by 2020.

"Malaysia has been an important and active player at the international level since the 1992 Earth Summit in pushing the global biodiversity agenda forward," he said in his speech at the opening of the third National Biodiversity Seminar (MyBioD 2012) here today.

Uggah said following the Earth Summit, Malaysia ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994 and further developed the National Policy on Biological Diversity in 1998.

"Nevertheless, after 14 years of implementing the policy, we have carried out an assessment and there is a call to review the policy to make it in line with the new Global Biodiversity Strategy 2011 to 2020 and the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets adopted by parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity including Malaysia.

"Hence, we need to make a domestic policy response to support the global biodiversity agenda which is to halt biodiversity loss and enhance the overall management of biodiversity," he said.

He said the policy needs to be reviewed to meet emerging issues in biodiversity management and also the nation's priorities in sustainable development.