Amendment to curb open burning

THE Urban Development and Natural Resources Ministry will assure that the amendment to the Natural Resources and Environment (Amendment) Bill, 2019 will curb open burning particularly those done for commercial farming.

Delivering his winding up speech yesterday, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, who is also Urban Development and Natural Resource Second Minister, said the state government had drafted an integrated action plan to facilitate better compliance with current environmental needs and practices.

“The government proposes a few recommendations to enhance the law enforcement,” he said.

First, implement the Polluter Pay principle on those who do open burning.

“Second, install more warning signs on the effects of open burning in fire-prone areas.

“Third, set up community-based monitoring groups to supervise and report illegal open burning to the authorities.

“Fourth, encourage farmers to adopt alternative ways like using technology for biomass disposal.

“Fifth, enhance the dissemination of information by the media on the prohibition on open burning in campaigns against open burning.”

Awang Tengah also revealed that the government will continue to set up Air Quality Monitoring Stations (AQMS) at strategic locations.

“At the moment, the latest one at Lundu was completed last month,” he said, adding that all NREB offices would be equipped with the latest technologies.

“We will help to equip all NREB offices with technologies such as drones and satellite imaging tools to enhance monitoring and enforcement activities.”

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