- By Amy Suhana binti Mohamed Noor
The world is getting hotter day by day. The NOAA’s 2020 Annual Climate reported there is an increase in temperature of 0.08 degrees Celsius since 2008. Climate change is a long-term change that impacts everyone including ASEAN countries.The rise in temperature, rain regime, and rise of sea level affected the livelihood of the people, growing corps and durability of building and infrastructure in the countries. This threatens climate security. "
ASEAN’s priority in pursuing regional development should follow the Sustainable Development Goal 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact. Under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2009-2015, actions were taken by ASEAN is to encourage ASEAN common understanding on climate change issues, engage in joint efforts, contribute to research and development, and encourage the international community to contribute to ASEAN’s efforts in afforestation and reforestation, as well as to reduce deforestation and forest degradation.
DEFORESTATION AS AN ISSUE
While deforestation has already happened, the impacts include the loss of habitat for flora and fauna, affecting the indigenous communities’ homes and livelihood, flash floods, and many other natural disasters.
Laws should be implemented to ensure that when deforestation happened actions can be taken towards the perpetrator. Simply imposing policy to encourage states to participate to combat climate change does not emphasize the harms and the importance to afforest and reforest. This is also to deal with the narrative of climate change is ‘the act of God’
Examples of deforestation that contributes to climate change are the burning of forests in Sumatra, Indonesia almost every year, deforestation in Kaingin, Philippines, deforestation in Sabah and Sarawak for plantation, and in Pahang for development purposes.
IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN MALAYSIA
The national animal, Harimau Malaya, rhinos, and many other animals are now endangered due to the loss of habitat caused by deforestation. No active and strict actions were taken to preserve biodiversity. Some example includes the indigenous community in Kampung Berengoi, Pahang is also affected when they are asked to move out from their homes because the land was taken for development purposes. While coastal floods do happen, the impact of climate change made the flood and rain even worst especially in the northern part of Malaysia. This affects the crops, livelihood of the people including the loss that they must bear yearly due to climate change impact.
ACTIONS CAN BE TAKEN
The policy imposed by ASEAN should be converted to law to ensure that all states are held responsible for every action that caused climate change. This is to push for more serious action and accountability of the action that impacts the country and the world. The economic activity of ASEAN is dependent on the ability of the country to carry out economic activities which can be affected negatively due to climate change such as being unable to grow food crops because of high temperatures or floods destroying the crops.
Climate security is a serious issue and is contributed by human activity. While development projects may be important, the livelihood and survival of states and the stakeholders depend on the condition of the world. Climate change contributes to more problems such as food security, economic instability, and many more. Hence, imposing laws to force to take accountability and be actively engaging to combat climate change should be pushed by ASEAN for the benefit of everyone.