Green Budgeting and Planning for state governments

By:

Lim Chee Han

Affiliations:

Agora Society Malaysia

Policy Code:

3j Environment

Problem Statement:

Under the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, the state government has jurisdiction over land, forest and natural resources matters. The State Executive Council chaired by the Menteri Besar or the Chief Minister of the state has the power to decide on the gazettement, de-gazettement of the permanent forest reserves including approval for logging, mining or alienation for plantation or other development activities. Lack of adequate scrutiny by the state legislative assembly over these decisions has led to weak environmental protection and loss of customary land by the indigenous people.

Value(s) and Belief(s):

State governments must present proper plans on the management and utilization of green resources to their state legislative assemblies and hence to the public. This will enable effective scrutiny by the public and ADUNs.

Proposal of Solution:

Green budgeting contributes to informed, evidence-based debate and discussion on sustainable growth. Green budgeting means using the tools of budgetary policy-making to help achieve environmental and climate goals. This includes evaluating environmental impacts of budgetary and fiscal policies and assessing their coherence towards the delivery of national and international commitments.
State governments should present green budgeting in the same session with the State Budget for the approval of the state legislative assembly annually. We propose state governments go beyond monetary terms in their budgets Annual planning on the management of forest and natural resources is crucial and annual green targets should be set for example treetop coverage, CO2 emission and pollution reduction. Inventory checks and advanced planning for utilization of land and natural resources must be allocated, debated, and approved. This would allow ADUNs and the general public to track, monitor and question the process and purpose of utilising these resources.

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