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Muhamad Awang is Professor and Dean, Faculty of Science and Environmental Studies, University Putra Malaysia and a member of Malaysian Environmental Quality Council. He is also Chairman of the National Sub-Committee of Life Cycle Assessment (SC5) of ISO 14000/TC207 and a member of National R&D Council for Environmental Sector (Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment, Malaysia). He obtained his Ph.D. degree from Sheffield University, U.K. and currently involved in research on Ecosystem Physiology of Tropical Forest and also on Impact of Air Pollution and Haze on Agricultural Crops and Forest Species.


Abstract of paper given at Islam and Ecology conference:
Ecophilosophical Development in Malaysia

Malaysia and other ASEAN countries in the region are experiencing one of the fastest rates of economic growth and development in the world. The region is in transition from developing through industrializing towards industrialized country status. In this context the countries pose new economic, social, and environmental challenges which require the adoption of new policy instruments for efficient, cost effective, and equitable development results. Agenda 21 adopted at the UNCED Meeting in RIO 1992 represents the current international consensus on action necessary to move the world towards the goal of sustainable development, emphasizing on the arresting deterioration of the ecosystems in which humankind depends to sustain life. It provides a comprehensive and massive document covering all environmentally related issues including population explosion and resource depletion, ozone layer depletion and the enhancement of UV-B, environmental pollution and acid rain, habitat alterations and climate change. Recognizing the impact of human behavior on the environment and on the sustainability of production system in promoting the quality of life, this paper examines how Malaysia should be at the frontier of environmental awareness and management in the region utilizing moral and ethical values characterized philosophically from ecologically destructive or anthropocentrism path to ecocentrism and environmental activism. The paper also highlights several approaches currently exercised including environmental impact assessment and economic instruments for the control and management of the pollution and excessive habitat alteration.

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