Unit­ing for com­mon sus­tain­able goal

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - POST GRADUATE -

For­tu­nately, such un­der­tak­ings are al­ready in place around the world and will hope­fully bring about new ideas to com­bat en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lems.

One such event is the World Congress on Civil, Struc­tural, and En­vi­ron­men­tal En­gi­neer­ing that will take place at the end of this month in Prague, Czech Re­pub­lic.

Au­thors, re­searchers, schol­ars and in­dus­trial ex­perts from around the world will come to­gether at the congress to par­tic­i­pate and dis­cuss im­por­tant is­sues in sep­a­rate con­fer­ences fo­cus­ing on geotech­ni­cal re­search and en­gi­neer­ing, en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity, de­vel­op­ment and pro­tec­tion, and air, wa­ter, soil pol­lu­tion and treat­ment.

Quot­ing the words of Mahatma Gandhi, As­soc Prof Bach­mann says, “The world has enough for ev­ery­one’s need, but not enough for ev­ery­one’s greed.”

If the world is to take sus­tain­abil­ity and eco­log­i­cal prob­lems se­ri­ously, there needs to be a uni­fied ef­fort to re- ex­am­ine the way we lead our daily lives.

Both sus­tain­abil­ity and de­vel­op­ment are im­por­tant in to­day’s world but the fo­cus is to find the bal­ance be­tween com­pet­ing needs such as tech­no­log­i­cal and eco­nom­i­cal needs, the need to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment as well as the need for ad­di­tional ef­forts, in­clud­ing sig­nif­i­cant changes in life­styles, hu­man be­hav­iour and con­sump­tion pat­terns.

Dr Yap says, “His­tory has shown many ex­am­ples of ad­verse health im­pacts aris­ing from tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment but the chal­lenges of sus­tain­able liv­ing lie on the fine line of bal­anc­ing the ar­ray of in­ter­ests and adopt­ing the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment that en­cour­age tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment, eco­nomic growth, en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion and pub­lic health.”

With 2020 be­ing only four years away, the en­tire is­sue of sus­tain­abil­ity will likely take a back seat to na­tional de­vel­op­ment over the com­ing years.

How­ever, events held in Kuala Lumpur such as the In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Civil, En­vi­ron­men­tal and Struc­tural En­gi­neer­ing last month and the Fifth In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Ad­vances in Ap­plied Sci­ence and En­vi­ron­men­tal En­gi­neer­ing that took place last week­end is a good start for lo­cal en­gi­neers to in­tro­duce re­search and de­vel­op­men­tal ac­tiv­i­ties, which will in­spire civil and en­vi­ron­men­tal en­gi­neer­ing grad­u­ates who will lead the charge for na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal re­forms in the near fu­ture.

This, plus con­tin­u­ous me­dia ex­po­sure of en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, are the first cru­cial steps to ed­u­cate the broader pub­lic on the im­por­tance of ini­ti­at­ing green life­style changes and de­mand­ing more strin­gent en­vi­ron­men­tal poli­cies, which cur­rent en­vi­ron­men­tal tech­nolo­gies can re­alise.

The MBA pro­gramme at the Univer­sity of Strath­clyde pro­vides a di­verse learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

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