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UKM GUP ASPL 07 06 003

Dr Mohd Rizal Mohd Yaakop


The issue of environmental security emerged in recent years is not surprising.

Malaysia face such obvious environmental threats such as climate change,
desertification and deforestation. Such threats seem to be much more alarming than
conventional military threats. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, worries about
accelerating damage to the environment started to articulate. As a result UN
Commission on Environmental Protection promoted “sustainable development” as an
operational concept to be applicable to deter environmental problems. Furthermore by
the declaration of Brundtland Commission Report, the concept of sustainable
development hand been internationally standardized. The environmental issues in the
form of resource shortages and climate change constitute a major international
security threat and will cause much more wars in the future as the `world population
is pushing against the earth’s resources, straining its ability to meet the needs of this
generation and the next` The understanding of Malaysian policy on environmental
issue in Malaysia is also challenging since environment is a relatively large area and
sector to be discussed of. There is a risk that by analyzing environment as part of
security sector or category that the analysis will become less coherent than most of
the other security sector. Furthermore, there are theoretical problems and
controversies pertaining to the operational utility of the concept of sustainable
development. The main research questions are: What is Malaysian policy on
environmental security issues? Are environmental issues become its matter of
national and international interest? How Malaysia reacts towards various issues
related to environmental threats? Objective (s) of the research are; To investigate how
Malaysia’s understanding on environmental security; to assess factors influencing
Malaysian understanding of environmental security; to investigate various
government agencies which influence Malaysian understanding on environmental
security. This research adopts a qualitative method in collecting data. The same
applies to method of analysis. The main research method sre surveys, interviews and
observations. Interviews are conducted with officers in charge at agencies and
ministerial level.– Among the respondents are officers at Office of the Prime
Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, government agencies such
as Forest Research Institute of Malaysia and Indonesia.