The GGSA Advisory Committee Meeting


Green Growth Asia – Building strength from within

One of Green Growth Solutions Asia’s (GGSA) central approaches in its mission to make green growth and sustainability a reality in Asia and beyond is to serve in a mobilising capacity that brings affected stakeholders seeking to mount a response across a wide range of environmental and sustainability themes into contact with private sector and academic solution providers and their technology and methodologies. The Solutions Towards Sustainable Communities Biennial Summit and EXPO 2018-2022 that will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is a very good example of how this mobilising role takes place in practice.

However, in order to serve effectively in a mobilising capacity and also strengthen other aspects of its work, GGSA recognised that it needed to build strength and diversity from within. As a response to this, GGSA has established an Advisory Committee and on 20th January 2017 the first Advisory Committee meeting took place in the offices of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila. The Advisory Committee is comprised of a wide range of prominent local and international experts that bring experience, knowledge and insight to the work that GGSA undertakes. The Advisory Committee is chaired by H.E. Datuk Seri Utama Ir. Hj. Idris Bin Hj. Haron, Chief Minister of Melaka State, Malaysia and includes the following members:

H.E. Datuk Seri Utama Ir. Hj. Idris Bin Hj. Haron Chief Minister of Melaka
Mr. Emani Kumar Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI and Executive Director, ICLEI South East Asia
Dr. Prasad Modak Founder and Director, Ekonnect Knowledge Foundation
Prof. Dr. Ir. Samsul Rizal Rector, Syiah Kuala University, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Prof. Dr. Ir. Samsul Rizal Rector, Syiah Kuala University, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Dato’ Dr. Dionysius S.K. Sharma CEO, WWF-Malaysia
Ms. Sonia Chand Sandhu Sr. Advisor to Vice President – Knowledge Management, Sustainable Development, Climate Change, ADB
Mr. Balamurugan Ratha Krishnan CEO Green Growth Solutions Asia

GGSA is extremely excited at having brought together such strength in experts and is looking forward to developing its strategic action plan further with bold new ideas drawn from such a wide ranging knowledge base. The resumes of each member can be found on the GGSA website on the Advisory Committee Resume Page.

The Chairman, Datuk Seri Utama Idris Haron, is a passionate advocate for green growth and a champion for sustainability and the environment. He was instrumental himself in encouraging GGSA to be formed to fill the knowledge and green growth project implementation gap that he perceived existed. He has personally led in the rehabilitation and transformation of the Melaka River. Significantly, he led in the development of the pioneering Green City Action Plan (GCAP) for Melaka, which includes ground breaking projects like LED Street Lighting, Energy Efficiency Saving in Government Buildings and the Eco-Schools Programme. GCAP is fast securing global recognition as a successful government led initiative that is inspiring other cities in the region to follow suit.

As a measure of the importance placed on this meeting and the work of GGSA generally, H.E. Dato’ Raszlan Abdul Rashid, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of Malaysia, Manila also attended the meeting as a guest together with Datuk Wira Hj. Md. Yunos Bin Husin, Melaka State Executive Councillor for Education, Higher Education, Science and Technology and Innovation and Hon. Datuk Ar. Hj. Ismail Bin Hj. Othman, Melaka State Executive Councillor for Housing, Local Government and Environment.

Mr. Balamurugan, GGSA’s CEO explained,

‘This first meeting of the GGSA Advisory Committee marks the culmination of several years of hard work by many people and I would particularly like to thank ADB for their support in commissioning the preparation of a Strategic Action Plan (SAP) for GGA and Dr Prasad Modak for preparing the SAP together with us.’

Mr. Emani Kumar expressed his delight that Datuk Seri Utama Idris Haron had agreed to serve on the committee as Chairman. He said,

‘Over the past 17 years of his personal involvement in the green agenda, he had never seen a government leader show such personal commitment as a champion for green issues and someone who was telling the world what he wanted to do.’

Datuk Seri Utama Idris Haron took the time to address the newly formed Advisory Committee and to share his vision for green growth in Asia. He observed,

‘This was an exciting time to be involved in promoting sustainability in economic and social development and that there was now a growing recognition in Asia, both within the private and public sector, of the need to undertake development in a sustainable way.’ Datuk Seri Utama declared that he was committed to using his position to ensure that GGSA is able to identify, design and implement projects where they are needed and that he was keen for GGSA to be seen as an organisation that delivers concrete projects.

The Advisory Committee discussed the Strategic Action Plan that had been developed together with technical assistance from ADB and Dr Modak and it was agreed that this provided a strong strategic foundation from which GGSA could develop specific strategies across a range of green growth themes.

A number of MOUs were also signed at the Advisory Committee meeting between GGSA and strategic partners that would provide both general and project specific expertise. These MOUs were:

GGSA – Melaka Green Technology – ICLEI
GGSA – Expomal International Sdn Bhd – ICLEI
GGSA – Ekonnect Knowledge Foundation

This is certainly an exciting time for GGSA as it makes an intentional decision to build strength from within and align itself still further with highly respected international organisations.

We hope that you will continue to keep up to date with our work through our website and follow our initiatives and achievements in 2017.

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