Malaysia National Policy on the Environment

  • General Information

In the year  2002, the National Policy on the Environment (NPE) was formulated and approved by the Department of Environment, which is under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Malaysia, which was previously under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment of Malaysia [1]. The NPE aims to promote environmentally sound and sustainable development in managing and conserving the environment, for the continuation of economic, social and cultural progress of Malaysia and enhancement of the quality of life of its people [1] [2]. As it moves towards the status of a developed country by the year 2020, Malaysia envisages their land should remain productive and fertile, and still rich in natural diversity.

Three main objectives of the Policy are:

  • A clean, safe, healthy and productive environment for present and future generations
  • Conservation of the country’s unique and diverse cultural and natural heritage with effective participation by all sectors of society
  • Sustainable lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production.[1]

This policy was based on the eight inter-related and mutually supporting principles that harmonised economic development goals with environment imperatives. These principles are:

  • Stewardship of the environment
  • Conservation of the nature’s vitality and diversity
  • Continuous improvement in the quality of the environment
  • Sustainable use of natural resources
  • Integrated decision-making
  • Role of the private sector
  • Commitment and accountability
  • Active participate in the international community [1]

This policy also seeks to integrate environmental considerations into development activities and in all related decision-making processes. A broad-based strategic approach is adopted to promote environmental soundness. Among the seven Green Strategies provisioned under this policy, there is one relevant to Traditional & Complementary Medicine:

  • Strategy No. 2 Effective Management of Natural Resources and the Environment
  1. A national inventory and audit of environment and natural resources will be maintained and regularly updated, with particular emphasis on depletion and renew ability, to serve as a guide to policy formulation and decision-making. Appropriate environmental monitoring systems shall be established to facilitate the evaluation of programmes and projects.
  2. Natural resource areas, particularly those containing biologically rich habitats and ecosystems will be established and maintained as zones for the conservation and protection of indigenous flora and fauna and genetic resources.
  3. The nation’s forests and their resources will be managed sustainably to ensure continued and sustainable economic benefits and compatibility with environmental stability, ecological balance and social stability of communities inhabiting such areas [1][3].

Significantly, this policy emphasises the integration of environmental dimensions in the planning and implementation with conservation of the natural diversity. It is to ensure the biodiversity and life support systems are integrated and accountable by all decision-makers in the public and private sectors, resource users, non-governmental organisations and the general public through efforts in sustaining the natural resources and preventing depletion of the environment [1][3]. Therefore, the NPE serves as an important framework as to ensure Malaysia participates actively and effectively in regional and global efforts towards environment conservation and enhancement.

  • Contact Details 

Department of Environment
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Level 1 – 4, Podium 2 & 3,
Wisma Sumber Asli No.25,
Persiaran Perdana, Precint 4
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62574 Putrajaya,
Tel: +603-8871 2000/2200
Fax: +603-8888 9987/ +603-8889 1040


  1. Department of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia. Malaysia National Policy on the Environment. 2002. Last accessed on 18 Jan 2013 at
  2. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Report on National Capacity Needs Self-Assessment for Global Environmental Management and National Capacity Action Plan. 2008. Last accessed on 18 Jan 2013 at
  3. Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). Environmental Management. Updated 2012. Last accessed on 21 Jan 2013.