Rising to the Challenge: Malaysia’s contribution to the SDGs

by SDSN Malaysia

First published on UN SDSN website on 30 August 2017

In order to bring attention to sustainable development and share from the experience of the many initiatives taking place in Malaysia, SDSN Malaysia has collated local projects and their best practices into a book. The aim is to provide an engaging overview of the various initiatives available to achieve the SDGs.

In 2014, the network published a first edition of Rising to the Challenge, which featured 50 sustainable development initiatives. This year, SDSN Malaysia publishes its second edition in which the best practices are arranged according to the pillars of the country’s current development plan, the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (2016-2020), and the SDGs. These initiatives came from government agencies, academia, private sector, NGOs as well as the community. They are selected based on their impact, scalability, and transferability, as well as their contribution and relevance to the Eleventh Malaysia Plan and the 17 goals. Edited with the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Malaysia), the 2017 edition looks into the mainstreaming, institutionalizing, and scaling-up of these initiatives.

Malaysia’s journey in sustainable development started in the 1970s when the New Economic Policy was introduced to eradicate poverty and address societal imbalances. Subsequent national development plans followed and the current five-year plan is themed ‘Anchoring growth on people’ — formulated with the welfare of the people as the central objective of their development efforts. This reflects the overarching aim of the SDGs, ensuring that “no one is left behind.”

During the 2017 Voluntary National Review of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, Minister Rahman Dahlan reported that Malaysia has taken concrete steps in implementing the SDGs, namely through the formulation of a National SDG Roadmap to guide the implementation and a collaborative mapping exercise to align SDGs with the 11th Malaysia Plan initiatives. The 2nd edition of Rising to the Challenge hopes to contribute to these efforts.