Malaysia Innovation Facts
Global Innovation Index ranking: 36th
Climate targets: 45 per cent emissions intensity reduction by 2030 compared to 2005 levels
Deforestation – Malaysia has seen a 29 per cent decrease in tree cover since 2000 – equivalent to 8.82 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions. Direct causes of this deforestation include industrial logging, commercial oil palm plantations, and mining and extraction. Deforestation causes local climate disruption, flooding, soil erosion, and soil and water contamination in addition to contributing to the global issue of climate change.
Biodiversity loss – Related to the issue of deforestation is the issue of biodiversity loss. Malaysia is one of the most bio-diverse countries in Asia, and Malaysian Borneo is a particularly ecologically significant region. However, Malaysian species such as the Malayan tiger, Malayan tapir, and Bornean Orangutan are critically endangered.
Water pollution – Malaysia is affected both by high demand for water, and by water pollution. Contamination from sewage treatment plants, agro-industry, manufacturing, commercial and residential premises, and pig farms is negatively impacting water quality and causing major concern.
Source: Startup Genome
Three Exciting New Innovations From Malaysia
Modern day slavery still takes place in many forms, including among domestic workers. In Malaysia, many maids come from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Cambodia. Many of these women are vulnerable to slave-like work and living conditions, and lack the agency to report any abuses against them. Now, a platform works to directly connect women seeking domestic work, with prospective employers within a transparent and ethical job-search and recruitment process. Read more.
The artisan sector is the developing world’s second largest employer. And women make up the majority of the artisans worldwide, as well as 60-70 per cent of those living in poverty. Social enterprise Earth Heir helps individuals and groups of artisans design a product to sell. The company then provides additional support in the form of education and training for sustainable business longevity. Read more.
According to a United Nations forecast, we are on track to produce 74 million metric tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) by 2030. And in 2019, each person on earth generated around 7.3 kilogrammes of e-waste – with only 1.7 kilogrammes recycled per person. Malaysian startup ERTH has developed an e-waste recycling service that works by employing a network of freelance drivers. When a customer has e-waste that they wish to recycle, the system matches them with the nearest driver – just as ride-hailing apps match users to a taxi driver. The customer then receives a cash reward for their recycling. Read more.
Words: Matthew Hempstead
11th March 2022