Environmental problems and their management, particularly when related to urban ecosystems, are becoming increasingly challenging. The end-of-pipe method which has been practiced in the past, and is manifested in our laws and regulations, has gradually changed towards a more pro-active approach. Industries now recognize that environmental management and pollution control are no longer liabilities, but rather opportunities to increase their competitiveness. The general public is increasingly aware of the fact that they have to pay more for management of the environment that is based on the end-of-pipe approach. International agencies and industries world-wide are responding positively with a new paradigm shift towards proactive environmental management through voluntary initiatives. The most challenging task in Malaysia however, is to convince the small and medium scale enterprises to shift from the old to the new management system. While local government agencies remain the key players in the management of urban ecosystems, they still lack human resources and the capacity to handle new challenges. This paper discusses new initiatives towards achieving sustainable urban ecosystem management. It highlights the tools and approaches that are being used as alternatives to the existing end-of-pipe approaches. These tools include, eco-management, wastes minimization, ISO 14000 standardization, design for environment, eco-labeling, life cycle assessment and industrial ecology.

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