Department of Environment has organized the Environmental Debate for Higher Learning Institutions for the first time in 1985. Since 1991, the Environmental Debate for Higher Learning Institution had been organized annually by DOE in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysian Universities Debate Council (MADUM) and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. The objective of the programme are :
- To enhance the knowledge and understanding of the students towards environmental issues and policies at national and international level.
- To promote cooperation through networking, exchanges of idea and sharing of experiences among institutions of higher learning both public and private.
- To encourage and provide opportunity to the university students in delivering ideas, opinions, criticism towards the environmental issues and ways to overcome it;
- As one way to build confidence, personality and leadership qualities of the students.
The Inter-Varsity Environmental Debate was conducted in a parliamentary manner. The bracket power match system was adopted in the preliminary rounds to determine whether a team is in the preposition or opposition side. The ranking of each team was based on several criteria such as winner/loser, jury, margin and overall score.
All teams took part in the preliminary six (6) rounds. The eight (8) highest ranking teams were then selected to compete in the Quarter-Finals, out of which four (4) qualified for the Semi-Finals and eventually two(2) teams entered the Finals.