Sembang@WWF

 

About Sembang@WWF

What is Sembang@WWF?

Storytelling connects us to humanity because it helps us relate and empathize. With the magic of storytelling, we created a platform called ‘Sembang@WWF’ in our youth programme. The session gives an opportunity for students to speak on various environmental issues. It aims to engage and transport the students’ mind to stories on poverty, haze, wildlife poaching, shark finning and many more.


Sembang@WWF is an instrument for us to listen and share ideas on what we can do as individuals to make a change for a better environment. Through this platform, our programme aims to build youth leaders who are fluent in the concepts of climate change and are aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need them to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection.


The idea hinges on one of the steps advocated in the strategies of ESD - informing and involving society in their on-going sustainability initiatives in their respective schools, teacher education campuses, universities and even communities.

Sembang though it alludes to a laidback sentiment in Bahasa Melayu, will be the total opposite of its linguistic meaning in execution. The word was chosen because it embodies the spirit on inclusivity of ESD. It also symbolises aesthetic value and traditional knowledge promotion, which are among the core values of ESD.

The theme for SEMBANG@WWF 2021 is Malaysia’s Food System - Let’s Make It Better. For the seventh edition of Sembang@WWF, we aim to:

  • Encourage‌ ‌discussion‌ ‌&‌ ‌information‌ ‌dissemination‌ ‌between‌ ‌students,‌ ‌youths,‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌public‌ ‌on‌ ‌how‌ ‌we‌ ‌could‌ ‌collectively‌ ‌improve‌ ‌food‌ ‌production,‌ ‌consumption,‌ ‌and‌ ‌food‌ ‌waste‌ ‌as‌ ‌part‌ ‌of‌ ‌Malaysia’s‌ ‌food‌ ‌system.‌ ‌ 

  • Empower and inspire students and youth in educational institutions to participate in conversations and decision-making processes regarding sustainability.

  • Showcase and promote the adoption of sustainable consumption & production practices among individuals and communities, as well as governments and businesses.

 

Sembang@WWF 2021 -

Malaysia’s Food System - What are the issues, impact, and solutions?

Why is the theme this year is

Malaysia’s Food System - What are the issues, impact, and solutions?

What is the food system? It is a complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport, and consumption of food - including food waste. Food provides us the energy we need to stay alive, and we cannot grow food without a healthy ecosystem. In a world with exponential population growth and limited natural resources and space, it is crucial to ensure sustainable governance and economics in a food system. Apart from food production, the degree to which we process and even waste food has an impact on individual and population health, not to mention the natural environment.

In 2020, much of human activities have been brought to a sudden halt as a new pandemic COVID-19 swept through the world. As a result of global lockdown, environmental pollution was drastically reduced following weeks and months of reduced human activities. Across the world, consumers stockpile food, water, facial masks, and even toilet paper. People who were already facing challenges within the food system were now in more distress due to the exacerbation by the pandemic. 

In Malaysia, climate change such as increased frequency of storms, floods, droughts, and other extreme weather events have disrupted the food system. Unsustainable food production due to overfishing and soil erosion have also affected food security. There is a lack of investment in research and development - our farms still operate with poor technology which affects the yields. Agriculture was not seen as an essential service early in the pandemic until people realised that it could mean a severe disruption in food supply.

Our country is dependent on other countries for a number of food supplies. When there's a delay from overseas, or when there is a concern of food shortage, consumers get frantic and start stockpiling which disrupts the system and makes the people most in need unable to afford food. Apart from food production, transport, and supply, food waste also has a huge impact on contributing to climate change and food security if not managed properly. 

 

The current food systems in the world might be producing enough to feed the planet, but we need to make changes swiftly to reverse some of the negative consequences brought on by unsustainable practices especially on human health and food insecurity, pandemics, and economic impacts. Sometimes we forget that food is a part of our natural environment, and how we produce food has a huge impact on the sustainability of the environment. By improving the food system which is vital to human survival in multiple aspects, we can reverse nature loss, water use and pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, while making sure everyone has access to healthy and nutritious food. 

 

So how can we improve the food system? There are three ways we can organise ourselves.

 

First of all, every change starts with an individual making a decision to do something, be it individual action, organisational effort, or good governance. A collective effort of many individuals is one of the most powerful forces in bringing about change. Take climate activist Greta Thunberg for example. At the age of 15 in the year 2018, she decided to make changes to her diet into plant-based for a better environment, requested her whole family to reduce their carbon footprint, and protested alone outside the parliament every Friday. Her lone protest captured the attention of a few individuals, and within just a few months, many more individuals joined her protest and people in other countries followed suit - triggering a global climate strike from millions of individuals from around the world.

 

We can also make a difference through organisational effort - and that includes not-for-profit organisations and businesses alike. Not only adopting green policies and initiatives can give businesses a substantial advantage during the supplier evaluation process, being sustainable also often means more cost-effective and better growth in the long term. Some studies show that "green organizations" experience faster growth than their less eco-conscious counterparts. For instance, a sustainable food supplier can increase its revenue by redirecting the waste into animal feed or biofuel, and the good practices will attract more clients who demand for greener business practices.

 

Lastly, good governance from local, national, to international authorities is key to a sustainable food system. Collaboration across all sectors is needed to achieve global food security, by improving infrastructure, storage, waste reduction, and water quality management. Governments play a crucial role in setting the right framework for synergy as such, and are directly responsible for sustainable policies, regulation, and establishing laws. As the citizens of the nation and the world, it is important to remember that the government’s role is to serve the people, and the people should hold the government accountable for their role.

School / Campus level of Sembang@WWF 2021 is now OPEN!

Interested to get the ball rolling? Organise a school level SEMBANG and invite your students to participate as storytellers. Shortlisted storytellers will be selected to participate in the SEMBANG@WWF event on 17th April 2021 in conjunction with Earth Day, an event organised by WWF-Malaysia (the Organiser).

Given the current situation with the global pandemic, SEMBANG will be a virtual/digital event, as we have adopted since 2020 during lockdown worldwide.
 

Topics for Sembang@WWF 2021 :

Malaysia’s Food System - What are the issues, impact, and solutions?

All stories should be personal and from the heart. You are encouraged to share your thoughts about the topic, your personal experience, and what actions are being taken by you or your school community.

 

If you want to include data and facts in your story, make sure you refer to credible sources, and double-check everything. Innovative ideas and solutions are also welcome, although we are strictly against plagiarising and copy-pasting ideas from the internet. The stories should be something you can relate to, perhaps ideas that have been implemented, or you are following up with related actions and something the audience can easily duplicate at home.
 

Please take note that topics in Category 1 are only open for Primary School students. Category 2 is open for both Primary & Secondary School students while Category 3 is open to Secondary School & Tertiary Institution students. 

Guidelines on organising a (digital) school or campus

level Sembang@WWF 2021 : 

​Important : Only schools & campuses registered under Eco-Schools & FEE EcoCampus Programmes can participate in the school or campus level Sembang@WWF 2021.

 

  1. Organise your own SEMBANG@WWF  at your school, with at least 5 storytellers. Remember, SEMBANG@WWF is a story-telling platform, not an elocution contest. It should be personal and the tone should be casual. Organise a Sembang@WWF 2021 at your school/campus, with a maximum of 7 participants. Remember,  Sembang@WWF 2021 is a story-telling platform, not an elocution contest. (Please take note that place allocation for school/campus level Sembang@WWF 2021 is limited & is based on a first come first serve basis).

  2. The session can be conducted either in English or Bahasa Malaysia. Each participant is given an allocation of 15 minutes for their session. There will be no consequent Q&A from the audience.

  3. Topics will be provided by WWF-Malaysia. The participants have to choose one topic from all the topics provided based on their categories.

  4. Participants could prepare for their session by looking into, but not limited to, the areas stated below.

    • What is the issue and why is it happening​

    • Why do you care about this issue and how is it connected to your personal experience

    • What am I doing to solve the problem?

    • How can we do something to help

    • Always end their sessions on a positive note. 

  5. Participants can choose from the topics provided by WWF. However, if you would like to propose your own topic, please check with us beforehand.

  6. Shortlisted speaker(s) will represent his/her school/campus as well as Eco-Schools/FEE EcoCampus  Programme Malaysia to speak to the public (virtually) on the finale scheduled on 17th April 2021.

  7. WWF-Malaysia will assist to prepare the shortlisted speaker(s) in improving his/her script and presentation style for the digital event.

Important dates!​

To make your planning better, please observe the timeline below : 

This is interesting!

 

​I want to sign-up my school/campus for 

Sembang@WWF 2021.

We have reached maximum quota!

​Important : Only schools & campuses registered under Eco-Schools & FEE EcoCampus Programmes can participate in the school or campus level Sembang@WWF 2021.

 

Check out what went down during

Sembang@WWF 2020 !

sembangwwf 2020.png

Sembang@WWF 2020 - New Deal for People and Nature:
Mobilising Youth for 2030

It has been an exceptionally challenging time for the past couple of months. Many plans had to be changed, and the new normal had to be adapted. As the Movement Control Order was still in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, we converted the Sembang@WWF 2020 - a storytelling platform into our first virtual session.

​This year, we held the event to celebrate World Environment Day. The platform allows youth leaders to speak on various environmental issues as we engage those who are passionate and fluent in the concepts of climate change and empower them to influence others. Speakers would usually speak on a stage in public, but this year they presented from the comfort of their home.

 

Riding on the wave of New Deal for People and Nature, we gathered seven storytellers and three expert speakers to speak on climate change and the impact of our consumption pattern on the environment. They also spoke passionately about the role of communities in environmental protection and how to mobilise youth to be at the forefront of a conservation agenda.

 

About 170 participants dialled in, and we were pleased to receive such support during this crisis. We hope with the knowledge gained, our young leaders will emerge stronger to tackle global challenges, from COVID-19 to the global climate crisis. To learn more about this initiative and our environmental education work, visit wwfmy-esd.com
 

 

Our Past

Sembang@WWF

Contact Us

Jessie Chew

Project Manager | Sembang@WWF 2021 

WWF-Malaysia

Tel: +603 7450 3773 Ext. 6317

Email: jchew@wwf.org.my

Please send your queries here & I will get in touch with you the soonest.

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