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-2017-

Planting Seeds of Sustainability in Future Leaders

2nd August 2017

WWF-Malaysia Dedicated Earth Day to Youths - the Voice of Tomorrow

22nd April 2017

Feature article: It All Starts in the Classroom 
~Stories of the Eco-Champions~

30th June 2017

It All Starts in the Classroom

31st March 2017

 

Planting Seeds of Sustainability in Future Leaders

 ~Youth conference - empower change towards a more sustainable lifestyle~

Food opens doors to cultures and traditions. So much so that people are willing to travel the world to find authentic or bizarre food that gives them the history that goes far beyond the delicious meal presented on a plate. Not only that, food is nostalgic and provides an important link to our cultural heritage.

Though it’s celebrated and valued, there is a growing concern on how we are taking food for granted. Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry documented that Malaysians waste 15,000 tonnes of food daily, including 3,000 tonnes of edible food that could provide three complete meals a day for over 2.3 million people.

Producing, distributing, storing or cooking food uses energy, fuel and water. Each of these processes emits greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Then we go on to waste an alarming 30% of the food we buy and what ends up in landfill create further greenhouse gases.

Fuelled by this concern, WWF-Malaysia’s EcoCampus team organised the second edition of the youth conference – Building Bridges for Sustainable Consumption and Production (BB4SCP) at Mall of Medini, Johor Bahru from 2 to 5 Aug 2017.

The field visit is one of the most important components in the conference where the delegates gained a more holistic understanding of the information shared during the discussions and presentations. The trip helped bridge the gap between learning and hands-on experience.

The conference also drew the delegates’ attention to the fashion industry which is the second biggest polluter of freshwater resources on the planet. A quarter of the chemicals produced in the world are used in textiles. Our high demand for fast fashion is making it worse as it puts pressure to fashion producers to create clothing as fast and as cheap as possible. Now clothes have become dispensable and disposable, which encourages rapid consumerism and waste.

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For more information, please contact:
Farisha Zainol
Senior Communications Officer of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Programme, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603-7450 3773
Email: nabidin@wwf.org.my

 

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Feature article: It All Starts in the Classroom 
~Stories of the Eco-Champions~

The pursuit for the development of environmental responsibility and leadership in students begins in the classroom. In a strong class setting, students learn how to recognize, address and adopt the kinds of change that can positively affect their lives, communities and the rest of the world.
 
The Eco-Schools Programme stands as a strong embodiment which carries the power of classroom beyond its doors. It challenges students to engage in tackling environmental problems at their school level where they can see tangible results, spurring them on to realise that they really can make a difference.
 
In the classroom, teachers act as facilitators to direct their students’ energy towards learning the importance of embracing greener practices. Teacher Shamsul Mutaza from Sekolah Sri Bestari Kuala Lumpur encourages his students to be involved in decision making, especially on environmental management policies of their school so the students feel valued.

Under teacher Elizabeth Lok Fei Ling’s leadership, her school Sek Keb Lok Yuk Inanam, Sabah received the Green Flag Award last year for their amazing environmental initiatives. Teacher Dr S Santharasekaran from Sek Keb Behrang, Perak loves the ESP as it combines learning with hands-on experience. 

We need more teachers to be Eco-Champions to lead and encourage their students to be active and take up more advanced environmental projects.

 

WWF-Malaysia Dedicated Earth Day to Youths - the Voice of Tomorrow

~Youths learned about the latest climate science and actions they can take in their community~

Kuala Lumpur: In honor of this year’s Earth Day theme of environmental and climate literacy, WWF-Malaysia dedicated the celebration to youths. Hundreds of them came from all across Malaysia to witness their fellow friends taking the stage to speak on environmental sustainability in a session called ‘Sembang@WWF’.


Sembang@WWF is a platform for youths to speak and share their ideas on environmental issues and activities to a larger audience through storytelling. Six young conservation heroes spoke passionately on various topics from poverty, illegal wildlife trade, sun bear conservation, to mobile application that promotes sustainable actions and projects through picture and video sharing.

“I’m honored to be given the opportunity to speak on poverty – a pressing issue of our time today. I hope to build awareness on this subject and work with my friends to tackle this global issue," said one of the speakers Thevyaa a/p Manivasagan.

“Climate change is one of world’s most complex problems. People must be appropriately educated and prepared to effectively respond to this challenge. Through Sembang@WWF, we aim to build youth leaders who are fluent in the concepts of climate change and 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,” said Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma, Executive Director / CEO of WWF-Malaysia.

He added “Youths are the voices of tomorrow, they will be our future teachers, policy makers, voters, and will play many other important roles. The exposure should begin from now, so they will be able to make informed decisions and be willing to change their mindset and behaviours for a more sustainable future.”

The half day event at Wisma Kebudayaan Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) also saw a new partnership materialized. Recognizing that faith leaders have been a driving force behind some of the most important and successful environmental movements, WWF-Malaysia partnered with SGM to launch an animation series called When We’re Friends (WWF) with Nature.

Inspired by the teachings of Buddhism, the faith based animation series carries the message of, ‘It starts with one’ and uses the ‘Learn, Reflect, Empower’ approach which is aligned to WWF-Malaysia’s Education for Sustainable Development’s objective. The animation series was graciously launched by Tan Sri Dato Prof Dzulkifli Razak, President of the International Association of Universities and Chairperson of USIM.

“We are pleased to strategically partner with SGM and spread the knowledge on how religion promotes caring for the earth. As everyone is accountable and responsible for the environment, WWF with Nature adopts an innovative approach to educate the younger generation who are future steward of the planet. We hope this initiative will empower them to view environmental conservation from a wider perspective and become a valuable part of the community,” said Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma.

“Soka Gakkai Malaysia is delighted with this collaboration with WWF-Malaysia to inspire more people especially the youth to take on greater efforts in the promotion of sustainable development. President of Soka Gakkai International, Daisaku Ikeda, once mentioned in the 2017 Peace Proposal that young people and their energetic engagement represent the solution to the global challenges we face. Seeing youth as the key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations toward 2030, he emphasizes that globally shared action is essential in promoting these goals,” said Mr Michael Kok, President of SGM.

Last year, an Islamic based animation series was launched by WWF-Malaysia. It marked the beginning of creating animations that are inspired from the teachings and values of the world’s major religions. The concept is ideal to reach out to the younger generation as they are more tech-savvy and are growing up in a digitally-linked world. Not only does animation make education more enjoyable, it also allows intangible phenomena such as soil erosion or food waste to be explained far more clearly with an appealing animated concept.

This initiative also contributes to the shortage of resource materials that connect religion and the environment, and provides opportunities for the younger generation to become more self-motivated and well-equipped in environmental matters. They are expected to address the environment issues based on their understanding from the religious viewpoint.

Both Sembang@WWF and the faith based animation series initiative were spearheaded by the Eco-Institutes programme in WWF-Malaysia, which aims to inspire the Teacher Education Institutes, Ministry of Education through creative curriculum implementation and pedagogical training of future teachers on sustainability. We hope teacher trainees are empowered by connecting their knowledge and skills to take action on and find solutions to environmental issues within their respective campus areas.

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For more information, please contact:

Farisha Zainol
Senior Communications Officer of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Programme, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603-7450 3773
Email: nabidin@wwf.org.my

Johleen Koh
Manager of Eco-Institutes Programme, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603-7450 3773
Email: jkoh@wwf.org.my

Joanne Foo and Katherine Chui
Soka Gakkai Malaysia Public Relations Department
Tel: +603-9075 6876
Email: sgmpro@sgm.org.my           
Website: www.sgm.org.my
Facebook: SokaGakkaiMalaysia

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It All Starts in the Classroom

~Stories of the Eco-Champions~

“I’ve learnt that a lot of things that I threw in the garbage before, they were either recyclable items or waste that could be composted,” answered Matyn, a student from a Green Flag Eco-School when asked what he has learnt through the Eco-Schools Programme (ESP).


The pursuit to develop environmental responsibility and leadership in students begins in the classroom. In a strong class setting, students learn how to recognize, address and adopt the kinds of change that can positively affect their lives, communities and the rest of the world.

The ESP stands as a strong embodiment which carries the power of classroom beyond its doors. It challenges students to engage in tackling environmental problems at their school level where they can see tangible results, spurring them on to realise that they really can make a difference.

As a student’s mind grows with new ideas to undertake more challenges; teachers, as the leaders / facilitators of the classroom, can direct the energy of their classes towards accomplishing any number of tasks, from solving complex math to learning the importance of embracing greener practices.

“My interest on the ESP began in 2012 when I attended a camp. I brought the idea back to my school and how time flies; it has been 5 years since we adopted the initiative,” explained teacher Shamsul Mutaza, the Eco-Schools Program Coordinator of Sekolah Sri Bestari (SSB) Kuala Lumpur.

“I encourage students to be involved in decision making because when they experience a sense of achievement at being able to have a say in the environmental management policies of our schools, they feel valued,” he explained further.

Under teacher Shamsul’s leadership, SSB has been awarded the Green Flag award for many of its green practices. The school is Styrofoam-free since 2015, it maintains an e-portal to reduce their paper usage, and uses Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper for printing, and many more initiatives driven by the school’s Eco team.

Teacher Elizabeth Lok Fei Ling, the headmistress of Sek Keb Lok Yuk Inanam, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah has always been a frontier in environmental awareness. Unhappy with the state of the school when she first joined, she launched an environment club called Kelab Program Rakan Bumi.

“We took small steps when we began. I made sure the club held an environmental activity every month from waste management tutorial, compost making, terrarium and hydroponic planting and many more. I heard of ESP in 2012 and saw an opportunity for the school to embark on a meaningful path towards improving its environmental footprint,” she shared. “We signed up in 2013 and I’m happy and proud that our school received the Green Flag award last year.”

Elizabeth’s school has implemented many green initiatives such as rainwater harvesting for washing and watering purposes, flower pots made from used plastic bottles for hydroponic planting, river clean-up activity at a nearby village and the list continues.

WWF-Malaysia is the National Operator of the Eco-Schools programme in Malaysia. For many years, the organisation has been an advocator to educate students and the public on sustainability and environmental conservation.

Dr S Santharasekaran from Sek Keb Behrang 2020 Tanjung Malim, Perak learned about the ESP from WWF-Malaysia. He was attracted to how the programme combines learning with hands-on experience. It encourages an all-inclusive, participatory approach involving students, teachers and the local community at large.

“I believe we should do less talking but focus more on practical training. I love taking my students to field trips where they will experience a more holistic, integrated picture of the information that, in the classroom, can only been presented in a textual and abstract way,” explained teacher Santharasekaran excitedly. “Through the Eco-Schools programme, our school bagged the Silver medal twice and another award, the Sekolah Paling Aktif Alam Sekitar,” he added.

Despite their busy teaching schedules, these eco-champions are dedicated to spend their precious hours to facilitate and lead students to be involved in the environmental activities.

“Today’s children seem a little bit disconnected with nature. They are glued to gadgets, some live in the concrete jungle. They know very little of our relationship with the health of the ecosystem,” teacher Shamsul explained the need of environmental education.

Teacher Elizabeth added “I can see positive change in teachers, students and the local community’s attitude since we adapted the ESP. Even the school canteen has refrained from using Styrofoam and plastic bags now. Kota Kinabalu City Council has named us Litter Free School for four times,” she mentioned joyfully.

Despite the lack of funding, these schools worked their way through forging corporate partnerships to help support their schools’ environmental projects. Recently, Sek Sri Bestari worked with Royal Bank of Canada to launch its Water Saving Project; Sek Lok Yuk Inamam received funding from IKEA for its waste management activities which ended last year; and Sek Keb Behrang partnered with universities and other agencies to advance its environmental activities.

“The Eco-Schools Programme is a fun and educational programme providing structure and flexibility through its Methodology and Eco-Themes. The whole-school approach empowers students and teachers to convert their knowledge in combination with appropriate skills and attitude to actions on the ground as agents of change. The programme instills a sense of responsibility and cultivates a sustainable mindset which they can apply on a daily basis,” shared Ms Jessie Chew, the Education Manager of ESP WWF-Malaysia.

“We need more teachers to be Eco-Champions to lead and encourage their students to be active and take up more advanced environmental projects. It benefits not just the students and teachers, but the surrounding communities too, as shown by our Eco-Schools champions. Teachers play an important role to inspire and connect the students with nature and lead their communities towards a sustainable future,” Jessie voiced her hopes on the programme.

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About Eco-Schools Programme

Eco-Schools Programme is the largest sustainable schools programme in the world, participated by more than 11 million students from over 60 countries. WWF-Malaysia has been the National Operator for this programme since 2011. We have more than 170 schools registered with us and 8 Internationally-recognised Green Flag awards have been given out so far. More than 30 silver and bronze awards have also been given to schools that have demonstrated active efforts in sustainability.

Eco-Schools in Malaysia which have been awarded Green Flag:
International School of Kuala Lumpur
SMK Muhibbah
Sekolah Sri Bestari
SM St Michael
SRK Lok Yuk Inanam
Sri KDU International School

For more information, please contact:
Farisha Zainol
Sr Communications Officer of Education for Sustainable Development Programme, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: 03-7450 3773
Email: nabidin@wwf.org.my
 
Chew Pei Jing (Jessie)
Education Manager, Eco-Schools Programme, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: 03-7450 3773
Email: jchew@wwf.org.my

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