2013 International Eco-Schools Conference Malaysia – Towards Creating Sustainable Legacy
The successful event, which drew about 140 participants from 26 schools, was held from 9-12 December at Mega Crystal Camp, Yayasan Selangor, Kuala Selangor. It was the second consecutive year the conference was held.
The conference was a joint effort by WWF-Malaysia with Yayasan Anak Warisan Alam (YAWA) together with Kuala Selangor District Council, Integrated Agriculture Development Area, Sarawak Natural Resource and Environment Board, Department of Environment, and Selangor Waters Management Authority (SWMA).
Funded by BOH Plantations Sdn Bhd, it provided teachers, students, and researchers with the opportunity to explore the 7-step methodology, a tool used by students to find solutions and take actions on environmental issues faced by their schools.
“The conference was a great practical training ground for the students. It was the first time I witnessed a conference which was led by students. It managed to enhance the students’ softskills in communication, leadership and knowledge-based. In addition, everyone had equal opportunity in terms of voicing opinions and leading certain sessions,” said Puan Nor Azizi Abdullah, a teacher from Sekolah Agama Menengah Tinggi Tengku Ampuan Jemaah, Klang.
The conference also gave participants the opportunity to understand the nine themes, i.e. water, waste, energy, climate change, biodiversity and nature, school grounds, transport/sustainable mobility, healthy living and Local Agenda 21, in a more practical manner and to create opportunities for learning by tapping into multiple intelligences through workshops, excursions and keynote speaker sessions.
The excursions and activities during this second Eco-Schools conference included a trip to the paddy field, firefly observation in Kampung Sungai Panjang, eco-traditional cooking, nasi ambang preparation, demonstration on traditional fishing gears, mangrove tree replanting, photography skills and visit to a sanitary landfill.
“I learned a lot from the sessions. I enjoyed the skill-based workshop, especially the tree climbing and the trip to the paddy field. It was my first experience seeing and touching a paddy plant,” said Pirakash A/L Rasan from Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Ringlet.
One of the major emphasis of the Eco-Schools programme is the concept of student empowerment, where students are the agents of change in making daily decisions on environmental conservation efforts in the school.
“We hope the experiential learning and exposure provided will influence the young minds to make environmentally-informed decisions in their daily lives,” said WWF-Malaysia’s Head of Environmental Education, Thiagarajan Nadeson, who is also the National Coordinator for Eco-Schools Malaysia Programme.
During the conference, 10 schools registered under the Eco-Schools Malaysia programme were awarded with Bronze and Silver award for their efforts in embedding sustainability elements in their daily lives. Meanwhile, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Muhibbah from Sandakan was awarded with the Green Flag, making it the first public school in Malaysia and South East Asia to receive this international award.
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About Eco-Schools Programme
At the international level, the programme is run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), a non-governmental and non-profit organization aiming to promote sustainable development through environmental education (including formal school education, training of staff and general awareness-raising). It is an international umbrella organisation with one national member organisation per country representing FEE on the national level and in charge of implementing FEE programmes nationally. It has 66 member organisations in 58 countries around the world.
In Malaysia, WWF-Malaysia is the national coordinator of the programme, which started in 2010. The first school to register for the Eco-Schools Programme in Malaysia was Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Lanchang in March 2011. Since then, the Programme has grown from strength to strength, and more than 60 schools in Malaysia have now embarked on the Eco-Schools Programme journey. Click here for information on Eco-Schools Programme
For further information:
Fahrol Liza binti Jaafar, Senior Programme Officer, Eco-Schools Malaysia, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: 03-7803 3772 Ext: 6439 Email: email@example.com
Yeoh Lin Lin, Head of Communications, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603-78033772 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org