The Team

180524 EK Org chart

 

Yasmin Rasyid
Yasmin Rasyid
President

Yasmin Rasyid

CONTACT INFO
yasmin.rasyid@ecoknights.org.my


Biologist by profession, environmentalist by passion, Yasmin has 20 years of experience and knowledge in environmental management, community development, and social responsibility in Malaysia. She is also involved in community mobilisation and research-based programs on issues related to sustainability. Yasmin has experiences in organisational and personal development and serves as a mentor for various national programs on entrepreneurship, leadership, sustainability, youth empowerment, women empowerment, and environmental research and human health. Yasmin also provides consultation for business transformation towards sustainability. As a national influencer, Yasmin's credentials can be easily found online including press coverages and releases. In her spare time, Yasmin indulges in creative projects and activities. She also volunteers regularly for local environmental and social NGOs.

She founded EcoKnights in 2005 with the aim of assisting communities in the areas of sustainable development. She has a B.Sc. in Biology (Marine) and a minor in Contemporary Religion from Duke University, and also a M.Sc. in Biotechnology from University Malaya. Yasmin has worked in the non-profit sector for 20 years having served as a Scientific Officer and subsequently a Communication Officer in WWF-Malaysia between 1997 and 2002, and now leading EcoKnights as its president. She also served as the chairperson of a national coalition, MENGO, for four years from 2012-2017. She was also the head of research and development for Profound Vaccine Sdn Bhd spearheading research and product development for animal vaccines. Yasmin has also been serving as the Chairperson of the Malaysian Duke Alumni Association since 1998.

Fabs
Fadly Bakhtiar
Programme
Director

Fadly Bakhtiar

CONTACT INFO
fadly@ecoknights.org.my


Fadly Bakhtiar was exposed to the efforts of EcoKnights as a volunteer in KLEFF back in 2008. After 10 years of experience, he is currently the Programme Director of EcoKnights and also serves as the Festival Director of Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF). Responsible in overseeing the coordination and administration of programmes in the organisation, Fadly is EcoKnights’ big leading man.

The KL-born programme director has vast knowledge and skills in NGO program management and has led many significant efforts for EcoKnights. His positive thinking and leadership skills have brought EcoKnights many great success, locally and internationally.

With the guidance and support from the founder of EcoKnights, Yasmin Rasyid, Fadly has successfully driven flagship environmental programs and efforts such as Anugerah HIjau (Green Awards), the Knights of Nature SUstainabilty Camp and other community-based efforts with the Seletar indigenous communities in Johor. As the programme director, he is also responsible for EcoKnights’ recruitment and training programs. Since 2012, Fadly has trained and nurtured more than 30 young interns who aspire to contribute to the mainstreaming of sustainability in Malaysia.

Fadly is an adventurer, a risk-taker and a creator. He lives his life on the edge and sees challenges as opportunities. One of his strength is his public speaking experiences and this is evident in his vast engagement as a speaker in talks, and also his multiple appearances in the media. As an alumnus of the prestigious Kuala Selangor Science School (KUSESS), Fadly is the Vice Chairperson of the KUSESS Alumni (KUASA). He is active in sport and currently is the President of the alumni basketball team, KUSESS Cannons.

Fadly has a deep passion in music (he is an electronic music DJ), fashion (he is an avid sneaker collector) and art to inspire. When he is not busy working, he always finds time for new adventures, such as spending time traveling with his wife and daughter. He lives by this quote given by Lucille Ball who said, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.”


  1. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS ECOKNIGHTS’ ROLE IN MALAYSIA’S ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT?
    The role of an environmental organisation like EcoKnights is to become the mediator and enabler between various sectors, namely the government, corporates and the public, to assist in mobilising Malaysia’s environmental agenda. EcoKnights started to do so back in 2005 by focusing on offering environmental education to young kids, aged three to seven years old. Over 12 years, we have grown to create a movement with focus on sustainable living amongst Malaysians. Now, our role is to create and innovate to become the forefront of the environmental movement in Malaysia, and to communicate with the public to highlight the importance of environmental awareness and action through innovation and public-friendly approach.

  2. ONE OF THE BIG WORRIES OF ALL NGOS IS HOW TO SECURE FUNDING, AN AREA WHERE ECOKNIGHTS HAS BEEN OBSERVED TO BE SUCCESSFUL. WHAT IS THE KEY TO THAT SUCCESS?
    Attracting sufficient funding has always been one of the biggest challenges for any NGO. EcoKnights also faces these challenges, and we had our ‘downs’, too. The truth is, asking for and getting funds from external parties is then not as simple as taking the money and spending it, it is much more than that. The key to financial sustainability requires us to manage the funds effectively, to have positive relationship with our clients and supporters, to achieve sufficient media engagement and coverage, and more importantly the monitoring and evaluation of our efforts to measure the impact a project has on the society and environment. At the end of the day, donors and funders want to see their money being spent wisely and making an impact, which we aim to ensure.

  3. ECOKNIGHTS HAS ALWAYS PLACED HIGH PRIORITY ON COMMUNICATIONS AND HAS MANAGED TO WIDELY COMMUNICATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS. HOW HAVE YOU DONE THIS?
    As a not-for-profit organisation, we are limited as far as (financial) resources are concerned. However, this does not limit us to be creative and innovate in the way we do things, and we believe that even little things matter. We have a very small creatives and communications team, consisting of two of our officers. Yet, everyone else in other departments helps as much as they can to ensure the suggested ideas are powerful. Communicating our work, results and achievements is integral to building credential and confidence amongst our clients and the public, and at the same time it creates a sense of belonging and purpose for our team. I always tell my team to be proud and humble of our achievements, big or small, because if we don’t appreciate ourselves, then no one else will!

  4. HOW IMPORTANT HAS WORKING WITH THE MEDIA BEEN FOR YOU?
    Media plays a very important role to help us reach out to different audiences, and to communicate our efforts to the mass. Many organisations have organised and conducted a lot of initiatives, but still struggle in terms of reaching out to media. Nowadays, there are so many media channels and a lot of content out there, and we need to keep ourselves updated with relevant and informative content.

    With the support of the media during the past years, we managed to reach out to a larger audience, introduce our initiatives to them, and strengthen EcoKnights’ branding as a progressive organisation. Strategic media engagement exercise is also beneficial to our stakeholders as it shows that our programs have value. In a nutshell, a good relationship with the media is very powerful and often a key factor of success.

  5. ECOKNIGHTS COULD BE CONSIDERED A MODERATE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP. HOW HAS THIS HELPED YOU ACHIEVE WHAT YOU HAVE?
    Any organisation should have a solid stance and broad spectrum of approaches to suit different situations. At EcoKnights, we believe that there needs to be a balance in our approach, depending on various factors such as the audience, demographics, the issues we aim to address, as well as their urgency and importance. By doing so, we can create a conducive and safe environment for any issue to be solved with manners, intelligence and harmony. After all, we are all fighting the same cause. Moderation is the key.

  6. THE ORGANIZATION HAS GROWN IN IS REACH, AND ALSO IN ITS SIZE. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE QUALITIES OF AN ECOKNIGHTS EMPLOYEE, INTERN OR VOLUNTEER THAT YOU CONSISTENTLY LOOK FOR?
    I started working at EcoKnights a good 10 years ago, as a volunteer, and with almost zero knowledge about the environment apart from what I learned in school. Fast forward to now, I have seen people come in and out of the organisation and I have personally worked with every single one of them. I am also the interviewer for any job application, whereby I always focus on three things:

    A, B, C – Attitude, Behaviour, Culture.

    In my opinion, these are three most important elements which determine whether the candidate has what it takes to work in our team; it is called “Growth Mindset”. Many organisations focus on “D, E, F” (Diploma/Degree, Experience, Financial requirement), but I think these factors are not as important as A, B, C.

  7. IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU CAN CHANGE ABOUT THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION IN MALAYSIA, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
    I watch and study a lot of lectures on the internet. In one of Bill Gates’ lecture at a TED event, I learned that our world is facing a situation where the amount of carbon emission from human activities are increasing at a scary rate, which increase the Earth’s temperature (“global warming”), and causes a lot of serious problems. It made me realise that the survival of our Earth depends on whether we will be able to ensure its balance. We have figured out many ways to reduce carbon emissions such as using renewable energy, lowering our carbon footprint, engaging in solid waste management, enlarging forest areas, and so on. What we need now is to really understand the impact we as individuals have, and act fast to slow this impact down. Hopefully, we can thereby reverse the effect. Imagine how much lower our impact on the environment would be, if all of factories in this world would use renewable energy for instance.

  8. WHAT ROLE DO YOU FEEL THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR HAVE TO PLAY, BOTH SEPARATELY AND IN CONJUNCTION WITH EACH OTHER?
    The government’s role as policymaker is mainly setting the direction of our national agenda for everyone to march towards, and achieve our nation’s goals together. As for the private sectors, they are the main drivers of the economy as their businesses contribute to the economic development of our country, which is why they should be following the government’s policies and targets. This means that both have different roles, and at the same time have to work together to achieve a realistic target.

    In order to achieve national or GDP growth, many firms sacrifice the wellbeing of our environment. However, our environment is at stake if we do not take global warming and similar issues serious when planning and developing our nation. Our relationship with the planet needs to be balanced appropriately so that we don’t destroy it. As of today, we are already in a lot of trouble, which is why the government and private sector, but also every single individual should increase their efforts to protect the environment.

  9. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO?
    I am currently reading a few graphic novels, switching from one another after every chapter, just like how you would watch a TV series once a week:

    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore
    Maus by Art Spiegelman
    Game of Thrones by George R.R Martin
    Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

    As for music, I usually have a very broad spectrum of genres in my playlists (hip hop, R&B, classical, rock, indie, electronic). I recently bought the latest Ferry Corsten (one of my all-time favourite trance DJs) album called “Blueprint”, and just finished listening to it like five minutes ago. It is a MASTERPIECE. Listening to it for an uninterrupted 90 minutes is like watching an epic science fiction film, it is brilliant.

  10. WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE BOOK/AUTHOR? AND WHY?
    My all-time favourite book is actually a graphic novel series called “The Sandman” by Neil Gaiman. It was published between 1989 and 1996, and there were a few more follow ups from 2000s till now. This series remains one of the best comic books of our generation!

    I was introduced to it somewhere in 2011 and have collected all editions since then, reading them again and again. To me, “The Sandman” is an outstanding reading material, with mesmerising visuals, intelligent stories across time and space, and philosophical elements. It is the type of book that makes you think, and you learn something at the same time. Essentially, Neil Gaiman is currently my favourite author.

  11. IF YOU HAD A MAGIC WAND THAT CAN HELP MAKE THE ENVIRONMENTAL BETTER TODAY FOR A BETTER FUTURE, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO DO WITH THIS MAGIC WAND?
    We have reached 400ppm and our temperature has increased by almost 1 degree Celsius in the last century. We have built so many things, and now sadly face the result that there is too much waste on Earth. So I wish that my wand will do two things: make the world go carbon-free (zero emission) and make everything biodegradable. We would probably go back to colder temperatures then!

Moks
Mok Yi Ying
Outreach
Officer

Mok Yi Ying

CONTACT INFO
mokyy@ecoknights.org.my


A graduate from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu with a B.Sc degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Management, Mok Yi Ying is EcoKnights’ trusted Outreach Officer. Responsible for EcoKnights’ public engagement and social responsibility program, Mok’s love for nature and the environment stems from her altruistic personality. In 2016, she became the Research Assistant for the Sea Turtle Research Unit (SEATRU) which widened her experience and knowledge in sea turtle conservation.

As EcoKnights’ Outreach Officer, Mok is actively involved in community engagement and raising public awareness on pressing environmental issues, both locally and internationally. She has managed, coordinated and executed numerous initiatives to serve as a platform for ecological awareness and environmental education for the public from all walks of life.

Mok’s contribution to EcoKnights is immense: she has assisted in coordinating the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF) for 3 years, organise Knights of Nature Sustainability Camp for 4 years, facilitate numerous engagement talks and workshops as well as create diverse learning opportunities for the public in sustainability-related topics.

Growing up with full support from her family and friends, Mok decides to give back to Mother Nature by being actively involved in many environmental-themed programs in order for her to explore, learn and subsequently empower the others. Mok has also volunteered for several organisations in environment-oriented and humanitarian-based programs.

Always being passionate about the wildlife and environment, Mok joined ClimatEducate in 2016 and is working her way to reach out to as many people as she can to create self-awareness as well as educate and inspire them on sustainable living, wildlife conservation and climate change. She believes that through youth participation and empowerment, all we need to do is JUST KEEP GOING!


  1. WHAT TRIGGERED YOU TO WORK IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL NGO SECTOR?
    When I was young, I was always the kid in my neighbourhood that would stop in front of a gigantic tree and stare tirelessly until my parents would come along and drag me off, or simply enjoy the company of the greenery around me. Moreover, whenever I had free time I would be captivated by the big TV screen, switching channels between Animal Planet and National Geography. Afterwards, I felt the urge to do something, e.g. whenever I saw giant tree stumps lying around after having been cut off. Once I noticed that trees with complex branches are reshaped into natural canopies, now leaving behind everything which is brighter and emptier with sad tree stumps, I knew: I HAD TO TAKE ACTION.

  2. ARE THERE ANY PROBLEMS FACING YOUR FIELD OF EXPERTISE FROM AN ENVIRONMENTAL/SUSTAINABILITY PERSPECTIVE?
    Probably being the only eco-conscious person among my peers has nurtured the thought of becoming an environmentalist. With a background of biodiversity conservation and management, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to explore and learn more about our environment. However, graduating from such a degree has often triggered typical stereotypes as “This is not a real profession! How do you want to make a living?” on the one hand, or “We need more of people like you to save the nature!” on the other. It somehow frustrates me a little that some people think that helping the environment is someone else’s responsibility, not knowing that everyone eventually influences upon the current state of our environment.

    Being judged based on size, gender, age, and whatsoever is another challenge. I may me small in size, but I believe that my actions and mindset speak louder. I am ready to make the world a better place, step by step – no matter how small some of these steps may seem.

  3. HOW WERE YOU INSPIRED TO BE AN ENVIRONMENTALIST?
    There have always been hints and certain people in my life that gave me the chance to explore and understand more about the environment. Guess what, they all lead to the path I am currently travelling on. I cannot recall the exact moment or person that inspired me to become an environmentalist; instead, I was driven by the beauty of the natural scenery. Getting myself to be in the wild untamed nature, listening to the colours of the wind, and bask in the atmosphere of astonishing nature’s canvas is what kept - and still keeps - me going. I keep reminding myself that I will not let such pristine and beauty perished for the sake of uncontrolled development, and that I need to work together with others to help safeguard our Mother Earth. So here I am. Some days, when everything becomes a bit too much, I will recharge my battery by sneaking into any inhabited area and stare into the blank until the confusion is gone, and I am back on track and ready to fight again.

  4. ACCORDING TO YOU WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CAUSES FOR THE POLLUTION IN OUR CITY?
    We lack a common environmental platform to educate and engage every citizen into green practices. Knowledge and solution to certain problems are always readily available via internet, however many are uncertain of the efficiency, the worthy of installation of such green technology (for bigger corporations, factories etc.), down to individual action of reducing waste, responsible consumption, which is always at doubt. We all have to start to act. I believe that everything is connected indirectly, and one-sided effort would not achieve any cascading effect, unless it is supported by local citizen and government authorities. Persuading everyone to be on the same line takes time, and it is an on-going process that will need more patience and a little bit of die-hard spirit.

  5. AS AN ENVIRONMENTALIST WHICH AREA YOU ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT?
    At the moment, I am mainly concerned with the amount of wildlife endangered and gone extinct; having to give way to human’s well-being development. I’m concerned about socio-ecological balance. I believe that the balance can be achieved in equilibrium, however, due to the fact that we value penny and dimes more than our environment really breaks my heart. We have yet to be able to quantify and educate the importance of these ecosystem services that had been keeping human race alive since centuries ago, thus no sense of belonging and no action taken to conserve our environment.

  6. HOW YOUR FAMILY REACTS UPON YOUR PASSION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
    Born into a typical all-Chinese family, I was very fortunate to have my family members’ open mind and unconditional love that support me in every decision. Rather than predetermining the path I should take, my family sculptured my character to be outgoing and enthusiastic, and always emphasizes that I have to keep believing in what I do. My family has been very understanding in many senses upon my choice of life path, and had supported me in many ways, for such giving their very best to reduce waste and recycle as much as they can back home and at their workplace. Besides, my parents always taught me that you don’t need to live to be big, but be bold and functional. As a child to my parent, a member of the society, a living on Earth, I’d always wanted to be able to bring the equilibrium to both human and environment, and I’m glad and excited to be on this journey to build a sustainable nation, together with like-minded individuals.

  7. AS AN OFFICER WORKING WITH ECOKNIGHTS, CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF YOUR GREEN PRACTICES AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR OTHERS DO TO THE SAME?
    To be very honest, I still have a long way to go. The least I can do on a daily level is reducing my plastic consumption like plastic bags for shopping and even plastic straws, bringing your own Tupperware while eating out, and recycling as much as I can! I will be trying out ways to commute to work by public transport, hopefully when the new MRT line starts functioning soon in July. However, at the moment, I rely on driving a car which has contributed to so much pollution in the long run (aiks!). There’s always alternative to the current trend which requires so many resources, and pollutes our environment. I believe that given the opportunity, everybody can and will be able to reduce their carbon footprint by adopting a greener lifestyle.

  8. IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU CAN CHANGE ABOUT THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION IN MALAYSIA, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
    On the wild and imaginary side, I want the entire Malaysia to be more conscious about the natural treasure that we’d already have in our backyard. From the government having more transparency and effective measures to safeguard our forests and reefs, up to the community to break the ice, and work together to create a resilient community by sharing resources for a common goal, down to individuals playing their part in sculpture and build a sustainable society. Having everybody functional with respective roles to be a guardian to the environment, and by working together, it’s still not too late to save our wildlife, forests, reefs and ourselves.

  9. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO?
    I am currently listening to MAYDAY’s 9th album in a continuous loop, with the album titled as “Autobiography”. As the song listed in an accordance manner, the album brings you through life’s ups and downs in various stages, and the importance of being your truly self during the entire journey. I find this album resonate with me as life gives you unpredictable challenges and puzzles. By being true to yourself, you will then be able to navigate swiftly to the course of the river and over big mountains. It motivates me to be who I am now, and that the path that I’d taken will be full of opportunities.

  10. WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE BOOK/AUTHOR? AND WHY?
    I am a reader, but I yet have to stumble upon any authors that I really admire. I would read all kinds of book from various genres, as I like to keep my option open for all possibilities and information that will enrich my soul and life. Sounds savvy mate? Or maybe just because I can’t seems to settle down. We’re born as explorers after all (it is just me or?)

  11. IF YOU HAD A MAGIC WAND THAT CAN HELP MAKE THE ENVIRONMENTAL BETTER TODAY FOR A BETTER FUTURE, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO DO WITH THIS MAGIC WAND?
    This might sound insane, but I would make all Homo sapiens disappeared for good. We have landed upon Earth a very long time ago, but have already taken so much from her since then and yet we don’t appreciate for all the sacrifices. Being ego-centric impacts us much more than what we deserve, forcing everything to make way for the sake of development and to quench humankind’s never ending desires.

    Either we slow down and take a few steps back, or eventually we’ll just be another supernova in this vast, vast universe.

Nabs
Nabila Shohimi
Education
Officer

Nabila Shohimi

CONTACT INFO
nabila@ecoknights.org.my


Nabila Shohimi is a city girl with a love for nature that was nurtured by National Geographic documentaries and her frequent exploration in the forest when she was a kid.

She graduated from Universiti Sains Malaysia with a B.Sc degree majoring in Environmental Biology with a minor in Psychology. In her final year, Nabila’s study on the natural and anthropogenic characteristics of green turtle nesting beaches in Penang has given her an opportunity to integrate social elements into her scientific study by building relationships with the local fishermen in Penang.

Passionate about the environment, she started participating and volunteering in various environmental projects as well as on and off-campus programs including Project Ocean Awareness, Penang Green Council and Power Shift Malaysia. She is also active in organising various river and beach clean-ups in Penang as well as in Perak.

Nabila spent 3 months at EcoKnights as an intern. During her internship, she assisted EcoKnights in the implementation of the flagship program Anugerah Hijau 2015. Within that same year she also co-organised the annual international PowerShift Malaysia camp focusing on climate change, policies, project management and fund raising. She is currently EcoKnights’ Knowledge Officer and her key role is to conduct studies and design educational materials that add value to EcoKnights’ projects.

Nabila has presented and been invited to speak in youth camps, workshops and interviews regarding EcoKnights, environmental issues and youth empowerment. In 2016 after she began working in EcoKnights, she was involved in a survey on Malaysian Youth Perception towards Bauxite Mining in Kuantan, a collaborative study between EcoKnights, UTM Johor and Waseda University under the W-Bridge Program.

The KL-ite has an interest in marine biology, mangrove ecosystem, wildlife conservation, sustainability and environmental education. Inspired by the eco-friendly stores in Berlin, Germany, one of her goals is to open a zero-waste grocery store. During long breaks, Nabila escapes the hustles and bustles of the city by exploring the forest, ocean and mangrove swamps to enjoy the wonders of nature.


  1. WHAT TRIGGERED YOU TO WORK IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL NGO SECTOR?
    It started with watching National Geographic documentaries and similar films about nature when I was a kid, which made me realize that I have a soft spot for the environment. I also used to go camping and hiking with my parents, which nurtured my love for nature. But it stopped in high school because we were all “programmed” to study hard in order to work in sectors such as law, medicine, business, and engineering. I was just doing what society wanted from me rather than focusing on what my passion is. During this time, I planned to study petroleum engineering until I went for a student exchange in Japan where I took agricultural classes and was exposed to field trips. Getting all dirty in the rice field and harvesting our vegetables made me realize that I can learn better in an outdoor and practical environment.

    One unique characteristic of the Japanese is that they appreciate nature no matter which generation they belong to. Development is a must for every country, but Japan’s effort in maintaining the balance between nature and development is one of the key success to how they managed to become a first-world country. Nature is always an important element in the Japanese lifestyle, especially in their educational system. Kids as young as four years get to go for nature trips with their schools or families to learn and grow to care for the environment.

    When comparing Japan’s and Malaysia’s different approaches towards environmental conservation, I noticed that ours needs a lot of help. I think this is when I realized that I have a calling for saving nature.

  2. ARE THERE ANY PROBLEMS FACING YOUR FIELD OF EXPERTISE FROM AN ENVIRONMENTAL/SUSTAINABILITY PERSPECTIVE?
    Whenever I attend a forum, camp, or a programme which involves people from different fields, I either get frowned upon because I am a female or due to my Bachelor’s Degree. Because of these two factors, many people tend not to take me seriously until I start talking about scientific things. Once in a forum, after asking a critical scientific question, someone approached me, asking if I was doing my Ph.D. and thought I was pulling his leg by saying that I was still an undergraduate. I am not kidding, I have yet to further my studies for a Master’s Degree and I can’t wait to fly even higher once I get it.

    Being a female, one tends to be taken lightly and it is hard work to be able to be on par with men. I have been brushed aside whenever I was in groups of men during programmes. Whatever opinions I raised meant nothing as I was just a female officer from an NGO. Thankfully, there are groups of fishermen in Penang and Merbok who treated me with respect and were cooperative whenever I had interviews or projects with them.

  3. HOW WERE YOU INSPIRED TO BE AN ENVIRONMENTALIST?
    I got inspired by my lecturer, Dr. Nurul Salmi, who is an ecologist. She was the one who took me to a lot of field trips to do research and at the same time taught me a lot of technical things. Going on field trips with her gave me a lot of exposure and experience which cannot be found in classes. Besides, she got me involved in a variety of environmental activities. Similarly, one of my seniors who is also a leading environmentalist in my university trusted me to lead a river clean-up programme, whereby I learned a lot about project management and networking. After this, I got to know EcoKnights through Knights of Nature (KON) and was exposed to many people who are doing incredible things for the environment. The people I met inspired and encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone to become an environmentalist, which is actually not that easy in Malaysia.

  4. ACCORDING TO YOU WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CAUSES FOR THE POLLUTION IN OUR CITY?
    I would say people’s mentality overall. We don’t see any economic benefit from protecting the environment, even though there are many benefits, but they are invisible and hard to define in monetary terms. Thus, people think it is a waste of time to take care of the environment, some even tell me that since everyone is going to die anyway and the earth won’t exist infinitely, why worry about it? I think this mentality and the lack of exposure towards environmental education are the two factors that lead to pollution in our city.

  5. AS AN ENVIRONMENTALIST WHICH AREA YOU ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT?
    The marine. I am really into marine biology and was fortunate to conduct some studies on the ocean, and the state of our ocean and marine species concerns me. Waste is a major threat to the ocean. It is very difficult to clean the ocean from the huge amounts of garbage because the ocean is vast and people keep dumping waste into it. This garbage negatively impacts upon the sea life, and in the end, everything will come back to us. It will eventually be washed ashore and not only pollutes the beach’s ecosystem, but also negatively impacts upon coastal tourism.

    Besides that, the Great Barrier Reef for example is going to disappear, and any coral reef that disappears means that the natural habitat of a lot of fish and other sea animals will be destroyed. There goes our source of seafood and thus protein, which leads to another global issue – food security.

    Spiritually, I am attached to the ocean. I could spend my entire live by the sea. Anything that tarnishes the ocean gives me a pang of pain deep down in my heart.

  6. HOW YOUR FAMILY REACTS UPON YOUR PASSION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
    My mum was unsure about the path I have chosen, although she cares about the environment. Unlike in other countries such as Japan and Canada, a career in environmental science or biology is not very lucrative in Malaysia. Therefore, my mum was initially worried about me, but when she saw that I was very happy studying environmental biology, and getting a lot of exposure and experience, she believed I was on the right path. As long as I am happy with what I am doing and thrive well, she will always support me.

    As for my other family members, they would ask me what kind of work I actually do and why I have flexible working hours. Sometimes they would be excited to see me appear on radio and television interviews. Some of them would even be more cautious with their consumption whenever I am around during our family gatherings and festivals. I sometimes feel like a disciplinarian.

  7. AS AN OFFICER WORKING WITH ECOKNIGHTS, CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF YOUR GREEN PRACTICES AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR OTHERS DO TO THE SAME?
    I usually use public transport and walk whenever I can. I used to do this a lot back at university, but here in KL everyone is using a car because it is easier and more convenient to do so. If I travel in the city, I would use the LRT and monorail as well as RapidKL bus. As for commuting to and from work, I take the train and sometimes carpool with colleagues or friends. I not only get to save money but I get to cut down on my carbon footprint, too.

    At home, my family does composting and recycling solid waste as well as cooking oil. In terms of gardening, we don’t like to use pesticides so we try to go for eco-friendly alternatives. For instance, to get rid of grass hoppers, we would mix water and flour and sprinkle it over the plants to influence the movement of the grass hoppers. There is a saying that goes like ‘Charity always starts at home,’ something that my mum holds onto. It is great to start simple eco-friendly practices at home with our loved ones. Individually, these efforts look small, but they are powerful at a collective level.

  8. IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU CAN CHANGE ABOUT THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION IN MALAYSIA, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
    Since I am very concerned about the marine, I would love to involve our navy forces to guard our turtles and prevent people from disturbing them and stealing their eggs. This thought was inspired by Costa Rica where they had their soldiers to protect the entire stretch of the beach. Their effort saw positive results as the rate of nesting actually increased. I wish I could do this in Malaysia.

    Also, I think it would be really cool to have our army help protect our jungles and wildlife from illegal poachers. They have the survival and military skills that will ensure the wildlife conservation.

    If you see it from my perspective, other than defending our country from war outbreaks and enemies, they can also protect one of the natural sources of our country’s richness. After all, illegal poachers are enemies to our nature.

  9. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO?
    I don’t get to read books these days but I find myself reading festival books and magazines to get ideas for our 10th Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival guidebook. I think it is a refreshing thing for me because I get to see colourful visuals that stimulate the artistic side of me.

    I am currently listening to a lot of Bossa Nova and Jazz Music, which my colleagues would call “hotel lobby music”. Come on, it is relaxing to my soul and helps me work.

  10. WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE BOOK/AUTHOR? AND WHY?
    Hands down to “Seven Deadly Wonders” by Matthew Reilly! It is a crossover of Indiana Jones and Da Vinci Code. Matthew has a way to engross his readers in this adventurous story. It is because of this book that I love to come up with weird (but terrible) codes for my college’s treasure hunt. I also have a code name like the characters in this book. For the record, I read this book for about 8 times.

  11. IF YOU HAD A MAGIC WAND THAT CAN HELP MAKE THE ENVIRONMENTAL BETTER TODAY FOR A BETTER FUTURE, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO DO WITH THIS MAGIC WAND?
    I would go, “What did the tapir say?” and poof!! We get our nature restored with all its species, clean water, lush greenery, and less urban development. Can I add another one? I would also say, “Sashay away Trump!” and get him to support environmental efforts all around the world!!

Ems
Emirul Redzuan
Eco-nomy
Officer

Emirul Redzuan

CONTACT INFO
emirul@ecoknights.org.my


Born in Kuala Lumpur, Emirul Redzuan received his B.Sc Degree in Environmental Science from University of Selangor (UNISEL) and was the President of Faculty of Science and Biotechnology for two years. During this time he gained experience in organising and coordinating various activities for his campus including team building, tree planting as well as science and sports-based carnival. His final year thesis was a study on carbon emission transmitted by cars along the Cheras-Kajang Highway. This develops his interest in nature and the environment.

Emirul started his exposure with EcoKnights as an intern. During his internship he assisted social responsibility programs and also conducted field work under the Cintai Tioman Program. Emirul is also active in EcoKnights Outreach Program especially for university youths. At the point of completion of his internship, Emirul became the employee of EcoKnights and took up the position of Eco-Nomy Officer.

As the Eco-Nomy Officer of EcoKnights, his key role is to create a platform to promote sustainable products and services through green and social entrepreneurship. He is currently leading 2 river programs which aim to create ecological consciousness among the riverine community as well as encourage them to take action and preserve the state of rivers in Kuala Lumpur.

In his spare time, Emirul enjoys film-making. He even submitted a short film for the 9th Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF) and was selected as the top finalist. He believes that film is the best medium to educate and spread environmental awareness especially to the younger generations.


  1. WHAT TRIGGERED YOU TO WORK IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL NGO SECTOR?
    When I went to secondary school, I discovered that I really enjoyed the geography classes and learning more about our planet. This interest grew to become one of my passions over the years. I therefore decided to study environmental science, and was planning on working with an environmental consulting firm after graduating. At that time, it did not even consider to work for an NGO as I didn’t really have exposure to them. One day however, I met the wife of one of EcoKnights’ employees who introduced me to the NGO, and suggested to try out working with them. Therefore, I started conducting some research on this environmental NGO. Thereby, I stumbled upon the Kuala Lumpur Eco-Film Festival, which really appealed to me as I am also passionate about films. I therefore decided to apply for an internship with EcoKnights. Now, I am already in my second year at EcoKnights, being one of the senior officers.

  2. ARE THERE ANY PROBLEMS FACING YOUR FIELD OF EXPERTISE FROM AN ENVIRONMENTAL/SUSTAINABILITY PERSPECTIVE?
    Personally, the biggest challenge that I face is to change the mindset of people to be more environmentally conscious. It gets trickier when I am dealing with someone who is older than me, because these people have often been having the same lifestyle for many years and lapse into habits. It would be a great achievement to be able to influence these people.

  3. HOW WERE YOU INSPIRED TO BE AN ENVIRONMENTALIST?
    As I mentioned earlier, one of my passions beside caring for the environment is movies. One day, I discovered a Facebook video about turtles suffering from plastic pollution in the sea. That video really touched me and made me want to contribute towards creating a cleaner, better world, strengthening my desire to work in the environmental sector.

    However, I also have to admit that I partly wanted to become an environmentalist due to my personal needs. I believe I will be living for at least the next 40 to 60 years. During that time, I don’t want to live in a world that becomes increasingly badly polluted - I want to be able to enjoy the beauty of our environment. This fires up my efforts to create a better future by starting to change my lifestyle and encouraging more people to adopt a greener lifestyle, too.

  4. ACCORDING TO YOU WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CAUSES FOR THE POLLUTION IN OUR CITY?
    I would say domestic waste is the major cause of the pollution in our city. A lot of people don’t realise the bad impact waste has on our environment, and don’t think about how to get rid of it in a “safe” way. I believe a lack of environmental awareness among our citizens is one of the factors contributing towards this problem. When we talk about trash, we always want it to disappear from our view without thinking about the consequences this has for others. This kind of mindset needs to be changed as soon as possible.

  5. AS AN ENVIRONMENTALIST WHICH AREA YOU ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT?
    The public’s environmental awareness is the area I am most concerned about. When people lack awareness, they don’t care about the consequences of their behaviour and don’t realise that what they do also impacts upon the health and economic situation of their surroundings. I would say this area is one of the biggest issues that we should focus on tackling. However, this requires a lot of time and commitment from people across the country. Nonetheless, I think it is worth the effort, since this could help solve many environmental problems.

  6. HOW YOUR FAMILY REACTS UPON YOUR PASSION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
    To be frankly, when I told my family I wanted to pursue an environmentally related career, they thought this would not offer promising career prospects, at least in Malaysia. They would have preferred if I pursued a career in biotechnology instead, since this would offer more promising jobs opportunities. Personally, I don’t see myself working in laboratory though because it feels like working in the office 24/7. Plus, I am passionate about the environment since secondary school. Therefore, I decided to pursue a career at EcoKnights nonetheless.

  7. AS AN OFFICER WORKING WITH ECOKNIGHTS, CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF YOUR GREEN PRACTICES AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR OTHERS DO TO THE SAME?
    One of my green practices is recycling. Most of my waste is either paper or plastic, so if the plastic is contaminated with non-recyclables, I will wash it first before throwing it into the recycle bin. For other materials, such as organic waste, I use a composting bin to turn them into fertilizers. This is a very easy way of doing something good for the environment, so I would encourage everyone to do this.

    Moreover, I try to reduce my electricity consumption by only turning the fan on if I really need it, switching electronic devices off rather than just switching to sleep mode, and turning the lights off after leaving the room.

  8. IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU CAN CHANGE ABOUT THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION IN MALAYSIA, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
    If I could change one thing, I would make people more caring and loving towards the environment. I mentioned this before, but I want to stress its importance as it really maters tome. I believe if we want to make a change, it must start by changing attitudes, our own ones. If there was miracle which suddenly made our environment cleaner, but our attitudes were still the same, we would be facing the same problems over and over again after a while.

  9. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO?
    Every day on the way to the office and on the way back home, I used to listen to music. I would say that I like to listen to various type of songs, ranging from classical French over hip hop to electronic dance music (EDM). But the bands that are always included in my playlist are The Killers, Oasis, and a local indie band called Laila’s Lounge. I also love to sing (sometimes out loud when nobody is around) their songs because it makes me feel good.

  10. WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE BOOK/AUTHOR? AND WHY?
    I don’t consider myself to be a book worm. However, the current government incentive to buy more books encouraged me to do so. I bought some non-fiction books, and some motivational ones about success for instance, and started reading a book about one of Malaysia’s famous photographers, ‘Saiful Nang: Kisah Orang Menang’. I am yet to start reading the rest of them though.

  11. IF YOU HAD A MAGIC WAND THAT CAN HELP MAKE THE ENVIRONMENTAL BETTER TODAY FOR A BETTER FUTURE, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO DO WITH THIS MAGIC WAND?
    One of the challenges we face in Malaysia is that the environmental sector is not very lucrative to work in, and probably also lacks support from the society. If I could change one thing, I probably would make working in the environmental sector more attractive in terms of financial benefits, but also non-financial ones such as reward and recognition from the society. I am convinced that many people do not chase after their dreams of doing something good for our planet because they fear they won’t be able to make a living when doing so, or won’t be able to afford the living standard they want to achieve. By creating better career prospects, we could therefore attract more people to this sector, and achieve much more together, helping to preserve our beautiful planet.

Luqman
Luqman Avicenna
Creative &
Communication

luq mid

CONTACT INFO
luqman@ecoknights.org.my


Luqman Avicenna is the current driving force behind the EcoKnights creative department. Luqman has had a long history with EcoKnights, having been converted into a fan of the companies activities and philosophy during his experience with the first-ever EcoKnights 'Knight of Nature' camp. When it came time for him to seek a career, he knew what he wanted to do; EcoKnights was the first place that received his resume. 

In a bid to secure his internship application, Luqman had showcased an original infographic that he made during his final interview in an effort to impress the HR director. 

He based the infographic on an article he found on the EcoKnights Facebook page which he felt didn't get as much traction as it should have. He proposed adding his own visual touch to the post in the form of an infographic. Seeing potential in his design ability, the EcoKnights team decided to bring him on as a graphic intern. 

He learned the ropes of the creative field under Azizul Yusof (the past EcoKnights designer) and assisted him with the collateral for numerous Ecoknights events, including the famous KLEFF (2017). He has had a hand in developing all manner of visual collateral including brochures, posters, social media posts, buntings, banners, and photo walls. 

He has had to create collateral for a diverse array of green-topics, from composting and riverine health, all the way to youth empowerment and plastic-free lifestyles. He was made a junior designer in 2018. 

Luqman carries the same goal that Azizul carried before him: branding EcoKnights as the thought leader in its niche by producing one-of-a-kind green content and visual materials built around simplicity, elegance, and creativity. 


  1. WHAT TRIGGERED YOU TO WORK IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL NGO SECTOR?
    I wish I had a good, emotional story to answer this question with. I wish I could say it was because a panda I saved from poachers died in my arms, or I grew up in a treehouse that was unceremoniously felled to make way for a street lamp. While I do love pandas and trees, they aren't the reason I hop out of bed in the morning. I just realized the truth: if the human race didn't start taking care of the environment in a radically different way within my lifetime, the human race is at risk at annihilating ourselves as a species a generation or two down the road.  

    I just think that's a sad end for a species with as much potential and ability as ours, and I want to do all I can to slow, and even reverse that scenario.

  2. WHEN DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT ECOKNIGHTS AND WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO WORK WITH THEM?
    I first heard of EcoKnights when I attended their first Knights of Nature camp. As a participant I was able to hear the arguments for environmental sustainability from a wide range of experts, and it was one of the key events that led me to realize the importance we should place on preserving our environment, and the possible human cost of ignoring it. 

    Additionally, I also came away from the camp with a deep respect for Malaysian NGO's, entrepreneurs, and scientists who were fighting for a cause that was necessary, but also lonely, unpopular, and brutally difficult. I found something romantic about that struggle, and have since felt an urge to contribute to the cause of eco-friendliness in whatever little way I can, both as a way of leaving a legacy and challenging myself. 

    What compelled me to formally join EcoKnights was a realization that I could multiply the effectiveness of my efforts and learning experiences if I worked in an organization that was already built to promote eco-friendliness as opposed to trying to start something new alone. 

    There is also a lot of opportunity for growth within EcoKnights; The latitude for independence EcoKnights allows its employees are unmatched, and there are always opportunities to push the boundaries inside and outside your job scope if you have enough chutzpah.

  3. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF DESIGN AND COMMUNICATIONS FOR AN NGO LIKE ECOKNIGHTS?
    To me, the role of design goes beyond posters, booklets, and social media posts. I believe a main function of design is to drive human behavior where you want it to go. 

    What we suffer from most today is information overwhelm. Despite what most scientists feel, generally what would move the public to action isn't another deluge of excel spreadsheets and slick Powerpoints, but curation of the information already out there

    I strongly feel that if the Malaysian public truly understood the possible ramifications of climate change, they would be moved to action in a heartbeat. However, the fact that they haven't is proof that they have not received the right information in the right way. The messages haven't been designed for them, and thus are dismissed as irrelevant. 

    Good design not only helps cut through the noise, it helps somebody understand a message, incites emotion, and drives action. Before somebody acts on something, they first need to understand the issue and feel something about the issue. Through good design, we win over the general public on both of these fronts.

  4. YOU ARE THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF DESIGN AND COMMUNICATIONS, WHAT TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES COME WITH THIS POSITION?
    As EcoKnights' junior graphic designer and the person in charge of the Creative Communications department, my job is simple: I have to identify the core messaging behind each of the programs, campaigns, messages, and promotions we are a part of, and then design something pretty around that message. 

    My designs can take multiple forms, and the shape and type of collateral usually depend on the needs of each specific program. As I said before: I have designed buntings, photo walls, stickers, banners, social media posts, bags, and posters. 

    Additionally, I also facilitate the creative process with the team to ensure we create a piece of collateral we can all get behind and promote, as well as setting deadlines and expectations around the creation of visual collateral.

    I am also in charge of keeping a lookout for any visual trends or new, more effective methods of telling our story. As of writing this piece, we are currently looking into video and possibly animating certain portions of our messages. 

  5. AS AN OFFICER WORKING WITH ECOKNIGHTS, CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF YOUR GREEN PRACTICES AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR OTHERS DO TO THE SAME?
    I religiously avoid littering and anything that could lead to it. What this means is that at the end of a hike through the jungle, I'll probably have more than a few bulging pockets. They aren't filled with the jungle's treasures, but instead with crushed soda cans, used plastic bags, and broken single-use cutlery. If I have something I need to throw away and I cannot find a dustbin, I will cram it into my pockets or bag regardless of the mess it makes. 

    After making a few pieces of collateral for riverine authorities like DBKL it's jaw-dropping how much trash ends up in our rivers which are crucial sources of drinking water for the entire nation. Not to mention the medley of drainage problems it causes. But most importantly, it's just so visually offensive. Ugh. Nothing ruins the view during a hike faster than litter.

  6. IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU CAN CHANGE ABOUT THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION IN MALAYSIA, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
    More beautiful information. 

    I am currently working on raising awareness through information campaigns and the other collaterals I design. However, I have found very few in-depth, up to date resources about the Malaysian environment despite our prominence as such a bio-diverse country. The ones I came across were woefully out of date and extremely dry in their presentation. 

    I care about the environment more than the average person, and I still found it difficult to slog through pages of academic reports on water toxicity despite knowing how important it was. I can't imagine the public ever sitting down for some light reading with what I've had to read, and that's an issue.

  7. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO?
    My music taste is extremely varied and depending on when you catch me I might be listening to either Five finger death punch or Snow Patrol. Right now I'm religiously listening to a Japanese band called RADWIMPS, who made the soundtrack for the movie 'Your Name Is'. 

    I'm particularly taken with a five-track series they've made about the Japanese earthquake over a five year period, especially the song titled 'Silkworm'. I have no idea what they're saying, but the singer has a beautiful voice and they make lovely, soft, songs. 

    I'm currently reading Marcus Aubrey's 'Own the Day' and Charles Duhigg's 'The Power of Habit' in an effort to build more good habits into my day and optimize efficiency and effectiveness. 'Own the Day' talks more about specific habits and practices around health and work, while 'The Power of Habit' talks more about the general process of habit-making.

  8. WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE BOOK/AUTHOR? AND WHY?
    My all-time favorite non-fiction book is the book 'Daring Greatly' by Brene Brown. The book studies the difference between shame and guilt and was essential in getting me out of a really low point in my life. The book gave me the tools to be much kinder to myself and greatly improved the quality of my relationships. It's one of those books that can divide your life into two halves: 'before reading', and 'after reading'.

    My top spot for all-time favorite fiction is a tie between 'The Graveyard Book' by Neil Gaiman and the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett. 'The Graveyard book' tells the story of a boy raised in a graveyard by its residents, and I found it provided a very interesting perspective on life after death as well as death itself. 

    The Tiffany Aching series follows a young, no-nonsense witch as she grows up and tries to service her community while simultaneously protecting it from all sorts of horrible supernatural forces. It's a lovely coming-of-age story and has themes on work ethic, death, and violence amongst the occasional mention of fairies and black cats.

  9. IF YOU HAD A MAGIC WAND THAT CAN HELP MAKE THE ENVIRONMENTAL BETTER TODAY FOR A BETTER FUTURE, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO DO WITH THIS MAGIC WAND?
    I hate to be that guy, but I would ask for more wands. At the very least, I would ask for a method to reproduce them quickly. If I didn't at least ask, I'd be kicking myself for the rest of my life. But let's assume I can't do that and I have to ask for something specific. 

    I would create a database that automatically catalogs and tracks every single important metric the country needs to maintain and improve in order to minimize the damage from climate change, especially metrics related to our environment. The database could be easily understood by a layman, but also robust enough to service even the most kiasu researcher. 

    The existence of this database would make it so much easier to inspire others and tell engaging stories. An issue I run into constantly is a lack of information, which makes it difficult for me to tell an engaging story.

 

EcoKnights Advisors

Dr Rasidah Hashim - Sustainability and Sustainable Development



I grew up in the 1970s in a village in Peninsular Malaysia. Being a Minangkabau means acknowledging that women play central roles in a community, such as owning land and managing family and clan affairs. These values have proven to be very essential in providing a good sense of self-worth throughout my life.

In 1980 I started school at a nearby primary school (Sekolah Kebangsaan Jempol) and in 1986 I became a student at Tunku Kurshiah College. I did very well for my Sijil Penilaian Malaysia but luck was not on my side as I contracted Tuberculosis in 1991 and so had to wait for a year before furthering my studies.

In 1992 I flew to the United States. Being far from the family and outside of the country for the first time I learned to appreciate many things Malaysian. It was also a time for many self-discoveries and my professors at Duke University were some of the great teachers of my life. It was at Duke that I started to enjoy interdisciplinary learning because my undergraduate program encouraged it. The courses I took included primatology, human evolution, cellular and molecular biology, history and philosophy of science, Islamic mysticism, art history, and microeconomics.

Upon graduating from Duke University I was ripe for new adventures and so I went to Borneo to conduct mostly independent fieldwork. This was when I picked up tropical forest taxonomy and GIS analysis. I also began to appreciate the diversity of peoples in Malaysia.

Then in 2001, I set myself up for another challenge; I enrolled at the University of Cambridge and earned a PhD degree in 2006. Since then I have been a lecturer on the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Supervising and teaching students are my main responsibilities - these responsibilities have allowed me to grow and mature as a person as I enjoy learning and sharing knowledge/ experiences with my students.

My research interests are diverse but all of my research activities are linked to the theme of sustainability / sustainable development. These broad-ranging research and intellectual interests are due to the fact that I have always been interested in understanding how humans have shaped and managed our environment, particularly our natural resources. I have worked mostly in the tropics: firstly an MSc research on inland forest ecology in Sarawak (Borneo), and this was followed by a PhD research on the diversity of riparian forest ecosystems in the Malaysian peninsula. To address the research objectives I employ various techniques including field surveys and geographic information system (GIS) spatial analysis.

Unlike during my student days when I was working mostly alone, my current projects are carried out with the help of post graduate students. I am also increasing aware of the need for academicians to make their contribution to ensure that development is sustainable in Malaysia. For this reason, I have been involved since 2006 in several of projects (headed by Dr. Naziaty Mohd Yaacob of Universiti Malaya) to raise awareness and accessibility for the disabled and elderly people and it is my conviction that when we create an inclusive and learned society we will achieve a good quality of life for everyone, including for other species.

Mr. Amlir Ayat - Community-Based Conservation/Education Advisor



Amlir started his career at WWF Malaysia as an education officer designing and implementing educational programs at schools, universities, local communities, and government and corporate sectors. He has many years experience in capacity building of rural communities, particularly in biodiversity, ecotourism and water management. Some of his projects include Projek Penchala, a river management community project, Kenong Community Development Project, a biodiversity management and ecotourism initiative, and Human - Tiger Conflict Resolution Project in Terengganu. Apart from being a guest environmental writer in some magazines and newspapers, he has also appeared on the television to rant and mumble about about the local environment scene. At EcoKnights, Amlir serves an advisory role on all matters related to community-based conservation. He can be contacted at amlir@ecoknights.org.my.

Mr Khaidi Kamaruddin - Strategic Business Advisor



Khaidi is a marketeer extraordinaire and helps EcoKnights in setting the strategic direction for all our programmes. Khaidi also represents EcoKnights in seeking for strategic partnerships with key business players to synergize efforts to embark on renewable energy efforts. In his spare time, Khaidi reads and indulges in motorsports. Khaidi is also a big fan of renewable energy and has adopted some of the technology in his projects. Khaidi is currently the Managing Director of Bulb Malaysia and offers his professional expertise in the field of advertising, branding and marketing.