- Category: News
- Published: Thursday, 22 December 2016 21:51
24-26th November, 2016, Johor Bharu – EcoKnights organized its annual youth sustainability camp this year with youths in Johore. Called the “Knights of Nature Sustainability Camp”, the camp was organized this year with the collaboration of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and (Malaysian Heavy Engineering Berhad (MHB).
A total of 26 Johor-based youths participated in the camp where they learnt to work with each other as a team in addressing environmental challenges within the maritime industry. The participants were exposed to various learning modules and activities which required them to think and analyse the issues surrounding the maritime industry in a critical manner.
During the camp, we had also a short film screening session, we aired “The Last Stand of Lelu Island”, a documentary with the setting in Canada on how the locals living on the island tries to protect it from being taken by the authority for oil drilling and industrial development. This shows an important relationship between development and local community. From there, we were able to pinpoint key problems that are faced by the our environment, taking along community and the participants are taken out of their comfort zones during reflection where they are asked to come out with a few solutions that could help with the current issue faced by the maritime.
Next, the participants got a little insight of the Orang Seletar community and how their livelihoods were affected by urbanization and maritime development. Participants were exposed to the hardship of local communities facing development and how they cope with it whist holding onto their indigenous identity. To grasp a more concrete understand about the marine relationship with local community, a trip to Sungai Sebulong, a nearby community-based river rehabilitation program which showcase how community can act upon helping our environment. The people of Sungai Sebulong taught the participants the making of mud balls, the main approach adopted by the locals to rehabilitate the river which was in severely bad condition due to negligence and irresponsible rubbish disposal into the river. In addition, the locals had also shown how they manage their food waste compost, planting for various kinds of herbs and plants using the compost and much more. Even with heavy downpour during the educational trip to Sg.Sebulong, the participants manage to learn and engage with the community in learning self-sustainability, which can be kick started from our homes easily.
Overall, the participants had a great time learning and they enjoyed themselves. They came with an open heart and mind and therefore, returned with a renewed heart and mind with a strong spirit of changing the way they live their lives and empower their friends and families. They learnt a lot and promised to use the knowledge that they now have to give it back to the environment and find a way that can benefit the environment and also the community. For example, they will reduce the use of straws and plastics so that it will not harm the sea animals and start bringing and using recycle bags when they go around reducing the use of plastic.
Knights of Nature Sustainability Camp 2016 is an inspiring yet action packed camp which is specially designed to suit youths who have a passionate hearts for mother nature. This year’s knights of nature camp went with the marine theme, focusing mainly on the maritime industry and the challenges the planet face in balancing development and environmental protection. Knights of Nature is open to youths between the ages of 18 to 25 years old and this year it is held at University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) on 24th to 26th November 2016.