70 youth leaders meet to create path towards green growth

KUCHING: In these modern times where there is an evergrowing consciousness of sustainability, WWF-Malaysia stepped forward to organise its first ever Youth Conference for Sustainable Consumption and Production, said a media release yesterday.

The conference which gained participation from over 70 youths was held at International Youth Centre (IYC), Cheras. Themed 'Building Bridges for Sustainable Consumption and Production' the conference aimed to enhance awareness and empower change in the students' consumption lifestyle by making demonstrable improvements in regards to at least one of the key commodities forest & wood products, seafood, palm oil, and carbon emissions from electricity use.

Globally, humanity's demand on the planet is more than 50 per cent larger than what nature can renew. If youth's consumption patterns fall into the current trend, their future demands for goods and services could not be met as at present natural resources are already overexploited.

"Recently WWF-Malaysia launched the Living Planet Report which tells us the cumulative pressure we are putting on the earth, and the consequent decline in the health of nature around the world. I'm proud to see young people rising to the challenge that the report presents to us, to help create a prosperous future that the earth can sustain", said Conservation Director of WWF-Malaysia, Dr Sundari Ramakrishna during the launch yesterday.

She added, "It s important to educate consumers, especially young adults which make up almost half of our population, on the behavioural changes that impact their consumption habits for a healthier environment. Wherever they are, at university or once they graduate, they are active consumers, leaders, decisionmakers and voters, they should proudly shoulder the responsibility as champions for sustainable products in Malaysia."

Coorganised with Malaysian Environmental NGOs (MENGO) and EcoKnights, the conference brought together professional speakers from the private sectors, academia, and nongovernment organisations (NGO) with many years of valuable experience and knowledge on sustainable development.

Participants were taken on educational outings to show how sustainable consumption and production principles can be a part of everyday life whether passively through the very design of buildings and spaces, or actively through conscious consumption choices made on a daily basis.

"The organisation of the conference is timely as the country is working towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals' (SDG) roadmap, of which we feel a big component on youths' awareness on SDG is not detailed.

This conference is a starting point to raise a new generation of responsible consumers who are not just aware but are empowered to make responsible choices in their consumption patterns. With the partnership of three prominent NGOs such as WWF-Malaysia, MENGO and EcoKnights, we hope this effort would gain the support of industry players and government agencies to elevate the focus on SDGs knowledge for Malaysian youths," said Yasmin Rasyid, Chairman of MENGO and President of EcoKnights.

Annually through the Earth Hour campaign, WWF-Malaysia calls on the public to conserve and use energy efficiently as well as avoid wasteful consumption.

This conference served as an extension to the effort in promoting more sustainable lifestyles and business practices to reduce impact of human activities that cause climate change.

WWF-Malaysia thanks iM4U Malaysia's leading youth volunteer community for becoming the official media partner for this conference.

Members of the public are invited to visit the Building Bridges for Sustainable Consumption and Production Fair happening on 3 December 2016 from 10 am 5.30 pm at Encorp Strand Mall, Kota Damansara.

The fair will start with a public forum in the morning and would continue with a lot of other fun and engaging stage activities from various ecoorganisations like Project Woodworks which brilliantly crafts watches from unused wood, Babylon Vertical Farms which grows their vegetables hydroponically in the heart of a busy city, and many more.

CHAIRMAN of MENGO and President of EcoKnight Yasmin Rashid (right), Tanja Ploetz (left), representative from WWF-Germany main sponsor of the conference and Dr Sundari Ramakrishna, Conservation Director posing with the poster of the conference during its launching yesterday.CHAIRMAN of MENGO and President of EcoKnight Yasmin Rashid (right), Tanja Ploetz (left), representative from WWF-Germany main sponsor of the conference and Dr Sundari Ramakrishna, Conservation Director posing with the poster of the conference during its launching yesterday.


Source: New Sarawak Tribune, 02 Dec 2016 - Page 8 section News

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