Kuala Lumpur, May 28 – Environmental NGO, EcoKnights, celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity with Gamuda Land in conjunction with the Gamuda Parks (GParks) Ranger initiative through a series of environment-themed programs. The half-day event took place at Menara Gamuda, PJ Trade Centre yesterday, in collaboration with the Landscape Architecture Design Students (LADS) of UiTM Perak.
This year’s celebration focused on the understanding of biodiversity as the foundation for our food and health in transforming food systems and improving human health. In line with the theme of this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health” set by the United Nation, the event aimed to leverage knowledge on dependency of our food systems, biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. The event also highlighted the GParks Ranger, an environmental education initiative by EcoKnights, supported by Gamuda Land, which aims to instil environmental empowerment to the younger generations.
The opening ceremony of Gamuda Parks Biodiversity Day was attended by the CEO of Gamuda Land (Mr. Ngan Chee Meng), Program Director of LADS of UiTM Perak (Mr. Falihin Jasmi), Senior Lecturer of Landscape Architecture Department of UiTM Perak (Mr. Azrul Bahaluddin), CEO of FRIM Incorporated Sdn Bhd (Mr. Mohd. Shahidan Mohd. Arshad), Technical Officer-Wetland Specialist of Wetlands International Malaysia (Ms. Denise Cheah), Founder and President of EcoKnights, (Dr. Yasmin Rasyid), Communications Analyst of United Nation Malaysia (Mr. Ahmad Hafiz Osman), the ambassadors of GParks Ranger, esteemed partners and the Gamuda Land employees.
The event featured a vast array of biodiversity-themed programs such as an art exhibition featuring 3D artworks by the LADS of UiTM Perak. Titled “Paint Your Imagination: An Interpretation of Beautiful Creation”, the students re-created their artworks by interpreting the painting made by the NASOM children of Ipoh, Perak. A mini forum, G-Talk, was moderated by Programme Director of EcoKnights (Fadly Bakhtiar) with speakers from FRIM Inc. Sdn Bhd (Mr. Mohd. Shahidan Mohd. Arshad) and Wetlands International Malaysia (Ms. Denise Cheah). There was a Green Market featuring 7 green businesses championing in sustainability-related products, 3 nature-themed workshops and a storytelling session.
“In order to help the NASOM as one of the non-governmental organization that manages the autism society independently, we would like to help them in increasing awareness and raise funds by applying our skill in producing artworks, inspired by the kids’ drawing…The material used is recycled material and painted using eco-friendly paint,” said Mr. Falihin Jasmi, Program Director of LADS, UiTM Perak during his opening speech. “Let us all together be more aware of our surrounding. Be aware of the environment and its biodiversity, the special community and their ability. It is important for us to have a responsive environment and to live in peace and harmony,” he added.
A line-up of kid-friendly activities were conducted on the event day in conjunction with the GParks Ranger initiative. Targeted to children age 5-12 years old, the GParks Ranger program aims to encourage pro-environmental behaviours as well as foster confidence and creativity among young children to be the ambassadors of the environment. Upon registration, the children are given the title, Junior Ranger, and receive exclusive invitations to Gamuda Parks Nature Workshops and Programs free of charge.
“First launched in March 2019, we have received a total of 520 children as GParks Rangers and conducted 7 nature-themed workshops and experiential learning-based programs to over 300 Junior Rangers. Our goal is to enhance the children’s motor and sensory skills, expose them to small green habits, and shape their understanding to be more environmentally conscious, especially at a young age,” said Programme Director of EcoKnights, Mr. Fadly Bakhtiar. “We are gearing up for more fun, kid-friendly and cultivating programs for the Junior Rangers as we encourage all parents and teachers to include their young ones to be part of this initiative,” he said.
Interested parents may register their children as GParks Ranger at its website (gparksranger.com) by creating an account at the Log In page. EcoKnights is also open to potential collaboration with schools and kindergartens of interested teachers who wish to include their students to be part of this environmental education initiative. For further information about this initiative, please visit www.gparksranger.com or contact Ms. Fara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For photos of the event, please click here.
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Fara Amina Othman