KBC, SEW receive Global Environment Facility Small Grants

Successful campaign by KBS and SEW in cleaning up Santubong beach recently

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KUCHING, Nov 23: Kuching Beach Cleaners (KBC) and Sarawak Eco-Warriors (SEW)’s determination to spruce up public beaches in Kuching received a boost for their efforts when the two NGOs received a grant of USD20,000 (RM81,800) from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently.

KBC vice-president Chester Bong said, the grant would be used to drive development in the fields of youth and climate innovation.

He said, although youths are considered the highest technologically adept group, they often encounter barriers to contribute to environmental sustainability due to lack of opportunities, recognition and awareness and concern.

“The success of this grant will therefore increase inclusion and involvement of youth in conserving our environment. This highlights the importance of youth in the conservation of natural resources and bridges the gap between youths and NGOs, governments and policymakers by providing more opportunities for youth especially at decision-making levels,” he said in a statement issued here today.

Chester Bong, Vice President of Kuching Beach Cleaners KBC

He added that through a two-year program until 2022, KBC and SEW will carry out a series of awareness building and interactive programs through experience and training from environmental experts.

“We also aim to empower youths through various opportunities and skill development as well as provides them an avenue to make a difference in society. The teams will utilise a multi-stakeholder approach in education, bridging different organisations to work towards the same goal,” he added.

Meanwhile, SEW president Celine Tiang hoped to provide the public, especially the youths with more practical opportunities and exposure to environmental efforts in Kuching and beyond.

She said the team aims to garner a stronger working relationship with local city councils and city management to foster more implications of youth empowerment.

“Teamwork and collaboration would act as a baseline to scale-up current programs and the initiation of more programs such as awareness and education activities, hands-on activities and would also provide more opportunities in leadership,” said Tiang

She added that a positive outcome would be to effectively develop the capacities and confidence of youths to actively contribute and feed information to management-level decision-makers.

“We are hoping to establish fruitful collaborations with local corporations and groups to cultivate a community with an environmentally conscious mind,” Tiang said.

For more information SEW could be reached at sarawakecowarrior@gmail.com — DayakDaily