Nationwide campaign by US Embassy, Biji-biji Initiative invites youth to take lead in tackling climate change

Juliana (front, first left) describes the 'Planet Us' exhibition to Dr Annuar (second left) and Newbill (third left) today at the Pustaka Negeri Sarawak.

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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, June 15: A one-of-a-kind nationwide campaign called ‘Planet Us’ is encouraging all young Malaysians to take a stand on climate change through a series of exhibitions and an exciting lineup of programmes, all of which are designed to inspire action and promote discussion on environmental conservation and sustainability.

The campaign, which was jointly developed and organised by the social enterprise Biji-biji Initiative and the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, was launched here today at the Sarawak State Library (Pustaka Negeri Sarawak) by the Deputy Minister for Higher Education and Innovation Dr Annuar Rapaee and Chargé d’Affaires of US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur Michael Newbill.

Dr Annuar stated in his speech that the vision of the Ministry of Education, Innovation, and Talent Development (MEITD) is to empower young talents to help drive Sarawak’s competitive potential.

“Sarawak is a State that is rich in biodiversity, which makes it an ideal starting point for a campaign like ‘Planet Us’.

“Undoubtedly, environmental causes and sustainability is a large focus area not just globally, but for us here in Sarawak.

“We hope that with educational campaigns like ‘Planet Us’, more young people can inspire action and brainstorm creative solutions to the myriad of environmental problems we are facing,” he said.

He also noted that it is important that everyone sows the seeds of environmental initiatives from a young age.

“Initiatives like ‘Planet Us’ are a great way to encourage sustainability efforts while helping the youth understand the need for a shift in mindset today for a better tomorrow,” Dr Annuar added.

Meanwhile, Newbill mentioned in his speech how fitting it is that ‘Planet Us’ is being launched in Sarawak, a State rich in wildlife, biodiversity, and natural resources that is leading Malaysia’s environmental conservation efforts.

“We aim to inspire Malaysian youth to take action in combating the climate crisis, and to recognise that every small step they take can go a long way towards protecting the environment,” he stated.

Furthermore, according to a press release, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr Hamid Bugo praises the initiative for its outstanding series of online and offline activities designed to pique the interest and curiosity of youths and the general public.

“We are excited and proud to be the first State in Malaysia hosting this exhibition.

“One of our key roles as the State library is to provide an educational environment for our community through insightful exhibitions and programmes just like this one.

“As we look to become the preferred information resource centre in the State, we hope this campaign will resonate with more young people coming forward to play a larger role in protecting our environment,” he remarked.

Moreover, the press release revealed that the campaign, which will run for four months from June to September, will be held in several States across the country, including Kedah, Kelantan, Penang, Sabah, and Kuala Lumpur.

“The campaign starts off in Sarawak and will run for two weeks from June 15 to June 26.

“Visitors can look forward to joining physical activities like topical workshops on composting, handmade crafts, and business talks, as well as the mainstay exhibition that is designed with a wealth of infographic posters.

“There are also virtual activities, including an upcycling competition, an online game, and a website to engage the audience on ways to help the environment and learn the effects of climate change,” it explained.

For more details on the campaign, visit the ‘Planet Us’ (biji-biji.org) website, which also contains the full download of programs, exhibition installations, workshops, and infographic posters about the environment, sustainability, and climate change.

Also present were Pustaka Negeri Sarawak acting chief executive officer (CEO) Japri Bujang Masli, i-CATS University College vice chancellor Professor Dr Shahren Ahmad Zaidi Adruce, and Biji-biji Initiative CEO Juliana Adam. — DayakDaily