WWF-Malaysia’s educational initiative began in 1977. Since then it has evolved from a programme meant to build awareness to one that works to transform citizens into sustainability champions. Aimed at empowering students, youths and educators, the programme works to transform their everyday approaches to learning and living by incorporating competencies such as critical thinking and decision-making towards ensuring a sustainable future for them and their future generations.
ESD’s strategies are aligned to incorporate essential areas of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals into teaching and learning in Malaysia, such as sustainable cities and communities, biodiversity, poverty reduction, and responsible consumption and production. The three strategies that we focus on target the formal education system in the country as well as educational policy in relation to government entities, and society at large.
Creating Youth Impact in Sustainability
In FY20, the Formal Education programme and its stakeholders from the Eco-Schools and Foundation for Environmental (FEE) EcoCampus programmes trained 2,186 participants; a 154% increase from FY19; to carry out sustainability initiatives within their schools, campuses, and communities. Engagements of the students and youths were done through workshops, conferences, and various sharing sessions.
One of the key engagements was the Building Bridges for Sustainable Consumption and Production 3.0 conference, which saw 107 youths participating from 9 countries. Through in-depth sharing and discussion with government agencies, industry players, and social enterprises, participants were introduced to key issues such as the country’s plastic crisis. Thirty-three youth resolutions were established and shared with our partners from local and global networks as the voice of youth responding to the region’s plastic pollution crisis.
Due to COVID-19, our annual storytelling platform, Sembang@WWF, was converted to a virtual session. It saw 170 participants dialling in to listen to seven storytellers and three industry experts speak on climate change and the impact of our consumption patterns on the environment.
Melaka City Declared Yet Again as the National Winner of the WWF One Planet City Challenge
The city of Melaka has been declared as the national winner of the One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) for the second time. The biennial OPCC competition was first organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2011 to mobilise global and local action among cities worldwide that are transiting toward a climate-resilient, one-planet future. The city of Melaka impressed an international jury of experts with its comprehensive approach to tackling climate change and its determination to ramp up climate resilience efforts within the state.
Apart from saving energy, the installation of 100,000 LED street lamps along the Alor Gajah-Melaka Tengah-Jasin Highway has helped improve night visibility and road safety. Improvement of urban landscapes with pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods, for instance, has increased foot traffic and conversely reduced car use. This could potentially reduce carbon footprint, which is a cause of global warming. Adding to the list of Melaka’s environmentally-conscious efforts is the river rehabilitation of the Melaka River which has made it an even more popular tourist spot. Melaka has consistently demonstrated progress in achieving its climate targets and drastically cutting its emissions, and in doing so,
Increase in Digital Activities and Outreach
The ESD website received more than 22,100 new users in FY20 from various digital activities such as the Sustainable Development Survey, Mother’s Day, and Eco Champion Awards, with the latter garnering more than 14,000 votes from online users.
COVID-19 was the tipping point that increased social media use in the first and second quarters of FY20. To meet the increased online usage of our stakeholders, we produced social media assets to share tips on learning from home, proper disposal of used face masks, and sharing online resource materials from across the WWF network. These exercises created relevance for our programmes during the pandemic.
Animation Series Broadcasted on TV Alhijrah
‘When We’re Friends with Nature’ animation series is our first attempt at combining religion with environmental education. It fills the gap that exists in educational materials relating religion to the environment and provides young learners with opportunities for self-motivation in relation to the world that they live amidst.
To boost the viewership of the animation series, TV Alhijrah (a broadcast company under the Malaysian Department of Islamic Development) aired all nine episodes of the Islamic animation series and eight episodes of the Buddhist animation series and these ranked second on AlHijrah’s weekly rating, reaching 250k viewers every week.