Increased community interest and participation in the 6th Iskandar Malaysia Ecolife Challenge (IMELC) and book launch
Environmental Conservation is one of Iskandar Malaysia’s Circle of Sustainability development focus. The Iskandar Malaysia Ecolife Challenge (IMELC) aims to educate and encourage the community to lead a low carbon lifestyle by saving water and electricity, and managing waste wisely. In its sixth year running, it had attracted a record participation of 403 schools and 40000 students from Johor.
Fifteen schools with the highest savings in electricity and water usage and with the highest number of collection of recyclable waste had a chance to pitch their environment-saving ideas, for a chance to win a shared cash prize of RM30000 for school-development activities. This year, the IMELC participants were judged according to learning, content, and how the school had communicated with the community about its efforts. A total of 9 cash prizes were given out to three categories: Utility – SK Tanjung Langsat with 46% utility savings; Recycling Waste (weight) – SJKC Masai 16998 kg; and Final Presentation – SK Taman Suria.
The total carbon reduction submitted by participating schools was equivalent to a savings of RM266,153.51. Income reported from recycling amounted to RM58,664.55. A savings of RM174,925.14 and RM32,923.82 for electricity and water respectively were also reported from IMELC; this shows that efforts made to reduce carbon emissions by living a green lifestyle could save and earn money.
At a separate event, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of Iskandar Malaysia Regional Development Authority (IRDA) launched the Low Carbon Community Best Practices Book at Le Grandeur Palm Resort. The book highlights 15 of the growing successes of communities, schools, and corporations towards a greener Iskandar Malaysia.
Since 2011, IRDA has teamed up with a number of leading Japanese and Malaysian research institutes to develop the Low Carbon Society (LCS) Blueprint for Iskandar Malaysia 2025.
LCS policies were designed to be scientifically-grounded while also being a community-rooted, people-centric, holistic, and integrated approach. The LCS Blueprint has implemented 55 completed and ongoing programmes and projects, aiming to encourage more participation and collaboration from all parties to make the Low Carbon Society agenda a reality.
A small village of 600 people; 100 km from Johor Bahru, Kg Permas Besar, not only promotes eco-tourism but also brings environmentally-friendly initiatives for its community. They harvest rainwater, utilise solar panels, and turn waste into cooking gas. A Bio-Digestor machine, installed behind a building in the village, uses enzymes and microbes to convert food waste into methane to be used in their Bio-gas Kitchen.
For SMK Sultanah Engku Tun Aminah, adopting Sungai Chat as their own means taking care of the river as well. The students said that for ten years, the school’s Nature Club had been cleaning up the river using EM Mudballs they made themselves. Once a month they study the river water with water monitoring kits that tell them the chemicals, pH, nutrient, and clarity of the waters for the benefit of the aquatic ecosystem. “The kit shows that our river is thriving,” a student beamed proudly. – by Salamahafifi