Kuala Lumpur, 25 April 2019: To celebrate its 20 years” journey for environmental conservation Malaysian Non-profit organisation, Global Environment Centre (GEC) organised a forum entitled ‘Building Partnership for the Environment’. The Forum gathered more than 100 participants to interact with panellists from government, private sector, community and civil society, to share experiences, challenges and success stories on multi-stakeholder engagement.
The forum discussed sustainable management of peatland, river, water, forest and coastal resources through active partnerships with various stakeholders including companies, government agencies, community-based organisations, universities and local communities. 100 participants from a broad range of stakeholders attended the forum.
The forum was officiated by Secretary General of the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry, Datuk Zurinah Pawanteh, who also launched a book highlighting 20 years of GEC achievements and partnerships. In addition, Datuk Zurinah also launched River Ranger 2.0 – an updated programme to train stakeholders on river monitoring through GEC’s River Ranger Initiative.
The RIVER Ranger programme was initiated by GEC in 2004 on water resource management, focusing on rivers and river basin management. With new features and scope for improvement identified along the 15 years, the RIVER Ranger programme is now upgraded to RIVER Ranger 2.0. It now has more aspects to help harness knowledge on integrated river basin management in a more practical manner.
Datuk Zurinah Pawanteh, said, “GEC has certainly made notable contributions to the development of environmental conservation in our country. The Ministry has been working with GEC since 2004 to bring together different stakeholders to address a range of issues including community-based forest and mangrove restoration; integrated peatland management and fire prevention and control; and river protection and rehabilitation. GEC has also helped to facilitate the engagement of local communities and the private sector and demonstrate that they can make a difference when they join hands with civil society and the government to address common challenges.”
Co-founder and Director of GEC, Faizal Parish said, “For the last 20 years our focus has been on building partnerships for the environment. We have shown that by working together different stakeholders can make a great difference. To date, GEC has successfully implemented more than 220 projects in Malaysia and 15 other countries with more than 150 partners and help from more than 55,000 volunteers; empowered more than 85 community groups; helped develop and implement a roadmap for the management of the 23 million hectares of peatlands in ASEAN; helped reduce peatland fire and haze in many ASEAN countries; stimulated community engagement in river and water protection throughout Malaysia; and planted 550,000 mangrove and swamp forest trees in the country.
Through this forum today, we have showcased the importance of establishing multi-stakeholder partnership to safeguard our environment and natural resources. In the future we all need to redouble our efforts to work together to transform the planet.”