THREE UK-Malaysia climate change projects received support from the British Council in the form of grants totalling RM166,000.
One of the partnerships that secured the A.R.C. Challenge Malaysia Grant are KLIMA Action Malaysia and Students for Global Health from the UK.
Their “Weaving Hopes for the Future” project is an arts and culture response to climate degradation with a focus on empowering Orang Asli youth about climate change and climate action.
Another grant recipient are partners neOOne Associates and SEA International CIC in Scotland. Their “Visioning the Future & Story Telling for Climate Change” project aims to help Malaysian and Scottish youth sharpen their storytelling skills to activate their plans and goals for climate change through a virtual impact festival.
Also receiving the grants are Biji-Biji Initiative and Falmouth University in England. Their project titled RIPPLE – Responsible Innovation Plastics Project for Life and Environment – is about identifying meaningful design opportunities to escalate the value of waste through new product innovation, behavioural shifts and novel manufacture.
The recipients were announced at the A.R.C. Challenge Malaysia Forum 1 – Youth, Climate Change and Cultural Rights on Feb 4.
At the virtual event, British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay noted that young people far and wide were tapping into their skills and wisdom to speak up for climate action through education, technology, the arts, sciences or law.
“Climate change is not just the role of scientists and researchers, and not just the strategic priority of governments and policy makers, or the economic consideration of corporate players – we are all affected by the impacts of climate, some more so than others.”
British Council Malaysia director Jazreel Goh said the British Council, as the UK’s international cultural relations organisation, will continue to bring awareness of climate change issues with more activities leading to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) and beyond.
“We will increase young people’s access to dialogues and debates on climate change beyond typical climate change circles, and help global leaders and policy makers understand the needs and concerns of young people, ” he said.
The A.R.C. Malaysia Challenge is part of the cultural programme activities held in the build-up to COP26, which the UK is hosting from Nov 1 to 12.
The virtual forum, which was attended by 165 participants, aimed to encourage young people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, including those from marginalised communities, to engage in dialogue and exchange of ideas on the impact of climate change on their future.
Also present at the forum, were Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Prof Dr Joy Jacqueline Pereira and London-based charity Julie’s Bicycle director Alison Tickell.
They shared country-level and organisational perspectives on trends, priorities and strategies, as well as the role of youth in addressing climate change.
The second part of the forum comprised a panel discussion of youth leaders who discussed what a more sustainable future should look like.
The session also explored how UK and Malaysian youth can make a difference and influence existing political, economic and social models through engagement and collaborations with stakeholders.
A.R.C. stands for “Awareness, Resilience and Collaboration” in response to climate change. The project aligns with one of the five priority themes of COP26, which is “Adaptation and Resilience” and encompasses helping people, economies and the environment adapt and prepare for the impacts of climate change by creating awareness, and developing resilience among young people on climate change impacts.
The three grant recipients will be presenting their projects at the second forum slated for March 25.
For details about the A.R.C. Challenge Malaysia, visit britishcouncil.my/arc-challenge-malaysia.