Awang Tengah (second left) and other guests visit one of the environmental project booths of the participating schools.
KUCHING: The state government will intensify efforts towards forest rehabilitation and educating the younger generation on the importance of preserving the environment.
According to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, part of the efforts includes a joint working cooperation with Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and neighbouring Sabah in forming the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative.
“Our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has even added an additional area for the HoB initiative from 2.1 million hectares to 2.5 million hectares in total,” said Awang Tengah.
“The state government is also looking at gazetting a total of one million hectares of the land as protected area by 2020, where currently the total protected area is 900,000 hectares,” he added.
Awang Tengah was representing the Chief Minister at the prize presentation ceremony for Anugerah Sekolah Rakan Alam Sekitar (Serasi) 2016/2017 at Riverside Majestic hotel here yesterday.
On a related matter, Awang Tengah said educating the younger generation on managing the environment is a commitment by the state and called for more participation from companies and corporate bodies.
“Corporate bodies or companies can adopt schools with Kelab Pencinta Alam Sekitar (PALS) as ‘sekolah angkat’ where they provide financial assistance towards the schools’ greening efforts,” he suggested.
The Serasi 2016/2017 award saw 676 schools from Sarawak comprising 100 secondary and 576 primary schools participating in seven categories.
Among the winners were SK Dua Sungai and SMK Bandar Sibu for the Serasi star award, SJK Chung Hua Pujut and SMK St Anthony for the Serasi Award, and SK Long Sepiling and SMK pending for the best environmental management award.
Other categories saw SJK © Chung Hua Miri and SMK St Patrick Mukah winning the best environmental awareness effort, SJK Min Daik and SMK St Joseph for the best green school, SJK © Chung Hua and SMK St Columba for the best clean and beautiful school ground, while Hartini Kipli and Linda Yip Soon Liang both won the best Serasi Teacher award.
SJK © Tung Hua on the other hand received special recognition for the Serasi Exemplary Award. Entering its eight edition, the Serasi award is an education programme aimed at spreading environmental awareness and protection in Sarawak. It is jointly organised by the Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources, Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB), SHELL and other government agencies.
Also present were Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment Dr Wan Lizozman Wan Omar and NREB state controller Peter Sawal.