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Published on : Thursday, July 27, 2017
ICCA Sarawak Convention Bureau is determined to gather Business Event (BE) professionals to leave a lasting legacy in the shape of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) drives for isolated communities which need help in sustainable development.
“Be it the local community, industry members, or the destination’s council, Business Events has the capacity to unite different communities to bring about a targeted, positive change under CSR activities,
which amplifies the yield of the destination,” said Amelia Roziman, Chief Operating Officer of Sarawak Convention Bureau.
The latest activity was in the highlands of Bario, where four BE ambassadors spent 3 days helping to drive sustainable change for the community at the “Land of a Thousand Handshakes” in July as part of Sarawak Convention Bureau’s Redefining Global Tribes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.
Spearheaded and facilitated by the SCB, the Bario excursion was designed for the BE ambassadors – who are well known in Malaysia in their respective fields – to engage with the community to impart their expertise in waste and wastewater management, oral health care, as well as obstetrics and gynecology.
“There is a strong need for an improved waste management and sewage system, especially with the recent influx of tourists. The current dumping area for solid waste, located right next to the river, is slowly contaminating the water and may turn into a hotbed of pollution issues,” said Professor Dr. Shaliza Ibrahim, Associate Vice- Chancellor (Research and Innovation) from University of Malaya.
All convention ambassadors were in agreement that education and empowerment of the people is key to sustainable living.
Associate Professor Dr. Sumiani Yusoff, Dean of Sustainability Science Research Cluster – University of Malaya, said “You have to make the community understand why it is important to manage their waste in a sustainable manner. When strategically and systematically managed, waste can actually be turned into a precious resource, contributing to the economic standing of the community.”
Professor Dr. Noor Hayaty Abu Kasim, who is also the Dean of the Wellness Research Cluster at University of Malaya said, “What we want to accomplish, must first be attainable by the community. By first gauging their level of concerns, we can then identify what is needed and suggest the appropriate actions.”
“Bario is beautiful and the people are courteous, friendly and welcoming. We need to assist them to maintain and sustain their culture. We are looking at the possibility of hosting a highland community conference centering on wellness and sustainability to generate more awareness of their challenges,” remarked Dr. Noor Hayaty who is also the Past President of the International Association for Dental Research Southeast Asian Division, commenting on the appeal of Bario.
Dr. Ravi Chandran, President of the Asia Oceania Federation of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, said the preservation of the environment should not be overlooked in efforts striving towards economic development.
“Development always comes at a price. The challenge is to improve the economic standing, without creating too much environmental damage. After all, these are the main attractions of the place,” noted Dr. Ravi, also a Past President of the Obstetrical and Gynecological Society of Malaysia.
“This CSR initiative unveils the hidden values of Business Events; one which unites hearts, connects communities, and unmasks each own unique identities. Not only are we forging closer ties between the convention ambassadors with the various small communities, but we are also providing the opportunity for the whole Business Events sector to be involved,” said Roziman.
Amelia Roziman also thanked the Miri City Council, represented by Councilor Ernest Goh, Chairman of Miri City Council’s Tourism Development Standing Committee, as well as Miri’s industry members who showcased the best of the city to the convention ambassadors including Minda Travel, Pullman Waterfront Miri, Miri Marriott Resort and Spa, and Borneo Tru Events.