British Council’s A.R.C. Challenge Malaysia Grant aims to create dialogue and contextualise climate change, youth and cultural rights between the UK and Malaysia
The British Council announced the recipients for the A.R.C. Challenge Malaysia Grant during its A.R.C. Challenge Malaysia Forum 1 - Youth, Climate Change and Cultural Rights, held today.
The virtual event was attended by His Excellency Charles Hay, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Professor Dr Joy Jacqueline Pereira from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Alison Tickell, Director of London-based charity Julie’s Bicycle, as well as a host of attendees from youth groups, students, non-governmental organisations and the general public. The forum was moderated by renowned Malaysian news anchor, Sharaad Kuttan.
The grants go to applicants who proposed UK-Malaysia collaboration projects in response to climate change and offer innovative and interdisciplinary solutions that create awareness and enhance resilience among youth.
The three partnerships that have successfully secured the grant are
- Weaving Hopes for the Future by KLIMA Action Malaysia and Students for Global Health from the UK. The project is an arts and culture response to climate degradation with a focus on empowering Orang Asli (indigenous) youths about climate change and climate action.
- Visioning The Future & Story Telling for Climate Change project by neOOne Associates and SEA International CIC in Scotland aims to help Malaysian and Scottish youth sharpen their storytelling skills to communicate and activate their plans and goals for climate change through a virtual impact festival.
- Biji-Biji Initiative and Falmouth University’s 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.
Charles Hay, British High Commissioner to Malaysia said, ‘Whether it is through education, technology, the arts, sciences or law ─ young people far and wide are tapping into their skills and wisdom to speak up for climate action. 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, and some more so than others.’
Jazreel Goh, Director Malaysia, British Council said, ‘The British Council, as the UK’s international cultural relations organisation, will continue to bring awareness around 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.’
The A.R.C. Malaysia Challenge is part of the cultural programme activities in the build-up to COP26, which the UK is hosting on 1 – 12 November 2021.
Jazreel added, ‘We believe that the youth have the power to change and improve our current system and that collaborations across sectors and cultures will play a crucial role in tackling climate change’.
Creating dialogue surrounding Climate Change, Youth and Cultural Rights
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.
During the forum, Professor Dr Joy Jacqueline Pereira from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and Alison Tickell, Director of Julie’s Bicycle, a London based charity that supports the creative community to act on climate change and environmental sustainability, shared country-level and organisational perspectives on trends, priorities and strategies as well as the role of youth in addressing climate change, through enhancing knowledge exchange and sharing of good practices via strategic collaborations.
The second part of the forum consisted of 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 together can make a difference and influence existing political, economic and social models through engagement and collaborations with stakeholders. Panellists were:
- Toh Zhee Qi, Malaysian Youth Delegation
- Atteleth Don, Reef Check Malaysia (FameLab International Finalist)
- Eliza Collin, sustainable fashion and material designer
- Wendy Teo, Borneo Laboratory
- Shaq Koyok, artist and advocate for indigenous rights
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 25 March 2021.
For more information about the A.R.C. Challenge Malaysia and its subsequent activities, visit https://www.britishcouncil.my/programmes/arc-challenge-malaysia.