Curtin, Unas to jointly host Sustainable Devt and Leadership Forum

MIRI: Curtin University Sarawak campus is partnering the United Nations Association of Singapore (Unas) to host the ‘Sustainable Development and Leadership Forum 2011’ at its campus in Miri on March 12.

The one-day forum to be held in the university’s Harry Perkins Lecture Theatre is for upper secondary students and students from institutions of higher learning.

It is part of Unas’ ‘Sustainable Borneo’ project in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Victoria to reach out to partners in Sarawak.

According to Yap Kwong Weng, director of Unas, the project aims to increase awareness of environmental sustainability, promote cooperation through education, and foster ties with local businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and educational institutions in Sarawak.

The forum is being held in conjunction with the United Nations International Year of Forests 2011, which aims to highlight and strengthen sustainable development in forest management.

Yap said it would be a platform for participants to connect with other youths and discuss a broad range of environmental sustainability related topics, including environmental issues, technological advances and biodiversity.

Invitations to participate in the forum have been extended to students from Curtin Sarawak and most secondary schools in Miri.

Among the forum speakers will be the Dean of Curtin Sarawak’s School of Foundation and Continuing Studies, Beena Giridharan, who will present ‘Principles of Community Service’.

She is an advocate of youths engaging in community service and volunteerism and hopes the forum will encourage students to take up community service.

“A great deal of satisfaction and pride can be derived from helping others when individuals commit time and effort to an organisation or cause they believe in. Community service and volunteering not only benefit the community but also the volunteers,” Beena said.

She added that volunteering can bring a sense of self-esteem and feeling of being valued, in addition to developing social and cognitive skills in young people.

It benefits youth as when they learn to help others, they feel empowered, and when working with interesting tasks, they learn to think deeply about the issues at hand and use complex thinking skills.

Civil and Construction Engineering Senior Lecturer Dr Tang Fu Ee will talk on ‘Water Sustainability in Sarawak’, during which he will present methods for wastewater treatment in the state. Students interested to participate can register with Lydia Mujah of Curtin Sarawak’s School of Foundation and Continuing Studies at 085-443939 ext. 4215.

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