Saturday, December 4

NREB to continue launching, supporting PALS in schools


Justine Jok Jau Emang

MIRI: The state government has allocated funding to the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) since the Eighth Malaysia Plan (8MP) to enable the board implement programmes to help the state achieve developed status by 2030.

According to NREB Environmental Quality controller Justine Jok Jau Emang, the department has been using the funding to allocate two types of grants to schools statewide. One is for the launching of Environment Lovers Club (PALS) and the other for the club’s activities or projects.

“The launching grant is for schools which have just set up its own PALS club to kick-start their activities. The allocation is RM1,000 for primary schools and RM1,500 for secondary schools.

“For schools which already have the club, they can submit their project proposal to NREB to apply for RM5,000 funding annually,” he said in his address at NREB and SMK Lutong Environment Day Programme held at Piasau Nature Club (PNR) yesterday.

As a leading agency in environment in the state, Justine said NREB is committed to its roles of managing and protecting the environment, in line with its vision for a clean, green and healthy Sarawak.

“Various approaches have been used to manage the environment. Apart from control and scientific approaches, the education approach is one of the most important approaches for all levels of the community,” he pointed out.

He said sustainable development is one of the driving forces for Sarawak to achieve developed status by 2030 and environment education is among the important approaches towards becoming a sustainable state.

“That is why NREB introduced PALS in 1999. It was set up as a platform to enable students obtain more knowledge, skills and positive values on environment, through environment-related activities.

“There were only 74 schools throughout the state which have the club when it first started, but now we have the club in 389 schools,” he said.

He added that the department had also trained 675 teachers within the last five years to skilfully manage the club and impart knowledge on environment to students.

“This training is ongoing. In fact, from next week until November, another 120 teachers will be attending the training which will take place in Serian, Sibu and Bintulu,” he disclosed.

Justine also praised SMK Lutong for being among schools in the state that have the most active PALS clubs. He said the school’s initiative in organising environmental programmes should be an example for other schools to follow.

“I would like to assure that as long as NREB receive environment education funding in the next Malaysia Plan (12MP), NREB will continue to channel grants for PALS clubs,” he added.

He revealed that in 2018, NREB also introduced PALS Club school adoption programme where corporate bodies or private companies can ‘adopt’ the school by providing it with an annual funding of RM3,000. The funding, which is given for a period of three years, is for the school to carry out environment related programmes.

Meanwhile, Justine said Piasau Nature Reserve was selected as the venue for the programme yesterday not only because of its significance, but also to enable the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the prevention of Covid-19 to be adhered to.

He said while the ceremony is held a specific location, it is also being broadcast to SMK Lutong so that the students can still be part of the event from the comfort of their school.