Guardians for orang utans in Semenggoh

SCB senior marketing executive Jemima Rinai Joseph (sixth from left) presenting the donated books to Japri.

KUCHING: The corporate social responsibility initiative of the 55th International Congress and Convention Associations (ICCA) has successfully attracted new international guardians for the orang utans residing at Semenggoh Nature Reserve.

The initative, called the Borneo Orang Utan Project, saw eight-year-old orang utan Ganya and new mom Selina being adopted by IMEX America and ICCA respectively via the Bronze package worth RM20,000.

Skycity’s New Zealand International Convention Centre took the Silver package, contributing RM30,000 to the Semenggoh Nature Reserve. This was in tandem with their marketing campaign, “Creating a brighter future together”, which won them ICCA Best Marketing Award 2016.

“CSR programmes attached to business events pave a global roadmap to drive sustainable change and development for the local community, and bring Sarawak and the world closer together.

“A shining example was created this year when hundreds of international delegates of the 55th ICCA last November had reached out to an endangered species endemic to our rainforests, the mighty orang utan,” Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) said in a statement.

In addition, six other baby orang utans had been adopted at various international business trade shows, it added.

Also benefitting from the conference’s CSR programme are 3,000 rural children in Sarawak.

SCB said in an effort to empower and inspire a love for reading among rural children, the Librarians Association of Malaysia (Sarawak Chapter) and ICCA Congress 2016 organised a “Bookshare” campaign that yielded donations of 358 books to benefit five schools in two villages.

“Just imagine what changes the 358 books donated by ICCA members would bring to Sarawakians, The “Bookshare” initiative holds huge potential to change lives for the better,” Sarawak State Library head of library service sector, Japri Bujang Masli, commented on the initiative.

Former ICCA Asia-Pacific regional director Jane Vong Holmes said a CSR initiative such as the “Bookshare” would enable individual conference attendees to help the local community at large, while leaving a personal footprint among the rural libraries and community centres in Sarawak.

“This is the purpose of ICCA’s CSR policy, to make impact change through small, accessible acts of love,” she added.

Meanwhile, SCB marketing and sales division general manager Amelia Roziman believed that robust CSR programme would create a long-lasting impact on the local community while increasing the engagement of delegates across the board.

“A strong CSR initiatives amplifies the yield of business events to a destination. CSR activities forge closer ties between the local governments and organisers, creating unique on-the-ground encounters for an unforgettable business event experience for delegates,” she added.

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