“Business events have the capacity to unite different communities to bring about a targeted, positive change through CSR activities. This amplifies the yield of the destination,” SCB chief operating officer Amelia Roziman said.
In its latest activity, four BE ambassadors spent three days in the Bario highlands under SCB’s Redefining Global Tribes CSR initiative.
SCB spearheaded and facilitated the Bario trip for the BE ambassadors to share their expertise in waste and wastewater management, oral healthcare and obstetrics and gynecology with the local community.
The BE ambassadors agreed that education and empowerment were the key to sustainable living.
“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 Universiti Malaya associate vice-chancellor (research and innovation) Prof Dr Shaliza Ibrahim.
Her colleague Assoc Prof Dr Sumiani Yusoff, the Sustainability Science Research Cluster dean, said the community must understand the importance of managing their waste sustainably.
“When strategically and systematically managed, waste can actually be turned into a precious resource, contributing to the economic standing of the community,” she said.
Prof Dr Noor Hayaty Abu Kasim, Universiti Malaya’s Wellness Research Cluster dean, added: “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.”
She found Bario beautiful and its people 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 on wellness and sustainability to generate more awareness of their challenges,” said Prof Noor Hayaty.
Asia Oceania Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology president Dr Ravi Chandran said environmental preservation should not be overlooked in efforts to develop the economy.
“Development always comes at a price. The challenge is to improve economic standing without creating too much environmental damage.
“After all, these are the main attractions of the place,” he said.
Roziman said the CSR initiative helped to forge closer ties between convention ambassadors and local communities and was also a platform for the business events sector to be involved in CSR.
Business event ambassadors talking to staff of a rural clinic in Bario..