KUCHING: Some 470 runners took part in the Run for the Wild organised by Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program (WCS Malaysia) to show their support for the conservation of orang utans, sharks and rays.
Another 100 volunteers joined them in the annual event organised in partnership with Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre.
“More than 70 Swinburne students volunteered at this event, the majority as marshals to ensure the safety of runners along the three routes.
“We value their contribution to conservation events and activities as it is crucial that the younger generation care about sustainable lifestyles and environmental issues,” Swinburne Sarawak’s Green Club adviser Christina Yin said.Side activities held during the run included a colouring contest for primary school children, zumba sessions and free henna tattoos.
Over the years, WCS Malaysia and its partners have managed to garner support for conservation from corporations, small businesses and civil society organisations in Kuching through the run and other initiatives.
For instance, 20 local coffeeshops and cafes took part in a recent month-long survey to gauge customer perception on the use of plastic straws versus paper straws.
Data collected from the survey will pave the way for future activities to create a more environmentally-conscious city.
WCS Malaysia has also carried out conservation education activities for urban school students nationwide as well as English learning activities for rural schools within known orang utan habitat sites.
“WCS Malaysia is really happy to have so much conservation support from like-minded people and organisations, as well as the media from within Sarawak and globally,” director Dr Melvin Gumal said.
“Their willingness and keenness for conservation bodes well for our Malaysian future and Sarawak in particular as there is so much more biodiversity left to save. WCS Malaysia will continue to engage with all our stakeholders to give them an opportunity to participate.”