RWMF going greener this year

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Sharzede speaks on go green at the Rainforest World Music Festival at a press conference besides the 'Urbin'. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: Aside from music, this year’s edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival 2019 (RWMF2019) aims to further increase its environmental sustainability, contributing not only to the preservation of culture and art but also nature and environment.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah congratulated the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) for coming up with the eco-friendly initiatives and fully supported the idea.

“The festival, aside from the gathering of music lovers, also aims to educate our people to be more responsible towards conserving the environment,” he said at a press conference on RMWF2019, at 11 Ridgeway, Jalan Ong Tiang Swee here yesterday.

He explained that it was uniquely positioned as a locally held and internationally-recognised event to create a positive social, environment and economic impact that would benefit the people and environment.

Sharzede speaks on go green at the Rainforest World Music Festival at a press conference besides the ‘Urbin’. Photo: Ramidi Subari

Meanwhile, STB chief executive officer Sharzede Salleh Askor said in a concerted effort to make the festival even more eco-friendly, they have been working with various companies and organisations, start-ups and social enterprises to tackle waste and reduce the carbon footprint on the environment in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“To reduce the disposal of plastic bottles, water filter company Cuckoo International will be installing 20 water stations throughout the festival at Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV),” she added.

She said 60,000 plastic bottles were collected last year, therefore RWMF would not be selling bottled water to reduce the single use plastic waste.

“Festivalgoers are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottle or either purchase limited edition stainless steel collapsible cups,” she stressed.

She said the best part of it is that festivalgoers can get their water refilled for free.

Other initiatives include the Urbins project, and annual tree planting.

Sharzede also said that the Urbin project would encourage the public to dispose their waste in a beautifully decorated dustbin with Borneo elements.

“We want to start this habit of telling people not to litter, but to throw their rubbish properly. This is about shared responsibility to take care of our environment and make the world a better place,” she stressed.

Besides that, she said there would be also “Green Warriors” where volunteers would help to collect rubbish and keep the venue clean.

“Other recycling efforts include transforming STB promotional banners from previous years into tote bags, and it will be used as gifts and souvenirs of the festival,” she said.

She stressed that with all these efforts of going green, it strives to tell the world that Sarawakians are concerned about environmental change, and invites not only the locals but also tourists to support their cause.

In addition, the success of RWMF2018’s greening efforts have encouraged the continuation of some waste management and prevention practices for this year, as well as inspired the introduction of new efforts as well.

There were 645.7kg of food and kitchen waste, 51.6kg of biodegradable tableware, and 11kg of waste cooking oil were collected for processing and composting, while 50kg of paper, 105kg of plastic, 43kg of cans and 582 units of glass bottles were collected for recycling.

RWMF2019 set to get greener. Photo: Bernama