KUCHING, Saturday – The Rainforest World Music Festival has taken steps to further reduce its carbon footprint this year.
The Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary aims to increase its environmental sustainability, contributing to not only the preservation of culture and art, but also in the preservation of Mother Earth.
“The Festival is uniquely positioned, as a locally held and internationally recognised event, to create a positive social, environmental and economic impact that can benefit local Sarawakians” said the Sarawak Tourism Board’s Director of Events and Corporate Relations, Angelina Bateman.
Some of the greening efforts taken by the Board include the introduction of festival shuttle buses to reduce carbon emission and the segregation of waste.
In 2011, the Festival began tree planting initiative which gives opportunity to performers, sponsors and volunteers to leave behind a living legacy contributing to the local ecosystem.
The Festival’s strict stance on biodegradable tableware, while prohibiting the use of plastic or styrofoam products by vendors, has also become a principle in the annual event.
Last year, the Board expanded its greening activities by collaborating with Biji Biji Initiative, a social enterprise promotes creative methods of reusing waste, to tackle the implementation of food waste management at the Festival.
For the 19th edition of the Festival, more than 300 kilogramme of food waste was collected of which 195 kilogramme given for layering compost while the remaining was used in ‘Worming Up’ of worm farm.
‘Worming Up’ is a local initiative that aims to reduce food waste by converting it into bio-protein to break down the waste into fertilizer and animal feed.
The amount collected was considerably small but was seen as a good start in the creation of awareness, said Bateman.
During the last year’s Festival, educational displays on recycling and food composting were placed along walkways to educate the festival-goers
Admitting that the project had its snags in its first year due shortage of compost and recycle bins coupled with disposal of waste into the wrong bins, however steps have been taken to address these issues.
The rise in festivals ‘going green’ and being environmentally sustainable has become more of a necessity than a priority over the years due to mounting pressure on the event to do its part in reducing greenhouse gases.
As the Festival aims to be one of the top world music festivals, it has to step up its efforts in the greening initiative at par with other festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Burning Man.
The Festival to be held at the Sarawak Cultural Village on July 14 to 16 will also feature wellness programmes, informative talks, interactive ‘mini sessions’ in the afternoon as well as night concerts throughout the three-day festival.
Some 20 international bands will be performing, while many local bands such as At Adau will be taking centre stage with their cultural performances of Sarawak.
Rainforest World Music Festival is organised by Sarawak Tourism, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is jointly supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth & Sports Sarawak and partnering with Malaysia Airlines as the presenting sponsor with Zurich Insurance Malaysia Berhad (ZIMB) and Zurich Takaful Malaysia Berhad (ZTMB) (Zurich Malaysia) as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partner.
Image above shows volunteers collecting segregated waste
Volunteers with segregated waste after collection
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