KUCHING –As part of their studies to learn more about the environment, 15 undergraduate students from Hong Kong Baptist University travelled to Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus yesterday (28 May 2009) to learn about conservation issues in Sarawak from three experts in the field.
The Swinburne Green Club organized the panel discussion that comprised Cynthia Chin, who is head of training, development and education at the Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Programme, Rambli Ahmad, an ecologist with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation specializing in the caves in Sarawak, and Robert Basiuk, an Environmental Consultant who has worked in both the private and public sectors, shared their knowledge and experience on conservation issues in the state.
The panel discussion was facilitated by Christina Yin, Swinburne Green Club Advisor, lecturer and Associate Head of Swinburne’s School of Language and Foundation.
Among some of the issues discussed were current environmental issues in Sarawak; eco-tourism and its impact on wildlife, the environment and the local communities; how logging companies can contribute to eco-tourism; government policies on land use; and the impact and role of every individual in conserving the environment.
Questions from the students included those on job opportunities in environmental conservation, impacts of eco-tourism on natural habitats, wildlife and local communities, specific wildlife species like the endemic estuarine crocodile, and conservation in highly populated and land-poor areas like Hong Kong and Singapore as compared to the more sparsely populated rainforest-rich regions like Sarawak.
The visiting students were led by Dr Cinnie Ng, Associate Director of Student Affairs and Head of the Leadership Qualities Centre at Hong Kong Baptist University.
At the end of the event the panelists, Green Club members and the visitors cut a cake to mark World Environment Day which falls on 5 June. The visitors were later given a tour of Swinburne Sarawak Campus.