Kuching, Sarawak – 24 July 2014 – World Wide Fund for Nature – Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia) today marked another milestone with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Curtin Sarawak Research Institute (CSRI), the multi-disciplinary research institute of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak).
The MoU opens the path for WWF-Malaysia and Curtin Sarawak to work together in promoting, developing and strengthening conservation, ecotourism and sustainable development efforts in Sarawak and the broader Borneo region.
WWF-Malaysia executive director/CEO Dato’ Dr. Dionysius Sharma and CSRI acting director Professor Clem Kuek, who is also the university’s dean of research and development, signed the MoU, witnessed by WWF head of conservation for Sarawak Dr. Henry Chan and CSRI senior research fellow Dr. Lisa Marie King.
Also present was Professor Jim Mienczakowski, pro vice-chancellor and chief executive of Curtin Sarawak.
The two-year scope of collaboration covers social and environmental science research within Borneo especially ecotourism-related projects and activities; nature conservation-related activities; knowledge transfer; staff training; collaborative efforts on grant proposals; media releases; letters of support; and funding support as feasible and appropriate when available.
Joint research activities in various professional social science and environmental science fields will also be carried out by both parties.
Dr Dionysius said all these joint efforts will work toward ensuring the sustainability of our natural resources for the present and future generations.
“In this connection, we are also looking forward to engage in more staff exchange programmes for knowledge transfer and joint training programmes, seminars or academic meetings for the benefit of both Curtin Sarawak and WWF in the near future,” he added.
Prof Kuek, meanwhile, said that while the MoU has set the framework for collaboration in a number of areas, there is considerable scope for further collaboration in the future, particularly as Curtin Sarawak, and specifically the CSRI, focuses increasingly on sustainable development, including energy, tourism and biodiversity, as well as community engagement, which are also relevant to WWF-Malaysia.
“We look forward to building a synergy and ongoing partnership with WWF-Malaysia that will last for a long time to come and contribute to the future social and economic development of communities within our region,” he remarked.
Professor Mienczakowski added that it is Curtin Sarawak’s mission to engage communities and transform lives through leadership, innovation and excellence in teaching and research, and underpinning these endeavours have been strong strategic partnerships with NGOs such as WWF-Malaysia, as well as other educational institutions, industry, business and government, which it continues to nurture and expand to ensure outcomes that truly benefit the communities.
For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my, its Facebook page at facebook.com/CurtinUniversitySarawakMalaysia, Twitter profile at twitter.com/curtinsarawak, YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/CurtinUniSarawak, or Instagram at instagram.com/curtinsarawak.