Iskandar Malaysia EcoLife Challenge (IMELC) Proves That Kids Can Contribute to Climate Change

297,815 kilogrammes of recycled goods were collected through the challenge this year

Part of the activities organised by school for IMELC

Since Iskandar Malaysia Ecolife Challenge (IMELC)’s inception ten years ago, Standard 6 students throughout the state of Johor have demonstrated that children are capable of contributing to climate change action by reducing 783,146.52 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide (kgCO2), which is equivalent to the carbon dioxide absorption of 50,200 trees.

Dato’ Dr Badrul Hisham Kassim, Chief Executive, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) said, “Efforts to preserve and safeguard the environment in Iskandar Malaysia are integrated with economic and social development to guarantee that this region becomes a strong and sustainable metropolis. As a result, in addition to collaborating with friends in the government and corporate sector, community involvement is essential in shaping the young generation that will drive and sustain Iskandar Malaysia’s low-carbon strategy moving forward”.

Students participating in Iskandar Puteri Low Carbon Carnival

“This is the reason the Iskandar Malaysia Ecolife Challenge (IMELC) competition was established in 2013, and we are very proud to observe a steady increase in the number of schools, students, parents, and community participants. In fact, this competition has succeeded in instilling children’s need to lead a low-carbon lifestyle,” he added.

Every year, the Standard 6 pupils fill out bill information and take tests on how their everyday activities contribute to carbon emission. The IMELC, which began with printed workbooks, has now implemented digitally via the website, and the pupils are required to fill out forms with information about their water and power bills, the distance they drive by vehicle, the weight of recycled items and cooking oil, and to take quizzes to determine how their daily activities contribute to carbon output.

Md Said Bin Md Daimon, Director, Johor State Education Department stated that after a decade of IMELC implementation, schools in Johor have successfully received awards at the national and international level such as PerKIS, Sustainable School Award (Anugerah Sekolah Lestari), and SEAMEO-Japan ESD Awards for their efforts in ensuring environmental sustainability.

Schools in Johor have also successfully created a learning ecosystem and implementation of green initiatives such as low carbon community centres, garden projects, compost, solar, kuru- kuru (or barter system) and others. Some schools in Johor have also managed to obtain additional funds in the form of grants to drive sustainability education efforts in their respective schools. The success of these schools allows them to be recognised as Johor’s Sustainability Education Showcase and Transition Schools (Sekolah Peralihan).

In total, more than seven award categories were conveyed to successful students, schools and teachers in this year’s IMELC competition.

Awarding the winning trophy for Iskandar Puteri Low Carbon Carnival 2022In 2022, SJKC Foon Yew 2 managed to retain the overall championship of the competition thanks to the proactive and integrated efforts of the entire school community, as well as the local and outside communities, through activities such as Mangrove Seedling, Beach Cleaning @ Tanjung Piai, and Kuru-kuru @Pandul Lalu UTM). SJKC Foon Yew 2 has since become the standard model for sustainability initiatives in Johor and Malaysia.

This year’s installation was energised by IMELC’s participation in the Iskandar Puteri Low Carbon Carnival, which marked the challenge’s tenth anniversary.

Several awards were also launched, including the MBIP Icon Special Award, which was given to the school with the best overall results in the MBIP administrative area.