Sabahans urged to play their part in safeguarding the environ

KOTA KINABALU, 18 August 2023 (Daily Express): In light of pressing climate change issues and the era of global boiling, Liew called on all Sabahans to play their roles in safeguarding the environment.

She cited a statement by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres who said global warming has ended as the global boiling era has arrived, with regards to new data released by the European Union and the World Meteorological Organisation.

“Guterres declared July of 2023 as the hottest month on record.

“He also highlighted that the record heat affecting communities across the globe is caused by climate change, and although the phenomenon has long been predicted, the pace of change is devastating.

“He also emphasised that countries must invest in adaptation measures and respond and protect their people from the searing heat, fatal floods, storms, drought and raging fires that result.

“Now, what does this mean to us in Sabah? We are part of that global community and we have also been experiencing extreme hot weather lately, or sometimes extreme rainfall.

“Climate change is an issue that must be addressed by all levels of society from grassroots up to the policy-makers.

“You and I have our roles to play, and we must commit as an individual and as a group to make a positive difference wherever we are.

“There is no other way but for us to work together,” she said at the launch of the Environment Protection Department’s (EPD) Air Quality Monitoring in Schools (Aquams) portal at the Hilton Kota Kinabalu, Thursday.

Christina commended the move to develop the Aquams portal, which acts as a platform for students and communities to easily access real-time data on the air quality in the school vicinity, collected by the Aquams device.

The Aquams portal is part of the Aquams project, an initiative between the EPD and Unicef, launched in September last year involving five schools, which aims to establish a community for citizen science as part of a collaborative air quality monitoring network.

The schools are SM St Michael, Penampang, SMK Agama Tun Ahmadshah, Kota Kinabalu, SJK(C) Chung Hwa, Tamparuli, SK Buang Sayang, Papar and Sekolah Indonesia Kota Kinabalu.

With the portal, the Aquams devices installed in these schools, which is a part of the Internet of Things (IoT), will collect air quality-related data. Unicef is providing financial and technical assistance for the project.

“The development of this portal is timely and acts as a platform for students and communities to easily access real-time data about air quality in the school vicinity collected by the Aquams device,” said Christina.

Earlier, the “Aquams Challenge” was organised by the EPD for students from the five schools, where they presented their entries in the form of e-posters and environmental videos on air quality, air pollution and climate change.

SM St Michael and SJKC Chung Hwa were placed first for the e-Poster competition while SM St Michael and SJKC Chung Hwa, Tamparuli won the video challenge.

A student from SM St Michael, Tessa Tevelyna Baduk, said the project was a meaningful experience for her as it deepened her love for the environment and sense of responsibility in safeguarding it.

“This programme really helps to plant the seed of loving and nurturing the environment and at a very young age especially for the primary school students involved,” she said.