Yayasan Anak Warisan Alam (YAWA)
Yayasan Anak Warisan Alam (YAWA), or Children's Environmental Heritage Foundation, is an organization committed to changing young people's attitudes towards the environment. Set up in 1990 as the Junior Environmental Group of Malaysia, it is now a registered foundation dedicated to instilling environmental awareness in young people through thought-provoking, fun-filled activities.
YAWA has formed a global link with environmental groups in Australia, Sweden, Angola, India, the Philippines,South Africa, Japan, China, Thailand and Indonesia. Through an interactive web-site, called,www.myonlyplanet.org, YAWA has initiated a communications network called South-east Asian Environmental Network, (SEAYEN) for youths and environmental NGOs in this region. The objective of this network is for young people to work seriously together on trans-boundary issues on air-pollution, sea pollution, forest fire, animal smuggling and illegal logging. A training programme, called Eco-volunteer Training Certificate, EVTC, has been designed for young people. It hopes to instill a sense of deeper understanding of environmental degradation we are facing together and to take positive action.
At local level, it has organized more than 150 activities, from saving sea turtles, air-watch, beach and lake clean up exercises, tree planting to helping children express their environmental concerns through art. YAWA organizes eco-camps for children in the village and children with special needs to help them better understand the ecosystems. It has produced postcards to ‘Spread the Message to Share the Planet’. Children’s messages and expressions can be viewed on, yawamalaysia.org YAWA is working with other NGO on a long term river-care project in Kuala Lumpur.
Abroad, YAWA has taken part in a number of UNEP international children’s conferences, Leave It to Us and TUNZA. They participated in painting the longest mural in the UK in 2000. In 1995, several members of the Foundation attended the first UNEP International Children's Conference on the Environment in Britain. Inspired by that meeting, YAWA organized its own international conferences, bringing together children form aroundMalaysia and the world to discuss important green issues.
The first conference, entitled ‘Sustain Today for Tomorrow’, was held in 1996 at the Forestry Institute in Kuala Lumpur where delegates learned that it takes millions of years for a rainforest to develop its amazing biodiversity and just minutes to wipe it out. In 1998, the year Malaysia faced a water shortage crisis, the second conference was held in Marang, which taught delegates that water is not as limitless as it seems. In 2000, the 3rd conference, held in Ampang Pecah studied the problems of air-pollution. Its 4th conference was held in Melaka as it focused on protection and conservation of our ‘Heritage’.
YAWA 5th conference in December 2004, looks at the sea issues and how to ‘Save the Seas Around Us’, as its theme.