The Greening of the Rainforest World Music Festival 2019

Rainforest World Music Festival 2009 – Photo by Angel Romero

The Rainforest World Music Festival 2019 intends to further enhance its environmental sustainability, contributing not only to the safeguarding of culture and art but also nature and the environment at the festival grounds. The Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) will take place July 12-14, 2019 at the Sarawak Cultural Village.

Sarawak Cultural Village – – Photo by Angel Romero

In a determined effort to make the festival even more eco-friendly, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) has been working with various companies and organizations, start-ups and social enterprises to tackle waste and reduce the carbon footprint on the environment in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Some of the combined efforts include the recently announced #Urbins project as well as the annual tradition of tree planting.

This year, STB will be working with Cuckoo International who will install 20 water stations throughout the Sarawak Cultural Village. The water stations will provide free, clean drinking water. STB recommends festival-goers to bring their own reusable water bottles. RWMF will not be selling bottled water in the RWMF venue to reduce the single-use plastic waste. This will be considered possibly the biggest effect this year at RWMF, as it will greatly reduce the amount of single-use plastic collected at the festival. Festival-goers can purchase limited edition collapsible cups at designated stands, but are still advised to bring their own bottles.

Additionally, the RWMF is cooperating closely with food and drinks vendors to select biodegradable tableware and avoid disposable plates or cutlery made from Styrofoam. STB is working with Canard Media Sdn Bhd to implement a biodegradable solution to waste generation at the Food Mart.

Urbins presentation – Angelina Bateman (Director of Events and Corporate Relations STB), Seph Haini, founder of Spativate; Sharzede Salleh Askor (CEO, Sarawak Tourism Board).

Trienekens will return to RWMF as an indispensable sponsor, providing the festival with bins and bin liners, providing creative signage and posters to help festivalgoers separate out their waste accordingly between recyclables and food waste. Trienekens will also handle the treatment of recyclables and supplies provisions of recycling facilities on-site.

This will be the third year STB will employ the social enterprise Biji-Biji Initiative in the important task of synchronizing waste management across multiple waste stations, enlisting the help of local university students & mobilizing volunteers to carry on this task. The resulting collection of non-biodegradable recyclable materials will be sent to be recycled, while the food waste is used by Worming Up, a local initiative that converts food waste into bio-protein for fertilizer and animal feed for local farmers. The volunteers spread messages on topics related to recycling and food waste composting, raising public awareness among festival-goers.

Another initiative is “Green Warriors” where volunteers will help to leave the festival site exactly how it was before the festival. Here, festival-goers and volunteers work together clear up the festival site.

As it has been implemented in the past few years, shuttle buses will ferry festivalgoers from the city of Kuching and from a nearby location to the festival grounds to alleviate carbon emissions as well as prevent congestion at the site. Other recycling efforts include transforming STB promotional banners from previous years into tote bags to be used as gifts and souvenirs of the festival.

More about the festival:

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

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