Portugal-Malaysia Pilot Action: Penang Eco-School Delegation to Famalicão

Categorized as Circular Economy, News from Asia & Australasia

From 20 to 25 November 2023, Vila Nova de Famalicao (VNF) hosted the second cohort of the eco-school student exchange programme “Famalicao-Penang Youth Climate Action”, which has been awarded the support of IURC’s competitive fund. The mission focused on closing the loop on food waste and other waste streams. The Malaysian delegation consisted of one principal and two top students from the “Convent Butterworth Secondary School” (Penang, Malaysia). The delegation was co-hosted by the “Camilo Castelo Branco” eco-school as well as by VNF City Council. The event was a follow-up to the visit by Portuguese schoolers to Penang in September 2023.

During the four-day agenda, students from Malaysia and Portugal cooperated on several areas of the eco-schools programme, including sustainable cooking and energy efficiency. They also cooperated on the elaboration of an e-book with best practices for waste prevention and two testimonial videos. Malaysian students also participated in the European Waste Prevention Week and exchanged knowledge on relevant projects like REfood, school gardens, etc.

The activity was possible thanks to the instrumental support of Ms. Raquel Azevedo, Coordinator of the Eco-Schools Programme (who acted as host family too) together with Chef Ricardo Lanção (Camilo Castelo Branco School Group) as well as Ms. Marisa Moreira & Ms. Ana Silva (Famalicão City Council). Mr. Helder Pereira, Councillor responsible for the Environment in the Municipality of Vila Nova de Famalicão provided crucial political support throughout the process. Special gratitude goes to the Portuguese host family Mr. & Mrs. José Manuel Martins da Silva Falcão Afonso, who welcomed the Penang students into their home and assisted in the Penang students’ cultural immersion throughout their stay in Portugal.

The activity was co-funded by the IURC Asia Competitive Fund and coordinated with the Green Growth Asia Foundation (GGAF), the Malaysian eco-schools programme coordinator. The foundation reports to the federal agency Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre (MGTC) under the purview of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC).

By Pablo Gandara