Green Media Summit planned for Sarawak

Travel News Asia 27 June 2005

The award-winning scientist and broadcaster, Professor David Suzuki, a former BBC bureau chief, and a young zoologist and diver are the driving force behind plans for a visionary three-day conference on how the mass media can meet people's thirst for information about the environment.

The conference, the International Media & Environment Summit (IMES), to be held in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo, will bring together journalists, broadcasters, educators, environmentalists and scientists from around the globe. It will run from 30 November to 2 December 2005.

Professor Suzuki, a Canadian geneticist renowned both as an academic and an award winning documentrary film maker will Chair the conference. The head of the planning team, Alexander Thomson was with the BBC for 25 years, during which time he was its South East Asia Bureau Chief, and World Service South Asia Editor. He was born and raised in Singapore and is now Manging Director of News World International. 

Bess Manley, the IMES project manager, a Briton and graduate of Nottingham University like Alexander Thomson, is a zoologist, photographer and divemaster. Before joing the team she worked in Australia, Sulawesi and Fiji. Veronica Chiu, the Conference Secretary, was raised in both Singapore and the UK. A passionate environmentalist she is also a tai chi instructor, former company secretary and daughter of a distinguished Bishop of Singapore.

Edgar Ong, the Technical Director, is a Sarawakian with more than thirty years experience in media, film production and Event Management. And News World's Chairman, Richard Peel, is a former BBC Controller, Fellow of the Royal Television Society, and is now a Managing Director with the UK's Audit Commission.

The conference itself will be the high point of a week which includes an environmental film festival, community outreach projects, field trips, workshops and training sessions for international and local journalists, and a wide-ranging educational programme.

The philosophy of IMES is based on the Three Bridges Doctrine - linking the Media and the Environment, East and West, and Public and Private Sectors.

Borneo, the world's third largest island, is part of one of the world's most wildlife-rich areas. It boasts an astonishing diversity of plants and animals, including the iconic orang-utan and precious tracts of rainforest. It also has first class flight connections and hotels.

Sponsors and supporters include Malaysia Airlines, Astro, DHL, ASEAN, UNDP, the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, Conservation International, Animal Planet, and Sarawak Forestry Corporation.

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