Official welcome to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
The Race for Water Odyssey ambassador vessel was officially welcomed today in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, by the national and local government institutions, partners and the media. It is the first time in the history of the Foundation that the ambassador vessel visits Malaysia.
The boat, which is the world’s first catamaran powered by a mix of renewable energy sources including solar, wind and sea, is going around the world to raise awareness of the impact of plastic waste on the marine environment and propose local solutions to this global problem.
This unique catamaran arrived in Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday 20th August and today hosted the official welcome press conference on board attended by Mr Marco Simeoni, The Race for Water Foundation president; YB Datuk Liew Vui Kong, the Legal Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Walter Kenson, the Director of Health and Environment in Kota Kinabalu; Mr. Zachary Mobijohn, General Manager of Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd, Mr. Gerard Tan, Deputy CEO of Sutera Harbour Resort, Marinah Embiricos, Co-Chair of the Now Project, amongst other key guests and officials.
All speakers at the conference highlighted the importance of collaboration to tackle the complex and growing issue of plastic pollution not only in Malaysia but also across the globe, and that the solution to this problem has to be on land. The members present proposed to work together over the coming 2 weeks to facilitate workshops and educational visits for school children.
Created in 2010, the Swiss Foundation Race for Water fights to prevent the plastic pollution of the oceans. The mission is to take action on the ground by providing sustainable industrial technological solutions. Through the 2017-2021 Odyssey, the ambassador vessel travels the globe’s seas to review the impact of plastic on the marine environment, to alert as many people as possible to this scourge and to offer solutions to combat it. It is a comprehensive programme rolled out at every stopover to assist the coastal towns and the different islands visited to take action locally against this global problem.
The Race for Water Foundation’s ambassador vessel is unique; propelled solely by renewable energies thanks to its solar panels, its traction kite and its chain of hydrogen production and storage. A working showcase for energy transition whilst underway, the vessel transforms into a fabulous platform to host workshops and local school visits when in harbour.
Setting sail from Lorient, France, on 9 April 2017 for a 5-year circumnavigation of the globe, the Race for Water vessel, now on its 20th stop-over, will remain in Malaysia for the next two weeks. The vessel will depart for Palawan in the Philippines, on 10th September.
Mr Marco Simeoni, The Race for Water Foundation president
“We have been sailing for over two years across the Atlantic and then the South Pacific Oceans to finally reach South East Asia and the Malaysian waters, where plastic pollution is a major issue in the region. We will be working over the coming days to bring people together and to look at solutions on a practical level. Our aim is to find local solutions to a worldwide disaster.”
YB Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Menteri Di Jabatan Perdana Menteri
“I hope Race for Water can create a value chain proposition for single use plastic in order to incentivize its collection instead of its disposal. This will be fundamental to the success of nation’s ban on single use plastic by 2030. Once again it is in this context that we warmly welcome Race for Water’s international initiative and solution for incentivizing the collection of plastic waste.”
YB Puan Yeo Bee Yin, Minister for Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC)
“MESTECC is very encouraged that Race 4 Water Odyssey global expedition is making a call in Kota Kinabalu. This is part of Kota Kinabalu Green City Action Plan – Environmental Awareness Initiative. We believe this event will further augment the much-needed public awareness on addressing single use plastic pollution. The Odyssey’s innovative renewable energy usage of sun, wind and water to power her global journey will inspire local innovations on renewable energy especially among the younger generation to develop and assimilate the use of sustainable technology for a better and sustainable future.”