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21 April 2022

#SkillsSustain: “We need to ask ourselves how our skills can impact climate change”

Celebrate Earth Day, 22 April and join the global conversation on how skills can help mitigate the climate crisis

Two young women from Malaysia are about to launch an online platform that will make climate action accessible for everyone. It will help not-for-profit organizations and communities engaged in environmental activities across the globe to publicize their projects and reach out to potential volunteers.

Iklim is the first service offered by the company Bumii, which was one of the social entrepreneurship initiatives that made it to the finals of BeChangeMaker 2021, the popular social entrepreneur training programme supported by WorldSkills and the HP Foundation.

Climate activist Aaliyah Hasna and Farhana Sukhor met at a Kuala Lumpur-based NGO in 2018. Through their individual journeys as activists and their market research, they realized that it was hard for citizens who were newly interested in climate action to find projects to collaborate with their time and skills.

Their dream for Iklim is to have every initiative created to tackle the climate crisis to be featured on the platform, from marine conservation to reforestation or soil degradation.

“We’ll be focusing on many key holistic issues because we want to give people the power of choosing climate action projects that they’re passionate or curious about! Stick to your niche or diversify your interests; either way, it leads to creating collective action to help vulnerable communities and our ecosystem to deal with the adverse effects of climate change,” says Farhana.

Bumii is also encouraging organizations and communities to embrace new innovative ways of working on projects and to acquire more ambitious objectives.

“We’re now shifting towards becoming a legacy of solutions, embracing it and being part of the change. We believe that 7 billion people means 7 billion solutions waiting to unravel and present themselves to the world,” adds Farhana.

Based on their experience since the creation of Bumii, marketing, graphic design, and programming have been the most demanded skills.

Nonetheless, Aliyah and Farhana are trying to drift away from the idea that there are specific skills that can help in the fight against climate change and reinforce the narrative that all skills can and should be greener. “What we need to ask ourselves is how our work or skills are making a positive impact on our environment. How can my daily action at work contribute to addressing the climate crisis well within my capacity?” she says.

The key, she reckons, is to be well versed in the skills of choice. Connecting with peers with similar skill sets, and creating communities can help drive youth knowledge and passion for effective climate action.

“As a reaction, this wave of change can dictate how the global economy can be conducted sustainably and hold people in power accountable for their (in)action,” concludes Farhana.

Visit the Iklim website to join the movement to redefine climate change.

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