Engineers Without Borders – Malaysia

Climate Action

The Borderless Initiative: Accelerating Climate Action through Community Development

The degree to which people contribute to climate change, how they experience its impacts, and how they are able to cope with and adapt to these impacts is determined largely by variables of gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, age, and physical ability. It is with these variables that we can establish people’s access to and control over resources, power and knowledge. In particular, socially constructed differences between men and women that determine responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken, access to and control over resources, and decision-making opportunities contribute to the different ways in which they experience and respond to climate action, which can exacerbate gender inequality.

The aim of this initiative is to produce pragmatic approaches to facilitate the scaling and financing of socially-transformative climate action projects. Hopefully, the completion of such projects would strengthen climate resilience and enhance the livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities in Malaysia, based upon the principles of the United Nations Sustainable Agenda and the Malaysia National Climate Change (NCC) policies and action plans. 

The focus of our initiative will be on the following three themes, which together can fill in some of the existing knowledge gaps in climate research that contributes to social equity:

Experiential Learning

To study and understand Malaysia’s social norms, and to create a platform that launches a socially-aware environment for all levels of society. To promote community campaigns that contribute to policies and actions that reduces social inequality, build and strengthen the adaptive capacities of vulnerable groups, and increase their resilience to climate change. Through social media, we aim to publish our findings and bring tested solutions to scale through private and public financing campaigns. It is also a platform, where we are able to produce socially equitable linking of other NGOs, academic institutions, and communities to climate information and services.

Appropriate Technology

To research and explore socially equitable access to innovative, clean and renewable energy services and to energy-based technologies. Based upon the climate conditions of Malaysia, technology projects that target both climate mitigation and adaptation in the energy field will be prioritized. Before implementation, a feasibility study will be conducted based on the analyses of the complex and interrelated social, cultural, economic, institutional and political factors, with a specific view to better integrating gender and social equity. After implementation, analyses of the social norms, attitudes, behaviors and socio-economic effects upon the community will be studied to suggest adaptation strategies that includes mitigation co-benefits (such as emission reduction through improved land use, land and soil restoration, energy efficiency or other sectoral processes).

Community Empowerment

During the implementation phase of projects, we will lead on-the ground changes that enable women, ethnic minorities, indigenous people or youth to contribute to climate resilience, increased energy security and become positive agents of transformation. These sorts of empowerment would entail towards an examination of how climate change puts additional pressures or provides additional avenues for existing human mobility patterns, impact on social and gender dimensions, and its implication on the job market and trade. We will also examine how social protection and economic empowerment can be improved among rural communities in order to encourage socio-preneurship or entrepreneurship opportunities, while preserving the environment based on their cultural link with Nature.