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Hilton Kuching partners with WCS Malaysia to raise awareness on sharks and rays for World Oceans Day 2017

5_Some of the artists showing off their artwork

KUCHING: Hilton Kuching is partnering with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Malaysia Program to achieve their multi-year sustainable seafood goals, which were announced on 8 June 2016.

The partnership saw a series of events and exhibitions in the weeks leading up to World Oceans Day 2017 at Hilton Kuching.

“Preserving the environment is a core pillar of Hilton Worldwide’s corporate responsibility strategy,” remarked Hamish Watts, General Manager of Hilton Kuching.

“Through our Travel with Purpose program, our vision and values are brought to life by uniting our organization around a set of global issues that connects our business to society, and activating our global footprint through local solutions.”

World Oceans Day commemorative bookmarks to be distributed to the first 300 visitors.
World Oceans Day commemorative bookmarks to be distributed to the first 300 visitors.

The initiative by WCS Malaysia and Hilton Kuching received support from local school children who contributed their creative artwork, which were then reproduced into World Oceans Day commemorative bookmarks to be distributed to the first 300 guests at Hilton Kuching starting on 8th June.

Additionally, the students also contributed sharks and rays-themed short stories. Together with their artwork, the short stories were then turned into an informational video which will be played at Hilton

Kuching’s lobby to entertain and create awareness for visitors to the hotel until 11th June 2017.

Since banning shark fin globally in 2014, Hilton has become an industry leader; the first to receive Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) chain-of-custody certifications in Europe and Asia. Since then, the global chain has transitioned its seafood purchasing to sustainable and responsible sources.

Participants of the ride taking a break while enjoying the exhibition at Hilton Kuching.
Participants of the ride taking a break while enjoying the exhibition at Hilton Kuching.

“With all this in place, Hilton Kuching is committed to responsibly-sourced seafood by following the three main principles by firstly, protecting the endangered by banning the procurement of endangered species; secondly, buying from the best which allows us to source seafood from MSC-certified fisheries or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified farms, and finally, investing in the rest as an opportunity to source the remaining seafood from fisheries and farms working toward MSC and ASC certification,” added Watts.

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Hilton Kuching has been an active supporter of wildlife and marine conservation, and recently hosted cyclists for WCS Malaysia’s Ride for the Wild (R4TW) 2017. An exhibition on sharks and rays has also been on display since the R4TW on 20th May 2017. The R4TW 2017, jointly organized by WCS Malaysia, Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak campus and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, is an annual cycling event held in support of orang-utan and shark conservation.

“We are very pleased to work with Hilton Kuching through the four activities,” said Dr Melvin Gumal, Director of WCS Malaysia. “They have been most supportive of our efforts in conserving the oceans, sharks, rays, skates and orang-utans, over the years, and we will continue to have joint conservation activities in the coming years.”

Among the art exhibitions at Hilton Kuching during R4TW 2017
Among the art exhibitions at Hilton Kuching during R4TW 2017

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild lands through careful science, international conservation, education, and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks. In Malaysia, Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program (WCS Malaysia) is headquartered in Kuching, Sarawak, with offices in Kuala Lumpur and field offices in Kahang, Johor and Kuala Rompin, Pahang in Peninsular Malaysia. Currently, WCS Malaysia works in several different areas of conservation in Malaysia. On land, the work is focussed on orang-utans, tigers, elephants and their habitats whereas in the seas, the focus is on sharks, rays, skates and their seascapes.

Go to https://programs.wcs.org/malaysia/ for more information on WCS Malaysia and visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WCS.Malaysia/ to view videos of the students’ artwork and stories.

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