KOTA KINABALU (10th October 2010): Encouraged by public support for its efforts to push for clean energy, Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) today held beach clean ups in Tanjung Aru near here, and at Kampung Sinakut, Lahad Datu.

The activity at Kampung Sinakut was particularly significant as it is the site for a proposed 300 megawatt coal-fired power plant. Over 50 villagers joined Green SURF members from Lahad Datu to pick trash from the beach, which forms part of the Coral Triangle.

In Tanjung Aru, volunteers including students, turned up just before the event started at 10.10am, walking the length of the beach to collect plastic wrappers, bottles and a variety of other trash including shoes and food containers.

Several tourists were also seen joining in the clean up. They were given biodegradable plastic bags to carry out the task.

The events in Sabah were part of over 7,000 Global Work Parties held on Oct 10 to push for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions as concerns grow over the impact of climate change on livelihoods.

The two locations were chosen to highlight how rising sea levels resulting from climate change could have an impact on coastal areas in Sabah, and that no one is spared from environmentally unsustainable development.

Green SURF registered its Borneo-Global Work Party: Coast2Coast with, an international grassroots campaign aimed at mobilizing people to bring carbon dioxide emissions back down to and below the scientifically-determined safe level of 350 parts per million (ppm), from the current 390ppm level.

After collecting trash, Green SURF members worked alongside those who turned up to spell out “350” on the beach.

Green SURF is made up of Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), WWF Malaysia, Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA), Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Sabah branch and Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS).

The five NGOs came together after the Federal Government announced the construction of a coal plant at Kampung Sinakut, at the shores of the Coral Triangle.

In mid August, the federal Department of Environment rejected the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed project.