KUALA LUMPUR, 8 September 2020 – The UCSI Living Lab represents UCSI University’s initiative to promote organic farming drawing on its philosophy of championing health, empowerment and sustainability for societal benefit.
In a concerted effort by the UCSI community to contribute to the UCSI Living Lab, an “upcycling” project was conducted where 1,000 kg of food scraps were collected mainly for composting.
This project continued through COVID-19 where branches and twigs from tree cuttings were gathered, and around 10 trucks of leaves and mowed grass were diverted from landfills and used as browns and greens for composting. About six tonnes of soil from the hill side erosion were collected from the drainage and hundreds of unused bricks were upcycled. All of these were used for making raised beds for growing edible plants.
UCSI University, through one of its General Studies courses called Future Casting, also integrates climate action for sustainability and SDGs as a new component. This segment consists of a three- hour lecture, three-hour hands on practice on soil regeneration, plant propagation and volunteerism.
UCSI University and UCSI College offer invaluable experience not only to students, but also the local and regional community. Together with international partners, they have conducted workshops such as ‘Introduction To Permaculture’ and ‘Permaculture Design Course’ which centre on meeting human needs using natural ecosystems in growing food, building houses, creating communities, restoring the earth and minimising environmental impact.
According to Norani Abu Bakar, executive director of UCSI Group’s SDG Secretariat, the course to be proposed as compulsory for students in the near future would be the Sustainability Living programme.
“This programme will be a flagship for experiential learning on sustainable living. On a basic level, we all need to have the capacity to produce our own vegetables as part of our food security plan. For that reason, UCSI Living Lab developed a start-up kit with essential greens suitable for urban families and communities”, she said.
“We also conduct e-learning classes for refugee education centres in the Klang Valley and provide online learning materials, especially for our customers that have purchased UCSI start-up-kits and are actively propagating plants such as sweet leaf, Brazilian and Malabar spinach and long beans,” she added.
Behind The Living Lab initiative is UCSI Group’s CEO and founder, Dato’ Peter Ng, who takes a keen interest in organic farming with the aim of promoting lifestyle changes that will improve health and sustain the environment for generations to come.
UCSI Living Lab has partnered with numerous organisations including The Blue Ribbon Global, Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute Australia, Potato Productions Singapore, Protein and Plants for All, and Milkwood Permaculture Australia among others.