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Bateq Nature Guides - The Building Of a Naturalist Movement

The Ecotourism & Conservation Society of Malaysia (ECOMY) is an environmental NGO that is focussed on conserving Malaysia’s unique habitats, plants and wildlife, and to actively promote and pursue sustainable tourism as one key element in conservation. The group, founded by leading naturalists in Malaysia, have also been working on several projects with the Orang Asli Bateq tribe of Kampung Aur, who live along the Tembeling River in Kuala Tahan, Pahang. The initiatives include assisting them to gain access to clean water and proper sanitation, providing the community with solar lamps to assist with their energy needs, and even supplying humanitarian aid during the monsoon season. Another recent project has been to train the community's youth to become certified tour guides, to promote sustainable tourism in the area. We catch up with Andrew Sebastian, the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of ECOMY, to discuss the group's latest initiative, which saw 10 Orang Asli youths receiving training and doing fieldwork to become certified tour guides, to generate income for themselves and their community.

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