Green Drinks KL


on 1 Mar, 23:17

Green Drinks March 2014

The next Green Drinks meet-up is next Tuesday. Because of the shuffle round in January, we have moved from the last Tuesday to the first Tuesday of the month.

This month we are turning the spotlight on ourselves… thinking about what we want out of Green Drinks over the next year and beyond.

There is a survey here:

Please take a few mins to fill it up… we’ll go over the data next week… and see where it takes us!

on 3 Feb, 18:38

The 60th Green Drinks!

This month’s Green Drinks will be our 60th! To mark the occasion, we have (a) a really really very special guest speaker! and (b) a slightly longer post/invite than usual 🙂

A. Our guest speaker is Cynthia Ong!

Cynthia will be here to talk about ‘Forever Sabah’ – a 25-year programme to build a fair, prosperous and sustainable Sabah… by pioneering the State’s transition from an economy based on the exploitation of natural habitats (forests, rivers and seas)… to one that is diversified, equitable and green… delivered through a ground-up, project-based approach organised around four focal areas (Tourism; Food and Agriculture; Renewable Energy; and Waste, Water and Soil). See http:// for more details.

This is ambitious project started with a 2 year engagement programme, where local communities, industry, government, NGOs, scientists etc were asked the simple question… ‘where will the state be in fifty years if it continues to progress along it’s current development trajectory? ‘.

‘Forever Sabah’ is just the kind of working conversation that every State/City/neighbourhood should be having.

More about Cynthia: She is the founder and Executive Director of Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), an organisation that facilitates partnerships and exchanges that provoke ecologically sustainable co-existence on global, regional and local levels. LEAP designs space and place for disparate stakeholders – the most powerful and the most powerless – to meet face to face on equal ground and develop holistic, equitable solutions that meet the needs of all.

She was the prime mover of a coalition of 5 NGOs formed at the end of 2009 called Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future) which took on the government (and won) over its plans to build a coal-fired power plant in Sabah The movement then went on to form SEAREPA (South East Asia Renewable Energy People’s Assembly) – a network of organisations and people across 11 nations intent on taking the lead in showcasing community-based renewable energy solutions, and in building a sustainable energy-secure future that addresses climate change, environmental justice and people!

Cynthia brings 25 years of experience in fields as varied as special events and project management to socio-environmental justice and community activism. She has played many roles in her diverse career including founder/co-founder, board director, and CEO of numerous organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit in South East Asia and in the U.S. Cynthia is an entrepreneur, a pioneer in organizational leadership, and an expert in group facilitation/mediation. She is also board director of the Borneo Rhino Alliance and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and Chair of the Malua Bio Bank Advisory Council.

Cynthia is inspired by her 21-year old daughter, Sara, and her mother, Cecilia! And she is here to inspire us!

NOTE: We have postponed Green Drinks by a week to take advantage of Cynthia being in town!

on 22 Oct, 20:51

Green Drinks October: Food Fight

This month at Green Drinks we begin to look at the huge issue of food with the film FOOD FIGHT!

Director Chris Taylor examines the evolution of American agricultural policy, and ways in which food culture in the 20th century was gradually co-opted by corporate forces that don’t necessarily have our best interests in mind.

The damage wrought by industrialisation of the food system is not where this story ends… he then looks at the influence of Alice Waters who led a group of political anti-corporate protestors in the 1960s and early 1970s into creating a food chain that operated entirely outside of the conventional system. The result was the birth of an organic food movement in America that was capable of yielding locally grown, fresh foods that were both healthful and delicious.

Beautifully shot and well written, we are treated to a series of interviews with food luminaries such as Alice Waters, Dan Barber, Wolfgang Puck and Michael Pollan… while the film highlights how everyday people can successfully fight back against big agribusiness and convenience foods.

Today, industrial agriculture is not an American but a global phenomenon. The ‘Californian revolution’, with the insistence on local, fresh, seasonal, sustainable, and organic produce is good for us and the planet… and as the organic fresh food movement takes off in Malaysia (more about this next month!), FOOD FIGHT offers a good foundation for understanding how this happened and what needs to be done!

Food Fight poster

on 19 Sep, 10:58

Green Drinks September 2013

THE BORNEO PROJECT: Getting to grips with Deforestation, Dams & Human Rights!

In the 1980’s and 1990’s more timber was removed from the rainforests Borneo than from all of Africa and South America combined. For over 20 years, Joe Lamb has been working to stem the flow of this tragic loss of habitat, wildlife and indigenous cultures.

Since 1991, The Borneo Project has brought international attention and support to community-led efforts to defend forests, sustainable livelihoods, and human rights. They work in the belief that protecting human rights and environmental integrity in Borneo is a critical component of the global movement for a just and peaceful world.

Talk and Q&A by Joe Lamb

Joe is from Berkeley California. He is a writer, activist and arborist (tree doctor). In 1991 he founded The Borneo Project – an NGO that works to bring international attention and support to community-led efforts to defend forests, sustainable livelihoods, and human rights. They work in the belief that protecting human rights and environmental integrity in Borneo is a critical component of the global movement for a just and peaceful world.

They were, for example, part of the global ‘anti-Taib’ (Chief Minister of Sarawak) protests a couple of years ago. See here:

Of course, since then, nothing much has change. See here for ‘Why Sarak CM Taib Mahmud is Untouchable’ from earlier this year:

We will be getting Joe’s thoughts on this, and on the other projects that The Borneo Project run.

More information here:!september2013/c1jm2

Come and hear how its been going, and what’s next!

Click here for more info.

on 15 Aug, 08:59

Green Drinks August 2013

This month we screen the film ‘If a Tree Falls‘, winner of the Documentary Editing Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and nominated for Best Documental Feature Academy Awards 2011. It is a film about the arrest and trial of Daniel McGowan, a member of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). The ELF had launched spectacular acts of arson against dozens of businesses it accused of destroying the environment. No one had ever been hurt in any of the fires, but the FBI considered the group the “No. 1 domestic terrorism threat” in the United States, and McGowan faced a sentence of life in prison.

This is a look at the great standoff between environmental conservation and protection, and the protection of the vested interests of corporations and a growth economy.

As environmental awareness increased since the 1970s, some members of environmental groups became frustrated with the failures of traditional protest and legislative action and turned to more radical methods to have their voices heard – sabotage and property damage. Many supporters consider such actions to be in revoultionary tradition of the Boston Tea Party – symboic property damage designed to draw public attention to important issues.

Others consider these actions terrorism. The term “eco-terrorism” is widely understood to have been coined by Ron Arnold, executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise – an education and research organization affiliated with the mining and timber industries.

If a Tree Falls is a layered narrative that weaves together a variety of clashing points of view, which asks its audience to wrestle with questions intentionally left unresolved.

There is a preview, reviews and an excellent discussion guide for download here:!august/cddj


[jwplayer mediaid=”14184″]

on 21 Jul, 22:28

Green Drinks July 2013

This month at Green Drinks we have a Pecha Kucha evening.

Pecha Kucha is a simple presentation format where you show 20 slides, each for 20 seconds.

The floor is open to anyone who would like to share ideas and thoughts on anything related to sustainability.

This could be an issue you care about, a project you are involved with, an idea you have for your neighbourhood or the wider community, something you saw on holiday… etc. Social, educational, cultural and political topics are as welcome as the usual environmental ones!

If you would like to share something… send me a message on facebook or an email ( or write it here on the Facebook event page to book a slot. We’ll stick to the format (20 slides, 20 secs each) to make sure the evening doesn’t drag… so come prepared!

See you there!

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Welcome to MESYM!
Connecting the green dots is a crowd-sourced platform and a living database for environmental movements in Malaysia. There are many good actions being done out there. Our goal is to bring them together. We connect the green dots.