BEST Society Bags International Award

Borneo Ecotourism, Solutions and Technologies (BEST) Society was announced as the winner of UNWTO Ulysses Awards for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations category during the UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism Ceremony that took place on the 22nd January, 2014 in FITUR, Madrid, Spain.

The UNWTO Awards, created by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), are the flagship awards for the global tourism sector. The UNWTO Awards seek to recognize and stimulate knowledge creation, dissemination and innovative applications in tourism and to bring to light the latest advances in the area. The judging criteria for this award were based on the initiative managed by a non-governmental organization with a clear non-profit scope using grassroots, partnership, governance, and civil society actions as key factors for its achievements.

BEST Society was selected the winner out of three finalists for its submission of ‘From Charity to Social Entrepreneurship’, a detailed account of BEST’s charity works that evolved into successful social entrepreneurship initiatives in Sabah, Malaysia for almost two decades.

From one off projects such as water tanks and medical projects, BEST Society had shifted its original philosophy of providing welfare to the local community to projects that are sustainable, in the form of capacity building such as community development seminars and virgin coconut oil. Past projects of BEST Society (formerly SERDC) include technical support for Bavanggazo longhouse in 1996, water tank projects phase 1 & 2 in Kinabatangan, tree planting project in Kinabatangan (KWICORP) and a series of medical projects in Kinabatangan and Mantanani Island that had benefitted about 2342 people.

From 2010 onward, BEST Society’s credibility soared when they received financial supports from corporate sponsors for social entrepreneurship projects that include capacity building project in Kimihang, Kudat with grants from GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP) (USD50,000), organic farming project in Sikuati, Kudat with grant from Shell Malaysia (RM40,000.00) and living water projects in Pitas funded by ConocoPhillips (over RM50,000.00).

BEST Society is currently working on the Camp Lemaing project with the objective of setting up an eco-lodge to provide employment opportunity to the local Dusun people in Kiau Nuluh, near Mt. Kinabalu. The eco camp, funded by Sabah Credit Corporation was initiated by Sabah Society will be marketed and operated by Borneo Eco Tours and BEST Society after the expected completion in April 2014. Camp Lemaing is scheduled to be handed over to the local Dusun community of Kiau Nuluh in five years time.

2013 United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Awards in Madrid, Spain

2013 United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Awards in Madrid, Spain

Annie Tseu receives the award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations

Annie Tseu receives the award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations

Award

Award

A tribute to the local community. Courtesy visit to the office of YB Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun,by BEST Society Chairman Mr Albert Teo, Deputy Chairman Baton Bijamin and BEST Volunteers.

A tribute to the local community. Courtesy visit to the office of YB Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun,by BEST Society Chairman Mr Albert Teo, Deputy Chairman Baton Bijamin and BEST Volunteers.

Mantanani Island Medical Camp

Mantanani Island Medical Camp

Camp Lemaing

Camp Lemaing

Shell Organic Farming

Shell Organic Farming

Organic Farming

Organic Farming

Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil

Awareness Programme in Sukau

Awareness Programme in Sukau

Bengkoka Living Water Project III 2013

Bengkoka Living Water Project III 2013

 

BEST Society

BEST Society is a non-profit organisation funded mainly by the Borneo Eco Tours (RM403,515.00) and Sukau Rainforest Lodge (RM236,977.08) that totalled RM640,492.08 as of 31st December 2013. The society also received donations from various corporations and individual donors (RM 516,959.14 altogether) and the total funding received reached RM1,157,451.22 as of 30th December 2013. A total of RM933,253.70 were spent on various projects (all project list). BEST Society has actively advocated the conservation of environment and capacity building of local communities in Sabah since 1996 before the official formation of BEST Society in 2007. BEST Society works closely with strategic partners, which include:

  1. Sabah Tourism Board/1995/Bavanggazo Longhouse
  2. Likas Baptist Church/1996/Weeds clearing project
  3. Sabah Foundation Sport Club/1996/Weeds clearing project
  4. Royal College, UK/1996/Weeds clearing project
  5. Tudor Hall, UK/1996/Weeds clearing project
  6. Ministry of Tourism/MATTA /1999/ World Ecotourism Conference and Field Trips WEC1999
  7. Rotary Clubs of Tanjung Aru/1999-2000/ Sukau Water Tank Project II
  8. Rotary Clubs of KK South/1999-2000/ Sukau Water Tank Project II
  9. Sabah Wildlife Department & Sabah Forestry Department /2000-2012/Tree Planting project
  10. WWF Malaysia/2000/Tree Planting project / Mangrove Action Day
  11. Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment/MATTA/ 2002/ Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference APeco2002
  12. Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment /MATTA/ 2005/ Borneo Ecotourism Conference BEC2005
  13. Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia /2006-2012)
  14. Sarawak Tourism Board / 2007/ Borneo Tourism Conference BTC2007
  15. Universiti Malaysia Sabah/2008/ Blue Ocean Strategy: Developing Sabah’s Tourism Products & Brand Seminar
  16. Cornerstone Bhd – 2008-2010/ Capacity Building seminars, Kudat
  17. Environment Action Committee Sabah (EAC)/ 2008/ Terongkongan Beach Cleaning Project & 2011/ Sukau Primary School Environmental Awareness Programme
  18. Skycommunity/2009/Pitas Flood Crisis Relief Mission & 2012/Bengkoka Living Water Projects 2012-13/ Mantanani Island Medical project 2013
  19. Kinabatangan-corridor of Life Tourism Operator Association (KiTA)/2009-2012/conservation of Kinabatangan floodplain
  20. GEF Malaysia/2010-2012/ Kimihang Environmental Conservation and Community Capacity Building Project
  21. Kudat District Office/ 2010/Kg. Kimihang
  22. SME Bank/2010/ Business Opportunity Seminar, Kimihang
  23. Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Sabah/ 2010/ Sukau Medical Camp
  24. Sukau Primary School/ 2010 & 2011/ Environmental Awareness Programme
  25. Sabah Cheshire Home/2010/ East Asia & Pacific Regional Council of Cheshire Homes
  26. Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu 2011/Terongkongan Living Water Project
  27. ConocoPhillips/2011-2013/Terongkongan Living Water Project & 2012/ Bengkoka Living Water Project
  28. Blue Life Ecoservices/ 2013/ Mantanani Island Medical project
  29. Shell in Malaysia/ 2013-14/ Organic Farming Project, Sikuati, Kudat
  30. Canaan Farmers Institute/ 2013/ Organic Farming Project, Sikuati, Kudat
  31. SMK Sikuati II/ 2013/ Organic Farming Project, Sikuati, Kudat
  32. Sabah Credit Corporation/ 2013/ Camp Lemaing, Kiau, Kundasang
  33. Sabah Society/ 2013/ Camp Lemaing, Kiau, Kundasang
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