KUCHING — The World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia), in collaboration with communities in the highlands of Sarawak, will hold the ‘Enhancing Environmental Awareness and Cultural Identity for Highland Communities through Adan Rice’ event at the Kuching Waterfront’s Godown Amphitheatre this weekend.

National Heart of Borneo (HoB) coordinator and Sarawak Programme and Forest Conservation Programme – WWF-Malaysia senior manager Ivy Wong said it was to raise awareness of the urban public on the unique products and culture of the highland communities.

“The event brings together, a number of community-based organisations such as the Rurum Lun Bawang Association and Persatuan Masyarakat Adat Dataran Tinggi Sarawak and Sabah (FORMADAT Sarawak and Sabah),” she said in a statement here today.

By supporting the local communities and through such initiatives, she said, WWF Malaysia hoped to promote local products from conservation landscapes, as well as help local communities to preserve the forest and environment.

The two-day event was also part of WWF-Malaysia’s community programme within the HoB in Malaysia, which aimed to increase the livelihood of the local communities through developing sustainable small-scale agricultural products, she said.

Meanwhile, Penghulu (grassroot community leader) for Ba kelalan George Sigar Selutan said the unique Adan rice was a local rice variety from the highlands of Borneo, which was cultivated according to traditional practices by the Lun Bawang in Ba kelalan and Long Semadoh, the Kelabit in Bario and the Lun Dayeh in Long Pasia (Sabah).

The rice is cultivated through traditional methods, paying special attention on how it could affect the surrounding environment, said Sigar, who is also Customary Leader for FORMADAT Sarawak and Sabah.

“Beras Adan has the finest grain and taste due to the elevation and the clear, unpolluted waters which irrigate the rice fields,” he said.

During the event, there will be display and sampling of the Adan rice dishes prepared in traditional ways by Rurum Lun Bawang Association for the first 100 visitors.

There would also be other exciting programmes such as Lun Bawang dance performances and traditional games competition which visitors could take part, said WWF Malaysia’s Community Liaison Officer Jennifer Matthew.

Adan rice in one-kg packets will be available for purchase at the booths.