Young Leaders for Sustainability (YL4S) is Publika’s new and exciting hub for young people to learn about the issues and confront real-world challenges in sustainability. Launched in May 2017, a total of 37 youths from various tertiary institutions in Kota Kinabalu have signed-up for YL4S, representing a range of disciplines, from mechanical and chemical engineering, business administration, tourism management, architecture, multimedia technology, marine sciences and aquaculture.

YL4S participants converge once a month to learn about a particular aspect of sustainability by interacting with experts and practitioners through workshops, excursions, at BEFF’s festival weekend and the Heart of Borneo International Conference. By December 2017, a core group of emerging young leaders spent three days formulating their Youth Action Agenda that presents the priority actions young people can take to power a shift towards sustainability in their local communities. Twelve keystone projects were developed, with young leaders contributing knowledge from their respective fields in a peer-to-peer learning and problem-solving environment. We will next prepare and support our young change-makers to fundraise for and deliver their projects’ impacts.

Read our YL4S stories



Find out what are the activities that YL4S has done!

#1: Introduction to YL4S
(Sat 20th May at UMS & Sat 18th Nov at Bentarakata)
Melissa Leong, Dr Agnes Agama, Adam Murphy & Dinoza Mahruf, BEFF
#2: Sustainable Waste Management
(Sat 17th June at PACOS Trust)
Suzanne Chong-Hartley, LEAP; Irene Mositol, Kivatu Nature Farm;
Gordon John, PACOS Trust; Monica Chin, Trash Hero Borneo
#3: Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainable Development
(Sat 8th July at Jesselton College)
Christian Schriver, NEPCon South East Asia
#4: Marine Conservation
(Sat 5th Aug at UMS)
Nadhirah Mohd. Rifai, Reef Check Malaysia; Dr. Teruaki Yoshida, UMS;
Simon Enderby, Scubazoo Images
#5: BEFF 2017 festival weekend
(Fri 22nd to Sun 24th Sept at Suria Sabah)
Chloe Lee Mei Tchuin, BEFF (team leader)
#6: Heart of Borneo International Conference
(Tues 24th to Weds 25th Oct at Sutera Magellan)
Melissa Leong & Chloe Lee Mei Tchuin, BEFF (facilitators)
#7: Sustainable Oil Palm
(Sat 25th Nov at Sabah Museum)
Marcie Elene Marcus Jopony, Ruebini Naidu, Mc Millan Wilfred & Izwan Kilam,
Wilmar International
#8: Indigenous Communities and Conservation
(Thurs 30th Nov to Sun 3rd Dec at Kinabalu Park and Bundu Tuhan)
Dr Agnes Agama, Adam Murphy & Melissa Leong, BEFF;
Matsain Mohd Buang & Handry Muji, Sabah Parks; Joseph Sariman, Johnny Ghani,
Sokuil Ladsou, Radin Madili & Dominic Ghani, Bundu Tuhan Elders
#9: Health and Land by Eco Health Alliance
(Sat 3rd Feb at GC Woolley Hall, Sabah Museum)
Jimmy Lee, Eco Health Alliance; Harjinder Kler, Hutan-Kinabatangan Orang Utan Conservation Programme
#10: Logical Framework Approach (LFA)
(Sat 7th to Sun 8th Apr at Regus, Suria Sabah)
Dr Agnes Agama, BEFF; Christian Schriver, NEPCon South East Asia
#11: Understanding Environmental Law
(Sat 26th May at GC Woolley Hall, Sabah Museum)
Holly Jonas & Harry Jonas, Future Law
#12: Sabah Sharks and Rays Forum by LEAP
(Sat 21st June at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa)
Melissa Leong & Chloe Lee Mei Tchuin, BEFF (facilitators)
#13: Coming Up! To be updated


This is a great opportunity to gain knowledge, develop skills and find inspiration to solve real-world environmental and social problems in Sabah – the fun and creative way!


Next intake to be announced soon!

DISCOVERthe many eco issues faced by our planet and people today. Talks and interactive sessions with experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, elders and more. Watch films and be inspired!

DISCUSSideas and innovations among your peers, with help from the experts and insiders.

DEVELOPan Action Agenda on everyday actions young Sabahans can take to bring positive change to their communities and the planet.

WE WANT YOU! Young Leaders for Sustainability (YL4S) is part of BEFF’s Youth & Education Outreach. We believe in the power and potential of our local youths to become future leaders and problem solvers. YL4S is a long-term platform for urban Malaysian youths, from ages 18 to 30, to gain knowledge of real-world problem-solving for sustainability through a series of monthly workshops. Participants will have the chance to meet and work with leading conservationists, policy-makers, indigenous elders, social and environmental entrepreneurs as well as other youth leaders/groups, exposing them to current issues and cutting-edge approaches to sustainability and experiential learning.


If you are…

  • 18-30 years old
  • Malaysian, residing in Greater Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
  • Enrolled in a higher learning institution (private or government)
  • Able to commit to monthly workshops
  • Innovative, creative and passionate about the planet

Welcome to the YL4S Family!




  1. Applicants will be selected based on merit
  2. Applications must be accompanied with a support letter from the respective institutions
  3. Successful applicants must commit to a once-a-month workshop. Proxies are not permitted. In the event the participant is unable to attend, he/she must inform the organisers in writing/via e-mail
  4. After three (3) consecutive no-shows, the participant will be dropped from the programme
  5. Upon completion in December 2017, participants will receive a Certificate of Participation. BEFF can provide recommendation letters upon request.
  6. All participants must sign an indemnity form
  7. During the first workshop, participants must submit a 400-word essay on a particular environmental/social issue you are interested in and would like to learn more about. Explain you interest and concern and how you would like to play a part in developing a more sustainable world.

Application process:

  1. Please complete the Application Form (DOWNLOAD HERE)
  2. Please bring a copy of the applicant’s NRIC and Support Letter from the institution during the first workshop (date and venue to be announced).
  3. Please e-mail all submissions and attachments to

Successful applicants will be notified via e-mail or phone call.  The workshop schedule will be sent to successful applicants.

More info: Melissa Leong, Programme Director,

With kind support from:





Hear stories from environmentalists, indigenous elders, social entrepreneurs, wildlife experts, NGOs and more.

Read our YL4S stories