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Kampung Days Vs Modern Sustainability

When we look back at memories of the good old Kampung Days, we remember low rise attap houses, plucking fresh fruits and large spaces to play catch.

Technology and globalisation has changed our society. Large plantations have been exchanged with large promises into sky scrappers.

Family trees turned into family offices, roads less travelled into factories and dense trees have found a new meaning on paintings.

Rules have very rapidly replaced rights while traditional structures turned into legislations. The words Accuracy, Timeliness and Completeness are in every corporate textbook. In schools, perfect competition models are being idolised. Deadweight loss is limited to loss of total welfare or the social surplus due to reasons like taxes or subsidies, price ceilings or floors, externalities and monopoly pricing - with the loss of nature or rising carbon no where mentioned nor captured.

A by-product of independence has been the weakening of community spirit and solidary which secured the Kampung spirit and connected Mother Earth. As we discuss climate change and sustainability, it is worthwhile learning from our Kampung Days and incorporating it into Modern Sustainability. History, Geography, Literature, Science, Maths English and even our Mother Tongues have taught us so - and it's best said by a wise Philosopher, 'If you don't know the past, you can't understand the present and plan properly for the future'.


Agriculture has always played a crucial role in the life of a given economy. It provides food resilience, cultivates basic cultural practices and gives shelter to our livestock, albeit temporary. A lot of our cultural celebrations originates from agriculture. Through interviewing the elderly, we heard wonderful stories of food scrap exchanges with eggs (for composting) and how the Kampungs had their way of closing the sustainability loop without intervention. It was innate and a core part of every Kampung dweller's being. We may ask why that sense of responsibility, ownership, creativity has diminished and if reigniting it would reduce the number of carbon tax fines issued per year.


Climate change is a pressing issue faced globally today. The COP team strives hard to make 1.5 a reality with the world working closely to change ways and find methods to undo past damages. Everyone faces strong heat waves daily and erratic weather changes that are impacting our natural cycles. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit's Safe Cities Index 2021, Wellington New Zealand is best prepared for climate change. It ranks the highest on its Environmental Security list. According to GreenMatch's study, Iceland turned out to be the European country that has been the least affected by climate change. Iceland saw an average estimated increase in surface temperatures of 0.275 °C per decade.

Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 11,700 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. With the heat of climate change getting close to our skin, it's no longer a gentle reminder but rather a loud outcry for change, to balance, to save Mother Earth.


Researchers say some level of sustenance has to be brought back through modern sustainability to our societies. Some semblance of balance has to be introduced in our corporate structures to catch unsustainable processes. For corporations, the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation has formed a new International Sustainability Standards Board to develop sustainability disclosure standards. This lays the technical groundwork for a global sustainability disclosure for the financial markets. For citizens, perhaps a glimpse back to the 'Kampung Days' is timely to enhance our knowlege of resource efficiency, to bring back the concept of sharing and encouraging common sense over common rules. Data is not always the best teacher when it comes to sustainability for the citizen. In this context, instead a friendly chat with our grandparents might bridge this gap faster. To help us learn ways to reduce gaps between farm to fingers, abtain from technolgy and nourish the mind as much as the body.

If you are keen to rekindle the Kampung Days spirit at work through a modern sustainability workhop, drop us a message at with your details and our brand managers will get in touch with you.


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