Beach Bunch Brunei
Commonwealth Point of Light 58. Rizan Latif
Rizan Latif, representing Brunei, is the President and founder of ‘Beach Bunch’, a clean-up organisation which has inspired over 12,000 volunteers to collect 28.2 tonnes of litter from Brunei’s beaches.
Rizan was inspired to act after hearing how often surfers were being hit by waste in the sea. He organised his first clean up with 20 friends in 2009 before launching ‘Beach Bunch’ with Alan Tan the following year. Under Rizan’s leadership the bunch take part in regular clean ups and now also work to get locals feeling fitter and healthier. Over 3,000 people have been motivated to take part in an annual ‘Beachathon Series’ which transforms Brunei’s beaches into public venues
for a variety of trial run challenges. Rizan is also collaborating with the Government on the National Beach Safety Taskforce, promoting lifeguarding courses in schools, installing rescue equipment on beaches and providing information on rip currents to keep locals and tourists safe in the water.
“I would like to thank the UK Government for this prestigious award, and being the 2nd Bruneian to receive Points of Light is indeed an honour. My vision is to continue promoting our ‘beach’ culture for cleaner and more enjoyable beaches as we have some beautiful ones in Brunei. Be it community and environmental efforts to promoting a healthier lifestyle through beach runs or, life saving efforts. I am also passionate about promoting Brunei as a beach tourist hotspot.”
Richard Lindsay, UK High Commissioner to Brunei said:
“Many congratulations to Rizan Latif on receiving the Point of Light award from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his inspirational work to protect the environment and to keep Brunei’s beaches clean and safe. Through the organisation that he founded, Beach Bunch, Rizan continues to bring people together to raise awareness of Brunei’s beautiful coastline and to help tackle the global issue of plastic pollution on our beaches and in our seas. This is an urgent need to save our environment – whether you live near the coast in Brunei or in Britain.”
Pictured: Rizan receiving his award from UK High Commissioner to Brunei Richard Lindsay, and clearing litter from his local beach