Turning the tables for Temiar tribe of Malaysia

Adopting bioculture to elevate the economics of indigenous Temiar tribe and accessibility to clean water.

Photo of Bryan Raveen Nelson

Written by

I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Kenyir Research Institute

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 250 - 500

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • Malaysia

Headquarters location: City

Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu

Location(s) of impact

Malaysia: Gua Musang



Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Unregulated logging has resulted to forest landscape problems, some of which visibly impact the local and fringing indigenous communities at Gua Musang, Kelantan (East Peninsular Malaysia). Apart from frequent mudslides, fluvial discharge from storm water contaminates streams and rivers, resulting to silted water. Silted water does not only foul crops but also pollutes the clean drinking water thus, impairing the livelihood of Temiar community. The location of the villages are 6 hours drive using a 4wd vehicle.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

The nearest clean water source is located 8km away for the nearest village as unethical logging has disrupted nearby water source. Additionally, the poor economy of Temiar tribe complicates this effort. Our partner, Allianz Malaysia plays crucial role to help the Temiar tribe with food aid and basic needs. Kenyir Research Institute provides effective strategies to ease the burden of rural communities in Terengganu. Together, both organisations intend to collaborate and implement bioculture as strategy for economic sustainability of Temiar tribe. The first step is to seek funding for a gravity feed water pipe to channel clean water to 6 villages as water is a basic humanitarian need. The second phase is to introduce sting-less bee apiaries, assistance with crop planting and training as nature guide. This will increase the economic value of the communities and will ensure future sustainability. The bees will also work as a agent for pollination which will ensure a healthy living forest.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Our partner, Allianz Malaysia (AM) bridges the gap between rural and urban communities through empowerment, food drive, flood awareness and healthcare. Kenyir Research Institute (IPK) on the other hand focuses on B40 (Bottom 40%) community empowerment through agricultural and environment training that covers plants, herbs, birding, bees keeping, crop planting and also by providing nature guide certification. While AM team was successful to aid and relieve flood victims during the mega-flood in 2014, IPK is successful to assist tribal communities overcome discomforts (from logging, disrupt waterways, limited resources to gather) and provided them with means for sustainable economic and village development. It is the first collaboration between AM and IPK to assist the Temiar tribe with water provision and offering job opportunities through training.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

We look forward to receive Grant support from Nestle and this will be used to build gravity feed tank and to acquire permit to tap the main water line, 8km away. It ensures continuous supply of clean water as comfort to 6 villages (approximately 400 villagers). The maintenance of this water tank and lines are possible through economic benefits received from bees keeping, crop planting and as nature guide.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Our innovation is bio-culture. We intend to teach indigenous community sustainable ways to harvest natural resources. Instead of removing or utilising resources from the wild, the indigenous community are exposed to modules which harness their skills. The benefit of this technique allows indigenous communities to become aware of their surroundings and incorporate the new modifications into their cultural practices. The implementation of sting-less bees also assist with crop pollination.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

The marginalised indigenous community of Malaysia occupy rainforest regions because it eases their daily routine and cultural lifestyle. Unregulated deforestation in Kelantan resulted to massive floods in 2014. The corporate social responsibility (CSR) team of Allianz Malaysia along with independent volunteers came to aid indigenous communities living at Kuala Krai and Gua Musang with food, water, and medical supplies. Kelantan state government allocated plots for village rebuilding. Sadly, deforestation in Gua Musang breached the Temiar tribe village and removed their access to clean water. Kenyir Research Institute and Allianz Malaysia intends to incorporate bio-culture for economic self-sufficiency and to assist the Temiar village build a gravity feed water tank. This collaboration provides the Temiar tribe access to clean water and equips them with knowledge for alternative income.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Nestlé page or contact

Evaluation results

6 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 33.3%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 16.7%

3 - I think the idea is great, but it needs some work before it moves onto the next round. - 33.3%

2 - I liked it fine but preferred others. - 16.7%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. Needs significant revisions. - 0%

2. Innovation

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 16.7%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 50%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 16.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 16.7%

3. Social and/or Environmental Impact

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 50%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 16.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 16.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 16.7%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

4. Financial sustainability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 25%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 100%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 25%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

5. Potential to Scale / Replicability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 16.7%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 16.7%

6. Organizational Leadership

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 16.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 16.7%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

7. Potential for Creating Shared Value

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 50%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 16.7%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Leena Irshaid

Congratulation mr. Bryan.. your effort to provide the community woth water then build a bridge of knowledge is a grate idea..hope you can continue your good wotk

Photo of Julie

It's great to read about the well-rounded approach. Have you considered any partnerships with organizations working in the clean water space? Specifically, the organization Charity Water? They might have some ideas for you and/or be a resource to research for funders.
All the best!

Photo of Jonathan Litscher

Great to see your efforts to help communities affected by unethical logging. The impact of such activities can be devastating in the long-term by destroying the basis of local people's way of life. You are tackling several dimensions of this at once, which is very encouraging. All the best for your project!

Photo of Aimable Nyandwi

Congratulations Raveen for your remarkable assiduity in your work at hand!

Photo of Jonathan

Hi Bryan,
I have read your project and found out that if it is implemented it will have a lot of value to the community of Temiar. I am specifically interested with a sting less bee apiaries which i think i have to adopt in my country.
All the best

Photo of Aisyah Ibrahim

Your project seems exciting. I wish you all the best through it!

Photo of Angus Keck

Hi Bryan,

Your project is very worthwhile, unregulated logging in a global problem and rarely generates incomes for the most vulnerable in the community, who are left to deal with the fallout (such as flooding).

I particularly like the inclusion of bees as part of your project, having identified the importance of pollination for agricultural ecosystem.

Are there any risks from further flooding events to the proposed installation of the gravity-fed water system?

I sincerely hope you receive funding, from any source, that enables you to delivery on your project.

All the best,


Photo of Bryan Raveen Nelson

Greetings and good day Angus,

Thank you very much for feedback and support. Really appreciate your opinions and perspective. Thank you one again. Regarding your question on risks, we are anticipating in bioculture, a need to instill in indigenous culture as alternative livelihood and their tribal economic generation. Prize money received will speed up the bioculture integration as well as construction of gravity feed tank. Proceeds from marketing the bioculture products will be used for maintenance of the tank. The installation of gravity feed tank does not intervene with groundwater transport nor land sloping but instead will be built through consultation from https://www.water-storage-tank.com/water-storage.html. They expertise to construct eco-friendly water storage tanks. I hope these provide clarity on our initiative.

Photo of Angus Keck

Hi Bryan,

They certainly do, and appreciate the clarity of your response!



Photo of Sarah Hutchinson

Bryan I have reviewed your entry and your initiative is one that is much needed based on the information provided. My only concern is: If you do not receive funding via the changemakers grant where would you obtain the financial resources? The potential for this project is limitless but you will need a large financial investment. What about solar powered filters for the water or is it contaminated beyond use?

Photo of Bryan Raveen Nelson

Dear Sarah Hutchinson,

We have ongoing initiative to assist villagers who are still impacted by the floods. Some of them were relocated by the government to higher grounds whereas most of them find shelter in their surroundings. Due to their ancestral knowledge on forest products, they constantly linger around the forest and depend on it for survival. In the absence of funds, we are still able to assist the indigenous with basic necessities (clothes, medicine and food) but our initiative is limited. In this case, we could not continuously provide clean water to indigenous people for routine living needs and could not effectively teach them agricultural techniques as part of bioculture approach.

Photo of Leena Irshaid

Interesting project..water = life... when clean water is available all the human activities can be inhance..actually we gave the school students short term training on simple method for physical cleaning of water..it is very important to link pure clean water with all good practesis in life.

Photo of Shirley

Dear Bryan,
Your project is laudable. I particularly find the concept of bio-culture interesting. We can converse the biodiversity of the environment and still have access to clean and healthy resources especially water. Water is critical to disease prevention, environmental sanitation and health.

Good job. Well done.