Joshua stumbled rather spectacularly into the world of environmental writing when he pulled a blank in the (live) finals of the International Malay Speech Competition (Pidato Antarabangsa Bahasa Melayu). Learning to consider the environment – the topic of his speech – instead of his wrangling nerves, he was able to win the competition with dignity somewhat intact. He has never looked back since.
Following a year’s scholarship in Indonesia, Joshua worked as a success story writer with the domestic biogas programme run by the Yayasan Rumah Energi, Biogas Rumah (BIRU). His work took him around the archipelago to meet struggling farmers, rebellious organic movements, and remote villagers with no wood left to burn and their springs run dry. He witnessed first-hand the impacts of environmental degradation, and the multifarious blessings of environmental health.
Eager to gain qualifications, he is currently living in The Hague and saving for an MA in journalism. He has recently authored a book on the heritage Collyweston slating trade, blogged for the British Council’s ‘Discovering Indonesian Islam’ programme, co-founded The Jungle Library Project with an environmental educator in Indonesia, interviewed solar car racing world champions Nuon Solar Team and The Hague’s deputy mayor for the local radio, and now freelances for local magazines.
Being accepted as a Mongabay intern was the best Christmas present he could have wished for. What an honour to be here.