Today we see Scouts around the world engaging with their local communities in caring for the environment in a range of ways. From Australian Scouts identifying ways to reduce water consumption in their Scout halls or around the home; Mexican Scouts making the world's largest Scout fleur-de-leis from cans in an effort to educate the community on the values of recycling; Scouts from Canada partnering with Southern African Scouts in learning to reduce their impact on carbon emissions and understanding about climate change; Scouts in France protecting the forests from wildfire; and Scouts all over the world from Turkey to Kenya and the United States planting trees and undertaking clean up campaigns to improve their local environments and contribute their part to the bigger picture of the health of our shared environment.
Scouting has many strong examples of youth-led environment projects from around the world which demonstrate how Scouts are contributing in practical ways to 'Creating a Better World'. Volvo Adventure recognises environmental projects conducted by 13 to 16 year olds from around the world and are opening a special opportunity for Scouts to receive help in preparing and delivering their environment projects. Could you be the next Scouts to make it to the international final in Sweden, competing with groups from around the world for the top prizes?
The Danish Guide and Scout Association have taken initiative to a global project inviting Scouts from all over the world to engage in combating climate change. Most of the political world is invited to Copenhagen in Denmark to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) during December 2009. Whilst the politicians are discussing what to do the Scouts are meeting to share what to do and start acting to create a better world. Working together, the Scouts in Denmark, representing four different associations, are acting for a better world now!
As is now public knowledge, the Scout Association of Mexico, in consultation with the Interamerican Scout Committee and with its support, has postponed the 13th Panamerican Scout Jamboree that was scheduled to be held from 26 December 2009 and 2 January 2010 in Toluca, Mexico. A new date is now being sought.
10th World Scout Youth Forum, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Korea
One Hour, No Power. This is the catchy tagline of Earth Hour. With its origin in Sydney in March 2007, Earth Hour is a movement to urge people to take action against climate change by switching off all electrical appliances including lights, for an hour on the last Saturday in March. And indeed 2.2 million Australians and 2,100 businesses turned off their electrical appliances, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House! This created such a huge media sensation that it was repeated on 29th March 2008, with many other major global cities joining in. www.earthhour.org was then borne to provide more information on how everyone can play a part in it.
In accordance with the resolution on Climate Change passed during the 4th Africa Youth Forum in Kigali, Rwanda in 2007, Nikitta Dede Adjirakor, the Secretary of the Africa Scout Youth Forum organized a three day workshop in camp for the youth in Ghana from the 28th - 30th of April, 2008 at the National Scout Training Centre. Twenty two Scouts from various regions of the country attended the event.
Q: How could Scouting use the Centenary year to make a positive difference to the environment and leave a lasting legacy to celebrate the next 100 years of Scouting?
A: Form a lasting partnership with The Woodland Trust.
The Woodland Trust and The Scout Association formed the Scouts For Trees partnership to enable every Scout across the UK to have the chance to plant a tree to mark the Centenary. The initiative also provided Scouts with the opportunity to learn about and engage in, woodland conservation. During 2006 and 2007, exactly 100 Centenary Woods were identified across the UK, from the north of Scotland to the south Cornwall coast, to become new areas of native woodland. Each area was to be made up of at least 2,000 trees, and each tree was to be planted by a Scout.
The Scouts of Romania, have recently initiated a fund-raising and campaign in aid of 112 families who are victims of the severe flooding that has recently affected the country.
The area around Tecuci has been the most affected by the disastrous September floods, which caused great damage in the eastern part of the country. There, over 600 families are either homeless or have suffered great material loss.
During the 21st World Scout Jamboree in the UK in August 2007, Scouts aged 14 to 18 had the opportunity to participate in workshops at the Global Development Village (GDV), where they could learn about issues confronting the world today and in the future and explore how Scouts can act as a positive force for change in these areas.
The World Scout Environment Education Task Team, in conjunction with an international team of volunteers, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Alcoa Foundation, developed four environment and sustainability workshops for the GDV on some of the most important issues for Scouts today and for the coming years. These topics included climate change, disaster preparedness, green living and renewable energy.
While other students were away having a nice relaxing school holiday, the Malaysian Scouts were having fun sticking their hands and feet into mud to do their bit for the environment. About 40 Scouts from SMK Teloi Kanan together with their group Scoutmaster and National Scout Commissioner for Environment, Kalaimani Supramaniam travelled 250 kilometers to Teluk Rubiah, Kuala Gula, a fishing village in the Kerian District, Perak, Malaysia to plant over five thousand mangrove seedlings and two thousand seeds in a 10 hectares area, which is the designated site for the Mangrove Rehabilitation Project.
In line with the long term strategic direction of the Singapore Scout Association (SSA), the Northeast Area under the leadership of Assistant Chief Commissioner Tan Tek Tin has adopted Sungei Punggol (two years initially) as a strategic partner of PUB under Our Waters programme (an initiative oby PUB, the national water agency).
Launched by Dr Lam Pin Min, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, the adoption aims to inculcate in our Scouts the importance of valuing waters by keeping our waterways and water catchments clean. More than 300 Scouts participated in the launching. They were involved in the following activities: Riverbank Clean up, Waterway Cleanup and House-to-house visits to conduct public education on DIY water-saving kits.
In collaboration with Ministry of Environment, Energy and Water, The Scout Association of Maldives has launched a Project “Return of the Flowers” in Male the capital city of the Maldives, to revive the growth of flowering plants, many which have become increasingly rare, and some of which are on the brink of extinction.
At the half way mark of 2007, Scouts and Guides around the world have already pledged to plant 2,393,685 trees through the UNEP Billion Trees campaign. Scouts have been very active in planting trees to help to provide habitat for wildlife, improve the environment of their local communities, enhance water quality and to store carbon to reduce the effects of climate change.
Opting to collect bulky refuse that litters the Qrendi countryside in Malta, as part of their “Clean up the World” activity, was no easy a task for the local Scout Group. The “Clean up the World” activity is an annual event with the purpose to foster a greater awareness of the need to care for the Maltese Environment.
The Kantipur Open Rover Crew and Ever Green Open Rover Crew in Nepal and Japan's Pax IV Hyper group have been working on a joint environmental project in Kathmandu valley, Nepal for the last six years.
Scouts in Japan conduct a water survey once a year, on the nearest Sunday to World Environment Day. Using a specially designed tool, participants take samples of their local water, checking the quality and measuring the changes and any degradation that has occurred.
The Prime Minister the Hon John Howard MP today announced that the Federal Government is committing $17 million for water saving initiatives by Scout halls across the country.
Scouts Australia will be working with project managers Storm Water Preservation to facilitate the Scout hall upgrades with BlueScope Water supplying and installing the water tanks.
For the eighth year in a row, thousands of Scouts travelled to the central plaza of Mexico City to 'draw' the fleur-de-lys (the emblem of World Scouting) in aluminium cans.