Jeju Island, Korea - 14 July 2008: Scouts from all over the world have traveled to Jeju Island, Korea to attend the 38th World Scouting Conference, which begins today. During this ‘General Assembly’ of Scouting – taking place from July 14 – 18 – delegates of all National Scout Organizations will discuss and decide on a wide range of topics and projects important to Scouting. Among these topics is the launch of the new World Scout Environment Programme developed with support of the Alcoa Foundation.
Alcoa Foundation’s support of the World Organization of the Scout Movement started in 2006 with a two year $ 205,000 grant aimed at the development of a joint program on environmental sustainability awareness creation. In close cooperation with various European Alcoa specialists and NGO’s the Scout’s Environment Education Task Team has developed and tested several tools and processes to make Scouts around the world even more environmentally conscious. Already several of these tools have been put into practice at least year’s World Scout Jamboree in the UK. At the same time, specific environmental and nature conservation projects in major European countries have been implemented.
World Scout Environment Badge
Among the tools to be officially launched at the World Scout Conference are a ready-to-use Environmental Education toolkit and a new World Scout Environment Badge program encouraging networks for environment education amongst National Scout Organizations and partners.
Making a difference
“It has been a real pleasure working with the Scouts for the past two years and it gives us great pride seeing our joint efforts now being officially launched at this Conference in front of hundreds of future leaders,” says Rudi Huber, President Alcoa European Region. “By using Alcoa Foundation resources wisely and reaching out to NGO’s – such as the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) – we are truly making an impact.” Luc Panissod, Acting Secretary General of WOSM added: “The launch of the new World Scout Environment toolkit, program and badge is very exciting for the Organisation. It is the opportunity for Scouts around the world to learn about and focus on key environmental issues affecting the world today and help to create a better world by being prepared to respect and value the environment. This has always been a fundamental part of Scouting and its values so, although in some ways we are going 'back to basics' by drawing attention to the topic, we are taking a renewed approach to make it relevant and adaptable for National Scout Organizations around the world.”