Singapore Scouts partner with environment ministry to develop climate action programme
In an interesting development for Scouting in the island-country of Singapore, The Singapore Scout Association (SSA) has recently inked a five-year partnership agreement with the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) of the Republic of Singapore to develop and implement a Climate Action Programme and Climate Action Ambassador Badge from July 2018 to June 2023. The agreement was signed by SSA Vice President Prof. Lui Pao Chuen and MEWR Permanent Secretary Albert Chua.
The partnership aims to tap the potential of young people to contribute to climate action and provide them with adequate resources and support from the government to raise awareness about climate action.
According to the Singapore Scout Association, they have been heavily involved in environment education for the young people and have been recognised by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources as a valuable partner in spreading awareness about the environment. As MEWR declared 2018 as ‘Climate Action Year’ and will be setting similar environmental themes for the succeeding years, it became clear that SSA’s youth programme can be used as a multiplier to propagate the value and the contents of environment education.
“It is both the wishes of the MEWR and the SSA to continuously engage, educate, and inspire the young people in Singapore to care for our society, [to] be concerned of the environment, and [to] be motivated to take the lead for the betterment of our nation,” said SSA in a statement provided to the World Scout Bureau Asia-Pacific Support Centre.
Albert Chua, Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources highlighted that MEWR’s partnership with SSA will help them prepare Singapore and Singaporeans for a sustainable future.
One of the highlights of the partnership agreement is the development of a Climate Action Ambassador Badge which will be implemented over a five-year period.
When asked how the programme will attract active participation of the young people, the Singapore Scout Association assured that the pedagogy and the activities will be fun and exciting and will perfectly fit with the educational components of Scouting.
“To be engaging and challenging for our young people, a “Climate Action” Ambassador Badge work has been launched. Scouts can achieve the tiered badges according to the different activities that they participate in and subsequently share their learning and reflections with the people around them,” it stressed.
The climate action programme, when finalised, is expected to raise awareness among Singapore Scouts about climate change and will encourage them to take climate actions through ground-up initiatives, projects and outreach activities. Upon completion of the required activities, the Scouts will achieve the climate action ambassador badges, along with other ancillary requirements.
The climate action ambassador badge will be linked to promote environment education in Scouting thru the Better World Framework of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). The choice of activities within the badge work will include certain requirements for the World Scout Environment Badge under the World Scout Environment Programme. Other badge work will also meet pertinent requirements of SSA’s existing environment-related learning journeys and the Scout-led or Scout-initiated projects. With this approach, a Scout who completes the requirements for the climate action ambassador badge will also be able to complete and/or fulfilling the requirements of other related Scout badges.
The climate action programme design is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 and will be rolled out by the first quarter of 2019.
With reports from Valerie Lim and Dorothy Teo of the National Headquarters of the Singapore Scout Association.