Scouts Go Green
Scouts from 14 National Scout Organizations (NSOs) in the Asia-Pacific Scout Region (APR) gathered in Sri Lanka, the land of serendipity, from 29 September-3 October 2017 for the APR Workshop on Environmental Education in Scouting.
Held in Yapahua district, the workshop provided a platform for Scouts to learn and talk about the environment with the aim of working towards a greener planet. It gave participants a deeper understanding of the World Scout Environmental Rogramme (WSEP), which offers tools, resources and initiatives to help Scouts around the world to protect the environment. Other topics include the Better World Framework, Scouts Go Solar and best practices of NSOs.
The workshop also challenged the participants to increase their knowledge on the environment and apply them in their daily lives – as part of their lifestyle. This is in line with WSEP as the programme encourages young people to do day-to-day actions that can positively impact the world, instilling in them a strong sense of responsibility for the environment.
Some participants who have received prior training on the programme and applied it, included Rover Scouts from Yapahua. They shared about their experiences, identified the main issues affecting the environment around them and the solutions that will help to reduce negative environmental impact.
On 2 October, which is World Habitat day, they planted more than 200 trees in the Daduru Oya Reservoir catchment area, as a community and environmental project to help the district regain its rich biodiversity.
During the workshop, each NSO shared its best practices and presented their action towards protecting and conserving the environment in their countries. They also encouraged Scouts to get the WSEP badge.
Representatives from the United Nations Environmental Programme were also present at the workshop and gave a great session on the Sustainable Development Goals, and how UNEP Sri Lanka is collaborating with Scouts to take positive actions for the environment. The introduction of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) badges received a good response and participants are looking forward to getting these badges when they get home.