Scout Centres leading the way on environmental education for young people

5 minutes

Around the world, Scouts Centres of Excellence for Nature, Environment and Sustainability (SCENES Centres) are working to connect young people to nature, educate people about the effects of climate change on our planet, and inspire Scouts to take action towards making our communities more sustainable. 

Today, the 38 SCENES Centres established in 21 countries are part of a growing worldwide network that have contributed to the preservation of natural areas and protection of endangered species. They are also involved in running local campaigns to empower people and communities to take action for the environment and reduce their climate footprint. 

Over the years, by meeting quality standards set out in the SCENES Guidelines, as well as through peer review and endorsement from National Scout Organizations, several SCENES Centres have become internationally recognised for their excellence in environmental management and education. In addition to raising the profile of Scouting’s contribution to environmental action, SCENES Centres also offer National Scout Organizations an opportunity to partner with other institutions interested in environmental protection, and contribute to sustainability practices at the local and national level. 

In various countries, SCENES Centres are working to educate and engage the next generation of environmental leaders in tackling major issues affecting our planet. Since 2015, the SCENES Centre in Brazil has been running activities to engage young people in learning about how to save the Amazon rainforest and conserve the Cerrado, one of the largest and most threatened savannahs in the world. In Czechia’s Moravian Karst region, the SCENES Centre is protecting the natural reserve, gorges and cave areas that date back for thousands of years. Every year they maintain nature trails and bridges for tourists, while offering environmental education to young people and visitors through its eco-friendly centre. 

On the 25th anniversary since the SCENES Network was first established, World Scouting has published an updated version of the SCENES Guidelines to align the SCENES practices with the Sustainable Development Goals and incorporate Scouting’s Earth Tribe Initiative and Challenges as key content for environmental education. The updated Guidelines aim to support SCENES Centres and National Scout Organizations to adopt best practices for environmental management and education, and work towards becoming accredited with the support of the international SCENES Network.

The SCENES Network recently convened an annual meeting virtually in October 2020. Together they discussed ways to incorporate sustainability principles into future programming and to strengthen the SCENES Network with an aspiration to grow the number of accredited SCENES Centres worldwide, ensuring that more young people have access to attractive and engaging environmental education programmes.

SCENES Centres and National Scout Organization leadership interested to initiate the process to become internationally accredited can request support through the WOSM Services platform and download the new SCENES Guidelines via the WOSM Services library.