This January has been somewhat exciting for me in the context of my history being an environmental volunteer since late 2010.
I’m entering my 8th year in the local environment scene, and there’s this feeling of how things are suddenly more happening now, especially since 2018 has been declared the Year of Climate Action.
Back on 16 November 2017, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, Minister Masagos made that declaration, and back home in Singapore, there was this big question, “What does that actually mean?”
Thrash it Out for 2018 Year of Climate Action
On 20 December 2017, with the support of people like Xinying of Climate Conversations, Peixun of Sustainable Living Lab, Michelle of TANAH, as well as Pamela and Cheryl of Singapore Youth for Climate Action, we organised ‘Thrash it Out for 2018 Year of Climate Action.” The meetup saw more than 60 people come together to just thrash things out.
Some notable things that came out of the 20 December event was:
- Ria Tan of wildsingapore adding the label ClimateActionSG to wildsingapore news articles that feature action by Singapore for climate (govt and everybody else). Here’s the url to see all articles with this label http://wildsingaporenews.blogspot.sg/search/label/ClimateActionSG
- The people in the Biodiversity group meeting up in January- they met up at least twice to continue the conversation
- People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM.Haze)’s initiative of a “Social Change Toolkit” which aims to empower advocates to address underlying systemic causes of climate change and to drive individuals towards a more sustainable Singapore.
For me personally, at that point, I was not too sure about the benefits of having such a meetup or open conversations. Looking back, I think it was perhaps a worthwhile effort to organise such a meetup considering it was perhaps the first and largest green group meetup in Singapore, and it allowed people to just talk, and meetup, get to know each other.
Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA) Online Mentions
I was looking through old posts, and noticed that Melissa Chong, Cuifen, and myself were at Changi Airport, leaving for Paris on 29 November 2015. This means that SYCA, based on the FB launch at least, is slightly over 2 years old.
The past 2 years definitely has its ups and downs.
The past 2 months in particular, SYCA received some online mentions as well:
- Nov 18: Climate change campaigns on the cards for Singapore in 2018
- Nov 19: Climate change campaign on the cards next year http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/climate-change-campaign-on-the-cards-next-year
- Jan 1: Not buying new clothes for a greener earth http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/not-buying-new-clothes-for-a-greener-earth
- Jan 21: ‘Picky’ waste collector incident raises questions about whether Singapore’s push to promote recycling is working http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/picky-waste-collector-incident-raises-questions-about-whether-singapores-push
- Jan 22: ‘Picky’ waste collector raises questions over recycling efforts http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/picky-waste-collector-raises-questions-over-recycling-efforts
- Jan 26: Most Singaporeans worry about impact of climate change but few think their actions matter http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/singapore-launches-its-year-of-climate-action-masagos-urges-people-and
- Jan 27: Climate change: Many think they can’t make a difference http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/climate-change-many-think-they-cant-make-a-difference
All the articles above were written by Audrey Tan from Straits Times who cover environmental news http://www.straitstimes.com/authors/audrey-tan
I think for me, aside from the online mentions, what I found valuable was having a journalist like Audrey who not only attend press events or write to cover news, but she also makes the effort to build relationships and continue the conversations. And I think we need more of such journalists, and we need to make friends with them to amplify the climate cause.
Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA) Milestones
- Pamela recently founded Tingkat Heroes SG as part of efforts for educational institutions to go disposables free. You can ‘like’ her FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/TingkatHeroesSingapore/
- Cheryl who went to the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference, is in the process of creating a climate training programme specific for youths interested to go to that conference.
- Jeremy is encouraging SYCA members to reduce our carbon emissions collectively through a carbon footprint tabulation. In addition, he will be working on mainstreaming climate education through SkillsFuture, as well as raising awareness for contributions for Carbon Credit CSR Projects.
- Cuifen has been reminding the team about a second Learning and Leadership Programme, and looking into providing support and momentum for the project.
- As for myself, I’m embarking on a reading circle, based on the Climate Action Plan (both the Mitigation and Adaptation book, and which you can find on the National Climate Change Secretariat website as well). I’ve to say this was largely driven by my personal observation that people (including myself) do not have a good understanding of what’s happening at the national level, and therefore we have to read up and know this, before we know what we can do to complement efforts, or can make useful suggestion to the government. The Climate Action Plan is a good starting point, but further readings and conversations are needed. I am focusing more on coordinating the reading sessions, and facilitating conversations, and my #LepakInSG co-founder Xiang Tian is coming in to support me with the ‘questions to ask agencies’ component. We are launching the Google Form in February. And the reading sessions (yet to be named) will be happening on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from March to July.
Government Engagements in January
- Jan 3: Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) Roundtable Discussion on Climate Action with Senior Minister of State Amy Khor, to give inputs
- Jan 23: MEWR’s Pre-Committee of Supply (COS) Consultation Session on Taking Climate Action: Transiting to a low-carbon economy with Minister Masagos, to give inputs
- Jan 24: Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC)- 100RC Workshop on Resilience Challenges and Opportunities in Singapore, to give inputs
- Jan 26: MEWR’s Launch Event for Year of Climate Action, with SYCA as one of the exhibitors, and we were also mentioned in Minister’s speech, yay!
- Jan 30: ASEAN +3 Environment Forum (AYEF) 2018 Organising Committee Meeting with National Environment Agency (NEA). AYEF is happening 30 June to 2 July, and I have been asked to be an Advisor to the Programme Sub-Committee. I’ve had 2 informal meetups with the NEA team before this meeting.
Invitation to be Part of Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA)
- (TODAY) Wednesday 31 Jan, 10.30am to 4pm at The Deck – FASS Canteen NUS. Pamela is having her first Tingkat Heroes SG roadshow https://www.facebook.com/events/174184550004462/
- Friday 2 Feb, 4.45pm to 7pm at Singapore Sustainability Academy Cheryl will be sharing her experience at the recent COP, and the Google Form to indicate attendance is still open https://goo.gl/forms/SzIF7NPIbRmuXpEF3
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