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A New Year, A New Hope for ECO Singapore

Written By David D'Angelo on Saturday, January 2, 2010 | 1/02/2010

Wilson Ang, President of the Environmental Challenge Organization (ECO) Singapore opens 2010 with an address to thank the supporters and friends of the renowned environmental organization and also, to address new challenges in 2010.

Here is the message of Wilson Ang which I know would relate to many of us who wants to be of service to the planet...


Dear ECO Volunteers, partners, supporters and friends,

Our sincere thanks to every one of you for being involved in our activities over the past year and your continuing involvement and support for our efforts.

There were many challenges in 2009, including the H1N1 Influenza outbreak and the global economic situation. These factors saw schools limit their student engagement programmes and also resuted in less than forthcoming financial support. These unique circumstance did not only have an impact on us, but the community as a whole. We had to restrategize for the year with the limited resources that were presented, yet continue with our ongoing work. In the end, the journey was meaningful and successful.

Despite the circumstances, we manged to explore new initiatives while strengthening current ones, and break new ground on the international platform. We achieved all this with the continued support from every single one of you.

EXPLORE


Maximizing online tools

Being the leading youth-led environmental organisation, it is vital for us to keep up with online tools to reach out to more young people. Today, youths are able to keep up with our activities with the following tools:

1. Scribd - Reports of our programmes are made available online for sharing at
http://www.scribd.com/ECO%20Singapore
2. Youtube Channel: Video of our programmes are made available for viewing at
http://www.youtube.com/ecosingapore
3. Smugmug: Pictures of our programmes are made available for sharing at
http://ecotv.smugmug.com/
4. Twitter: Follow us to be kept posted on our programmes and environmental news at
http://twitter.com/eco_singapore
5. Facebook: Be a fan of us and also our group be kept abreast of our programmes http://www.facebook.com/pages/ECO-Singapore/142904837963

Running small scaled pilot projects

In the past year, we have also come up with a few creative initiatives with youth volunteers to improve our outreach to the public more meaningfully. These include the following:

1. ECO Mall Tour
2. ECO TV
3. United Nations University (UNU) Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE)


STRENGTHENING LOCAL ACTIVITIES


Dunk It Programme
"Dunk It" grew to include the annual Chingay Parade in 2009 for the first time. Our pilot partnerhsip with the Peoples' Association saw 200 ECO Ambassadors successfully convey the litter free message with the public.

For the ongoing "Dunk It" programme for the National Day Parade, SMRT came in to give its maiden support for 2009.

Youth Olympic Games
We also had a trial run of our engagement outreach at the One Year Countdown for the Singapore Youth Olympic Games (SYOG) and Clean & Green Singapore (CGS), as a build up towards its full roll out in 2010 for SYOG.

Earth Hour
Building on last year's success, we partnered WWF Singapore once again to further their Earth Hour 2009 campaign to reach out to all the zones in Singapore through the various Community Development Concils (CDCs). This enabled us to spread the energy conservation message to over 100,000 members of the public in the heartlands, through the 1,500 youth volunteers that included many of you.

EXPRESS! Publication
The publication went through a make-over with its debut on Earth Day (22nd April 2009) week along Orchard Road with support from Jurlique. You will be able to get it every quarterly online at http://www.myecoexpress.com and also a free printed copy at all Starbucks and Pet Lovers Centre outlets (while stocks last!).

RE-LIVE

As an annual event where youth takes stewardship of our environment, RE-Live was held for the second year running in 2009. The event continues to bring together youth to engage the public to "Re-think their way of Living". This year, it was held at Bugis Junction, with the kind support from Capitaland, in commemoration of World Environment Day (5th June 2009).

National Youth Assembly
The National Youth Environment Forum embraced the feedback from its youth participants to grow it into a year long engagement with youth on local environmental and sustainability policies. Hence, we had our inaugural National Youth Assembly in August, held at the Old Parliament House, with the support of The Arts House. The Assembly also paid tribute to the 50th Anniversary of Singapore's self-governance, along with the appointment of our first Prime Minister in 1959. The number of youths taking part mirrored the number of original Assemblymen appointed: 51.

Please find details of proceedings at http://www.nationalyouthassembly.org/

International Day of Climate Action
As part of the International Day of Climate Action on 24th October, ECO Singapore (co-facilitated by the 350.org movement) conducted two events: an aerial photographic shoot and a 'Flash Mob' at Speakers' Corner and the La Salle School respectively. Our action aimed to educate the public of the importance of how one can change our personal habits to reduce our carbon impact. This event was held in Singapore in partnership with the Vegetarian Society of Singapore as part of the largest international movement of this decade with over 180 countries taking part in 2,000 actions worldwide.

INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES and NEW GROUND

Our involvement in the international arena included several ground breaking intiatives to create a world of eco communities, promoting the concept of global citizenship, where everyone takes responsibilities of our own lifestyle both at grassroots and policy levels.

Growing ECO International
We successfully launched our first international office in Indonesia on ASEAN Day - 8th August 2009. This is a first step forward for ECO to take on a facilitator role in the region, and promote sustainable consumption of urbanites through like minded young people. Expect more to come from this exciting new partnership between both countries, and learn more at http://www.eco-indonesia.com

United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)
ECO Singapore has been sending delegations since 2006 and in 2008, the delegation established a formal blog to document their journey of the negotiations at http://uncsdsingapore.wordpress.com

World Leadership Conference
Opened by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, Mr Achim Steiner, and the British High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Paul Madden, the inagurual World Leadership Conference drew over 300 youth leaders from over 15 countries to come together and explore the possibility for a low carbon future economy through a five-day intensive programme at the Singapore Management University (SMU).

Overview of the conference can be found at http://www.worldleadershipconference.org

United Nation Climate Change Conference/ Conference Of Parties (UNCCC COP15)
The eventful year concluded with ECO leading a delegation of 15 self-funded youths to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (also known as UNCCC COP15) in Copenhagen, Denmark. The delegation had the privilege to conclude their session with a meeting with our Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong.

Find out more at:
http://unfcccecosingapore.wordpress.com

TOWARDS 2010

In the coming year, there will be four key pillars for ECO to focus on. They are as follows:

1. Establish & Improve Existing Public Engagement Activities/ Programmes
2. Improve Volunteer Management and Development Programmes
3. Develop & Promote Environmental Enterprises
4. Building Strong Partnerships: Existing partners, SYOG and the UN

CONCLUSION

With your continued support in terms of your time, skills and enthusiasm, we will continue to engage and empower more youths to take ownership of our environment, be more informed consumers, and make a difference by making eco living a lifestyle, starting with ourselves.

Wishing all of you and your loved ones a blessed new year ahead.

It's all happening because we care for our Earth.

With Warm Regards,
Wilson Ang
Founder and President

Also Visit My Other Blogs
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