NEA launches new programme for young people to be involved in sustainability efforts

A YES leadership programme will take in young people and train them to be green leaders over a period of nine to 12 months. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Young people now have a new platform to get involved in sustainability efforts, with the launch of a year-long programme.

They will have the opportunity to initiate and lead projects or movements to tackle pressing environmental issues under the Youth for Environmental Sustainability (YES) Programme launched by the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Thursday (July 8).

A YES leadership programme will take in young people and train them to be green leaders over a period of nine to 12 months, starting in December this year. It will help them develop their knowledge, skill sets and experience in environment sustainability issues, said NEA in a statement.

They will also be mentored by people from Youth Corps Singapore, an organisation that provides volunteering opportunities for young people.

This leadership programme is open to those between 17 and 25 years old. Those interested can register at the website from now till Sept 1.

Participants who successfully complete the leadership training will be recognised as YES ambassadors by NEA. They will have the opportunity to volunteer and participate in the agency's initiatives and mentor others on sustainability projects.

A forum is also planned for next year, where young people can network and discuss sustainability issues. Participants of the leadership programme can also share the progress of their projects and get feedback and support.

Through these initiatives, YES aims to develop young people who are highly knowledgeable about Singapore's sustainability issues, create future environmental leaders and engage young people over a sustained period.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said: "Our youth play an important role in Singapore's sustainability journey and we want to tap on their boundless energy and ideas."

In one upcoming green initiative under YES, members of the public will be able to drop off their empty beauty product containers at various collection points. Students and alumni of the National University of Singapore (NUS) will then upcycle the containers into new products that are useful.

Young people who are not NUS students can also join the initiative and figure out ways to upcycle the containers, as long as their teams have at least one student or alumnus of the university.

Companies and organisations which have relevant programmes and volunteering opportunities for young people can publicise these on the YES microsite.

The YES programme is open to young people between the ages of 15 and 35.

Said Ms Fu: "Through the YES Programme, we will empower our youth to tackle environmental issues by providing them with opportunities to exchange ideas and lead initiatives. Our youth can effect positive changes and inspire more Singaporeans to join us in making Singapore a green and liveable home."

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