Green events to get govt funds

Children learning how to make hats out of newspapers at the Just-One-Earth Day carnival at Our Tampines Hub yesterday. The carnival offered children and their parents hands-on activities to engage them on environmental issues.
Children learning how to make hats out of newspapers at the Just-One-Earth Day carnival at Our Tampines Hub yesterday. The carnival offered children and their parents hands-on activities to engage them on environmental issues.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Groups may apply for grant from April 1 and will be eligible for up to $5,000 for projects

Interest groups as well as non-governmental and grassroots organisations planning on holding green events this year can apply from April 1 for a government grant to help defray costs.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor, who announced the Climate Action SG Grant earlier this month in her Committee of Supply debate speech, provided more details on it yesterday.

Speaking at an eco-carnival at Our Tampines Hub, Dr Khor said groups may apply for the grant through the National Environment Agency (NEA) until the end of the year. Each group will be eligible for up to $5,000 for projects on a reimbursement basis.

Singapore has designated 2018 as the Year of Climate Action, a national initiative to raise awareness of climate change, and Dr Khor said the grant was aimed at encouraging more ground-up climate action initiatives.

The Government could not tackle climate change alone, she said. "We hope to see initiatives that help to rally the ground, to increase awareness about the need to take climate action" through simple daily efforts, such as conserving resources, reducing wastage and using less water in showers, she said.

The Joe (Just-One-Earth) Day carnival, organised by the North East Community Development Council, offered children and their parents hands-on activities, such as making self-watering planters, to engage them on environmental issues.

Tampines GRC MP Desmond Choo, who is mayor of the North East District, said getting children involved in such initiatives at a young age was critical. "Our children will inherit this earth... They have the most vested interest. It is also amazing to see the power of our children (in) influencing the habits of their parents and grandparents."

Housewife Gao Jing and her four children, aged between four and nine, were among those at the carnival. "It's important for the kids to learn about how to recycle, instead of just buying things and throwing them away," said Ms Gao, 35.

The carnival was held ahead of last night's Earth Hour, when businesses across Singapore switched off non-essential lights for an hour in a show of solidarity for the global environmental awareness movement.

Organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature, this year's Earth Hour in Singapore was aimed at highlighting the island's high consumption and low recycling rates of plastic. According to NEA figures, Singapore generated 815,200 tonnes of plastic waste last year, only 6 per cent of which was recycled.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 25, 2018, with the headline 'Green events to get govt funds'. Print Edition | Subscribe