Chennai , March 2018 – WWF and the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) are deepening their collaboration to drive global awareness and action on nature and the environment, in recognition of the enormous challenges facing our planet and the important role of young people in creating a more sustainable world. Starting with Earth Hour, building mass awareness on the importance of nature will be a priority, with Scouts around the world taking part as a sign of the close collaboration between the two organisations.
In India, the Bharat Scouts and Guides (BSG) have entered into a partnership with WWF-India to take forward the message of conservation of the environment to communities across the country, through 5.6mn registered Scouts and Guides. Being rolled out with Earth Hour 2018, 5.6mn Bharat Scouts and Guides will give up their plastic woggles, a signature element of the BSG uniform, as a part of the “#GiveUp” to Give Back movement or initiative, replacing it with more sustainable and eco-friendly options.
Plastic is one of the biggest banes of the environment today. According to reports, more than 1,00,000 mammals, one million sea birds and other marine aquatic life die because of the plastic they ingest or get entangled in. In 1950, the world’s population of 2.5 billion produced 1.5 million tons of plastic; in 2016, a global population of more than 7 billion people produced over 300 million tons of plastic – with severe consequences for marine plants and animals. India contributes 60% of the plastic waste that goes into the world’s oceans every year. According to an estimate, 99 per cent of all seabirds will have ingested plastic by mid-century.
World Scouting and WWF first worked together in 1973 on environmental education. The ongoing successful partnership aims to help achieve the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Biodiversity Target 1, so that hundreds of millions of people understand the values of biodiversity and the current critical condition of our planet. Better informed and aware, people can take actions to protect biodiversity and nature, live more sustainably and expect the same of businesses and their governments. It will also include a new version of one of their earliest joint initiatives, the badge formerly known as the World Conservation Badge (Panda Badge).As part of its commitment to the environment, WOSM has also established a network of Scout Centres of Excellence for Nature and the Environment (SCENES) around the world, to enable Scouts, the local community and other visitors to connect and engage with nature.
WOSM has launched a special web page for Scouts to participate in Earth Hour and share their experiences: www.scout.org/earthhour