EcoFriend Awards recognises 8 people for environmental efforts

Among those who received the award is a 16-year-old student from Nan Chiau High and a manager at South East CDC.
Liyana Othman and Kenneth Lim Channel NewsAsia 23 Nov 15;

SINGAPORE: Eight individuals who have contributed to environmental efforts were honoured with EcoFriend Awards on Monday (Nov 23).

“Today, our clean, green and liveable environment has become synonymous with Singapore,” said Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Environment and Water Resources. “Such an achievement would not have been possible without the support and collaboration of the community, businesses, schools as well as civil society.

“Such collaborations exemplify the selfless contributions of environmentally proactive individuals who went the extra mile to care for and protect the environment. This is even more so today, as the citizenry becomes more active in championing various causes, including for the environment, and many individuals championing for the environment.”

A total of 237 nominations were received this year, 23 per cent more than in 2014. This points to greater involvement by Singaporeans in championing the environment. Among the winners, what stood out was a common passion in encouraging the youth to do their part for the earth.


Among the winners is Foo Yong Li, a student at Nan Chiau High who has made an impact in growing the school's green spirit.

"This is something I hold dear to me actually,” he said. “My personal motto is 'just do it', because there should be no reservations in saving the world."

Yong Li is the president of the school's green club. At 16, he is also the youngest recipient of this year's EcoFriend Award. In his four years at the school, he has planned camps and carnivals to raise awareness of green issues, both in school and among the wider community.

He also took part in last year's Global Youth Summit in Singapore to discuss environment issues with young leaders from around the world.

His teacher says Yong Li is not afraid to speak up for what he believes in.

"A lot of the students, although they may have ideas, but they may not have the courage to speak up on what is right and what is wrong. But he is able to actually do that,” said his teacher, Mdm Leow Shie Hui.

Like Yong Li, South East Community Development Council's (CDC) manager Mr Kia Siang Wei has also made a impact on his community. He is the first CDC representative to win the EcoFriend Award in its nine-year history, which he described as "rather surprising".

"I did tell them that I might not be the best person to receive such an award because I'm still a public servant, and I thought this is just my duty," he said.

Mr Kia was recognised this year for driving South East CDC's green programme over the past few years and promoting awareness of environmental issues among thousands of residents. He also led Singapore’s first e-waste recycling programme in 2013.

Since 2013, the programme has reached an estimated 7,000 households, with more than 10,000kg of e-waste collected.

"I think this award means a lot not just to me, but also for the whole community that I serve,” said Mr Kia. “Which means that we have been doing the right thing, and that the community is supportive of the type of environment programme we are doing here."

Mr Kia wants to get more schools involved in his programmes. He also hopes to create more materials for children to spread the green message.

- CNA/ek

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