Youths sharing ideas on environmental conservation will spur action: Masagos

The Environment and Water Resources Minister adds that it is "critical" to ensure that young people are involved in building a more sustainable environment.
Liyana Othman Channel NewsAsia 9 Apr 16;

SINGPAORE: Getting youths to share their ideas on environmental conservation with one another will spur them to take concrete action, said Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli on Saturday (Apr 9) at the ASEAN Plus Three Youth Environment Forum.

Singapore is hosting the forum for the first time, which takes place from Apr 8 to 10. The event is part of the National Environment Agency's annual Youth for the Environment Day, that will be held on the Apr 22.

At the event, Mr Masagos added that it is "critical" to ensure that young people are involved in building a more sustainable environment.

"Youth involvement in the environment is very critical,” he said. “In fact, what we are building is actually for their future. And to ensure that what we're building is also sustainable, it requires all of us to make adjustments in our lifestyles, in how we contribute towards the waste and pollution that we are producing to the environment. And therefore if we start them young and know that there are things they can do on their own, and in their groups, it will start them off in a good way."

About 150 youths from Singapore and other ASEAN member states, plus China, discussed how communities and companies can go green. IKEA, for example, is looking into creating home products that can help reduce waste, as well as water and energy consumption.

Other issues raised include how they can champion the environment, and inspire others to do the same.

"You guys did a ten-year river cleaning programme, so I really like that, because we have this really big river, it's a really famous river in Brunei and it really needs cleaning,” said Amal Afifah Rusali, chairperson of the Brunei Environmental Youth Envoys. “It's Kampong Ayer. I really like that idea, even if it's 10 years long, it's worthwhile in the end. I plan to do more research on that, so that we can hopefully do something that's doable in Brunei."

- CNA/ek