1,000 hours of environmental education at World Scout Jamboree

01 September 2011 | News story

IUCN ran 24 two-hour workshops for over 500 Scouts of 27 nationalities at the Global Development Village. CEC Focal Point Rod Abson shares the event report. 

IUCN, through the Commission on Education and Communication (CEC), helped deliver over 1,000 person-hours of environmental education at the 22nd World Scout Jamboree in Sweden. Read full report >>

Rod Abson, Knowledge Management Officer and CEC Focal Point, who coordinated IUCN’s involvement with the World Scout Jamboree, described the event: “We prepared workshops on Environmental Rights of the Child, and Celebrating Biodiversity. It was a great opportunity to discuss directly with young people from all over the world, and to run activities and games that helped them to explore some critical environmental subjects in a cross-cultural environment,” Rod said.

The biodiversity workshop enabled Scouts to explore the diversity of life on Earth, the connections between species and their ecosystems and the role that people play in interacting with biodiversity. At the conclusion, the Scouts created a new species and it was evident from their drawings they were very creative and had taken into consideration things like habitats, feeding requirements and special features that species evolve.

The environmental rights workshop explored what environmental rights children have and, through activities that asked them to create a new country, CEC organizers were able to collect over 500 examples of what young people feel are important rights for children to have. Their priorities included education, healthcare, family, home, food, clothes, water, freedom of speech, love, friends and Scouting.

Another activity asked Scouts to rank in order of priority a selection of environmental rights of children. The highest ranking results focus on basic survival needs, of fresh water and sanitation, clean and healthy food, adequate shelter and housing. The next most popular response was a healthy ecosystem, health education and other biodiversity-related subjects. Other policy related subjects were lower rated. It shows that this age range identified that immediate needs have first priority and must be met before considering other factors.

“Scouts explored many environmental subjects during the Jamboree, through the workshops we conducted as well as their exploration of the natural environmental of Sweden and day-to-day low impact living practices in operation at the Jamboree. When we consider there were more than 40,000 Scouts here from 146 countries - all enthusiastic about making a difference in the world - it gives you hope that we can conserve and protect our natural environment in the future,” Rod said.

For a full report of IUCN’s involvement with the World Scout Jamboree please see the report IUCN at the 22nd World Scout Jamboree, Rinkaby, Sweden. If you would like further information please contact Rod Abson: Rodney.Abson@iucn.org