What MEWR and NEA can help the green community in the new year

January 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Blog

If MEWR and NEA wish to nurture more ground-up initiatives and increase the number of new environmental NGOs and groups in the new year, here are some suggestions for them to help the green community:

1) Provide Space

The green community needs office space to do their work, and meeting and training rooms to liaise with their partners and volunteers. Instead of spending their limited funding to rent spaces, the money could be better spent on their programmes. MEWR and NEA can come in to offer pro bono spaces for them, or help them connect with companies who are willing to host the groups.

2) Co-create Policies

Help them help you. The various departments and sections within MEWR and NEA may deal with various aspects of a single topic or policy (3P, Policy and Planning, specific Waste or Cleaning departments, Industry Development, etc). There is a need to work together and co-create solutions and tackle policies.

If the green groups have a meeting on a particular topic or policy, help them identify the other stakeholders within MEWR and NEA who needs to be on the same table. Explain to them why certain policies are the way they are. If there are things that the NGOs or groups can do, be bold enough to let them do it.

3) Adjust Funding

The current 3P Partnership Fund and Call for Ideas Fund by NEA do not include funding for manpower and selected categories. Instead of prescribing which categories can be funded, NEA can provide funding based on results. A performance-based funding scheme allows the groups to use the funding to pay for expenses, including for manpower, prizes, etc. Of course, the expenses in those categorues must be reasonable and agreed upon before approval. The amount of funding disbursed will be based on the KPIs agreed.

At the end of the day, the results matter more than dictating which categories can or cannot be funded. If a project can’t be executed properly because of a lack of funding for manpower (or other expenses that are not funded), then both the group and NEA would lose out in the end.

What the green community could do better this year

February 8, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog

A week of interesting meetings and events, which got me thinking about what the green community could do better this year. Here’s 3 things:

1) Think Long Term

While green NGOs in Singapore depend heavily on volunteers with passion to drive their work, they must also consider long term career paths and capacity building to attract people to join the environmental sector. Besides requiring passion, creating a viable green career for passionate people is also important. Having full-time staff with relevant skills to drive the key work ensures continuity and better engagement with stakeholders.

NGOs could adopt futures thinking to identify key trends, challenges and opportunities. Thinking long term is not just for the government, NGOs should also think about how best to advance their causes in a changing Singapore with more diverse voices.

2) Have More Conversations

The green community is often busy working on their own causes and silos, without slowing down to speak to other groups in the community and find collaborations. The occasional meetups at events hardly enable proper conversations to develop.

We need to develop spaces where the green community can come together and have deep conversations to discuss, plan, collaborate and synergise. We also need spaces where the green community can have conversations with other communities, NGOs, businesses and government agencies.

3) Nudge the Government

We can help the government help the green community. Some government agencies need to see public support before setting certain policies. The green community can identify these potentials and work on campaigns to increase public awareness and support, so that this groundswell can nudge the government in doing their work faster.

Some government policies might be backwards in today’s evolving society and needs. The green community can proactively engage the government on these policies, with recommendations and constructive feedback.

Our SG Conversation for the Green Community – Summary Report

August 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Publications

Our SG Conversation for the Green Community - Summary Report

Our SG Conversation for the Green Community (OSC) was held on 19 January this year at Singapore Polytechnic. This OSC was initiated by Faizah Jamal, Nominated Member of Parliament (Environment and Heritage) People and Civic Sector, and Eugene Tay, Director, Green Future Solutions, in collaboration with the Singapore Polytechnic Environment Club and “Our Singapore” Programme Office, Public Service Division.

Close to 80 people turned up for the OSC, including 55 participants from green groups and the public, facilitators, scribes, and volunteers. The diverse views of the green community, which included environmental NGOs and groups; individual environment, animal and wildlife activists; and environmental businesses, associations and research academics, added an important voice to the overall national conversation. Read more

Our SG Conversation for the Green Community @ Singapore Polytechnic

January 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

Our SG Conversation for the Green Community 1

The Our SG Conversation for the Green Community (OSC) was held last Saturday 19 January at Singapore Polytechnic. This OSC was initiated by Faizah Jamal, Nominated Member of Parliament (Environment and Heritage) People and Civic Sector, and Eugene Tay, Director, Green Future Solutions, in collaboration with the Singapore Polytechnic Environment Club and “Our Singapore” Programme Office, Public Service Division.

55 participants, including 45 representatives from green groups and 10 from the public, turned up on a rainy Saturday morning to voice their thoughts and vision for Singapore. The diverse views of the green community, which included environmental NGOs and groups; individual environment, animal and wildlife activists; and environmental businesses, associations and research academics, added an important voice to the overall national conversation. Read more

Our SG Conversation for the Green Community

January 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

In our earlier post, Our (Green) Singapore Conversation, we mentioned that we are planning to organise an OSC session for the green community. Here’s an update:

Our SG Conversation for the Green Community is organised by Faizah Jamal, Nominated Member of Parliament (Environment and Heritage) People and Civic Sector, and Eugene Tay, Director, Green Future Solutions, in collaboration with the “Our Singapore” Programme Office, Public Service Division.

The ongoing Our SG Conversation (OSC) provides an opportunity for Singaporeans to come together and discuss our vision and priorities as a country. We believe that the green community would also be able to contribute and make a difference to this national conversation. The diverse views of the green community, which includes environmental NGOs and groups; individual environment, animal and wildlife activists; and environmental businesses, associations and research academics, would add an important voice to the overall conversation. Read more

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