A moral responsibility towards our planet and our children

Media Statement by Dr Brendon Hausberger, Chief Scout of South Africa


Whilst Scouts from around the world are representing the Scout Movement at the UN’s Climate Change Conference COP26, young people throughout the country continue to step up and effect local change, for a global impact.

Climate change is one of the most critical global challenges of our time. As humans, we have a moral responsibility towards our environment, our planet and our future generation to take action now. Stopping climate change and mitigating the effects thereof is not the responsibility of one person or one nation. It is up to all of us to undertake pro-active steps to enable a greener and sustainable future.

As a youth movement committed to the achievement of the sustainable development goals, the mitigation of Climate Change has been incorporated in all our youth programmes as part of personal development requirements and also as additional challenges under SCOUTS South Africa’s “SDG Challenge“, “Tide Turners Plastic Challenge”, “Better World for BP“, “Food for Life”, and “Messengers of Peace” actions.

We have made it a priority to educate and equip young people with the ability to recognise the impact of their own habits and how to rectify them to effect change within their communities. Young people are being taught how to adopt innovative ways to combat and live within our current and projected climate.

Scouts tree planting_Thembani primary by Louisa Feiter

Photo: Louisa Feiter

Children and youth – aged 5 to 30 – are taking action. They are cleaning up beaches and ports, cleaning up their communities, heritage sites, and local parks. Children are recycling, upcycling, and are planting trees and shrubs to mitigate the harm being done as their #PromiseToThePlanet.  Others are lobbying for change with bigger corporations , are stepping up and leading by example in their communities, and are making the conscience decision to be eco-friendly consumers.

Environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, desertification, rising sea levels and changing climate patterns all affect the ways in which we live and work. As we prepare and enable our youth to make a change today, we also need to recognise their role in shaping what the future holds. As a result, youth members of Scouting are learning how to make climate-resilient decisions, and how to take the lead and plan and implement environmentally sustainable initiatives.

With green technology, innovation and productivity on the rise, the skills Scouting members acquire now, will not only enhance their employability in the years to come, but will also enable them to actively contribute to creating more inclusive and greener economies and societies.

As youth step up to protect their future, I would like to encourage each and every one of you to make a promise to the planet, to adapt your bad habits and to stand together to create a better world for all who inhabit this planet we call home.

Dr Brendon Hausberger, Chief Scout SCOUTS South Africa.

For more information, or to speak to Dr Brendon Hausberger, please contact SCOUTS SA National PR Manager Natasha Kayle on pr@scouts.org.za

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