Every Singaporean, A Naturalist

Philosophy 

Singapore harbours a very rich terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity which consists of over 2000 native plant species, more than 300 native birds and 300 native butterfly species, over 250 hard coral species, and much more. The best of it all is that this incredible diversity is minutes away from anywhere in the city. However, the question is does nature and our rich biodiversity influence and guide the lifestyles of an average Singaporean? Interacting with our family, friends and neighbours, we know only a small proportion of us in Singapore make lifestyle choices around nature and nature conservation. How could we transform this paradigm such that nature becomes an integral part of the Singapore lifestyle? 

‘Every Singaporean, A Naturalist’ or ESN in short is a new initiative by the Nature Society (Singapore). It is part of the society’s wider citizen science engagement strategy aimed to equip Singaporeans with hands-on nature conservation activities. Activities that can inspire them and make them knowledgeable about nature. 

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Young citizen naturalists exploring urban flowers and their butterfly visitors


Objectives

ESN aims to equip young citizen scientists with skills to identify, monitor and hopefully appreciate common species of birds, butterflies, plants, mammals, amphibians and reptiles in their schools so they can be engaged in a long-term study and appreciation of nature in Singapore with experts and volunteers of NSS. With funding support from HSBC for a period of 3 years, the program currently targets primary and secondary schools but it will eventually be expanded to the wider public. 


The Pilot Stage 

The program will be piloted at 2 primary and 3 secondary schools in the first school term from 2 January to 9 March 2018 (10 weeks). Leading to the pilot stage, teachers are being engaged, and training sessions conducted for young citizen scientists to familiarize with the fauna and flora around them. A full rollout is planned in mid-2018. Check out the details as below.  

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We hope that as the program expands across Singapore, together we will be know what are the common fauna and flora in urban Singapore and how do they change across months and years around us?   

If you are interested in knowing more and/or participating in the program, please contact kerry@nss.org.sg. Stay tuned for more in the coming months! 

The program announcement in Nature News Sep-Oct 2017 can be found here link