Today, 20 February 2015, is the UN day for Social Justice and Sustainable development. In an age where sustainable development and the mitigation of the effect of climate change ring true, we are reminded of the incredible and valuable role we as Scouts have.
Even though sustainability is a worldwide challenge, the easiest way to work towards a more sustainable existence is to make changes at home and by showing others how to do so as well. It takes many individual efforts to make a global impact.
Many of you are teaching youths how to be energy efficient at home or how to establish and maintain food gardens. Others strive to mitigate the effects of climate change by partaking in our EE Camps and passing those skills on to their peers. In Mpumalanga, where I reside, I have seen Scouting member’s activity promote projects such as the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle initiatives. In KZN areas where the trees have been removed are now being revitalised and trees are being re-planted. In the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Free State, Northern Cape and Limpopo many communities, schools and homes now boast vegetable gardens that provide food for family, friends and community members.
These food gardens are close to my heart. Even though they are run on a local level, I feel it is our way to contribute to achieving the Global Millennium Development Goals. MDG1 strives to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. By teaching people how to establish, maintain and grow their own food, you as a Cub, Scout, Rover or Scouter are empowering others and contributing towards this objective.
B-P wanted us to leave this world a better place. On the eve of his birthday, I want to thank and congratulate you, our Cubs, Scouts, Rovers, Scouters and volunteers who have been working hard to contribute to the sustainable development of their communities and hence towards creating a better world!