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Dr Neo Mei Lin
(Youth Action Challenge - Environment, in support of Singapore Together)

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Dr Neo Mei Lin

  • “Making a difference needn’t be a solo effort.”

Can the government do more to save our environment?”

Instead of waiting for government-led initiatives, I decided to take action and do something. In the past two decades, many wild places in Singapore have lost their natural beauty due to urbanisation. I was worried: how many of our plants and animals will still be around for my children? Once we lose the opportunity to connect with nature, we lose the chance to educate our children on choosing a sustainable future.

My love for nature led me to study it in-depth, focusing on marine life. Digging deeper into the endangered giant clams made me realise the severity of human impact on their population. At first, it looked like we were eating them to extinction. But after working with people from across the world, the multi-faceted issue of people’s livelihoods came to light. Every situation is unique, and we must consider each facet as we work towards a common goal.

Making a difference alone was challenging, with uncertainty on how to reach the government with my concerns. Nowadays, more Ministers are on the ground at many events. It’s clear that citizens have easier access to them.

As a mentor in the Youth Action Challenge (Environment) by MCCY, I was heartened to see many youths passionate about the environment. From brainstorming to co-creating solutions which were pitched to government bodies, it’s inspiring to see people coming together for our future. Change is happening. Compared to a decade ago, there is more citizen involvement in workgroups, and there are steps being taken in the right direction. Now is the time to seize the opportunity to speak up and collaborate for the greater good.

We’ve learnt that holistic and inclusive actions work well. Just like in the conservation of giant clams, creating better solutions needs evidence-based facts, perspectives, and creativity. It’s great to want to make a difference on our own. But together, the effects can be even greater.

Learn how we can all work together to make more happen: www.sg. #SingaporeTogether

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