Three Singaporean youths will get to work with scientists in China on how to combat climate change after winning this year’s HSBC/National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) Youth Environmental Award.
Some 60 entries were received for this year’s award and four winners emerged eventually.
The four winners are 18-year-old Brandon Chia Zheng Da, 22-year-old Chua Ang Hong, 20-year-old Wu Caishi and 17-year-old Gina Goh Shu Hui.
Goh will not be joining the group to China as she is below 18 years old.
While last year’s winners visited a rainforest in Puerto Rico to find out how different species of lizards are affected by deforestation, the trio will head to China on a 12-day trip to study climate change.
They received a warm send-off on Tuesday from Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.
Their Earthwatch study trip will take them to Gutianshan National Nature Reserve in Zhejiang province.
One of the winners, Mr Chua, who is a student at Nanyang Technological University, said: “It’s a really different perspective. We are going to the nature to explore how our actions are affecting the forest, the trees, as well as the bio-diversity so it’s a really good exposure for all of us.”
Professor Leo Tan, Chairman of NYAA Council, said China was chosen this year as it is currently undertaking a study on climate change.
“Each year, the HSBC/NYAA environmental award sends students to work with real scientists everywhere in the world and China is not the only location. This year we chose China because there is something relevant that they are going to do that is pertinent to us.”
The youths will receive hands-on training in China from scientists at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
They will also be learning more about how the forest is affected by climate change.
On its partnership with NYAA since the inception of the award, Alex Hungate, group general manager and chief executive officer of HSBC Singapore, said: “Over time, by supporting the NYAA, we’re convinced that will enhance the leadership of Singaporean youths.”