Greenpeace at the World Scout Jamboree

By Khan Ram-Inthra

Feature story - December 28, 2002
Greenpeace was invited to participate at the 20th World Scout Jamboree, held in Sattahip, Chonburi, Thailand from December 28, 2002 to January 7, 2003. Greenpeace set up a booth in the Global Development Village (GDV), which was intended to educate more than 20,000 scouts from around the world about developmental issues. The village highlighted, among others, the problems caused by economic and industrial development and the possible solutions.

Greenpeace was part of the interactive stand section where scouts can freely join at their convenience. Organizational information like the history and the role of Greenpeace in campaigning on environmental issues in the global scale were presented. Printed documents from Greenpeace offices from around the world were also provided to those who were interested. The scouts were also able to demonstrate their intention to protect their environment by printing their hands on the help-us-save-the-world banner. The scouts were told about the global environmental problems and how to solve them.

Because of its presence, Greenpeace got very good responses; for example the organization was introduced to the public during grand opening ceremony and there was great interest about Greenpeace among members of the press. The most impressing responses were from scouts who joined the stand and scouts who saw Greenpeace banners or t-shirts. In addition, many visitors at the stand were Greenpeace staff, volunteers and supporters from different countries, and led to dialogues about the challenges and opportunities of Greenpeace campaigns in each country. Senior scouts from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uganda said they want Greenpeace to be present in their home countries. And many people also revealed that they want to be part of Greenpeace. Hence, the organizer suggested that they contact the closest Greenpeace office. It was obvious a lot of people want to help us in protecting the environment. However, there were also many people who did not have much understanding regarding Greenpeace's work or did not agree with our approach.

I, as an organizer who joined many activities and spent two weeks there, I was really impressed about the gathering of the scouts. I could see that no matter which nationality, religion or culture they belong, they have a love for nature and environment. But the environmental problems that confront us now are mainly caused by the ignorance of bringing these feelings into reality, or that mainstream capitalism dominates most of people's preoccupation. In order to heal the nature, an interesting starting point is the youth who still have the sense of nature. And this group will be the powerful engine of future developments.