The Biodiversity Friends Forum (BFF) was initiated in 2017 to provide an avenue for individuals, especially youth, new to the biodiversity scene to become introduced to issues and take action, through the mentorship of members of the nature community represented in the Biodiversity Roundtable of Singapore. The mechanism is part of Singapore’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), providing platforms for mentorship, conservation and action.
On 12 August 2017, the first Forum was launched to understand the needs of individuals new to the nature scene. 120 individuals between 16 and 30 years old drawn from junior college students, polytechnic students, undergraduates, postgraduates and working adults registered for the forum. From the focus group discussion with facilitators, BFF formulated relevant capacity-building tools and workshops to develop skill sets and establish relationships necessary for a participatory community concerned with biodiversity issues.
The BFF Challenge
The BFF Challenge, is a capacity building programme organised within BFF. In 2018, the first Challenge was initiated in response to the need for public education about human-wildlife encounters in Singapore. Through seminars, workshops and field trips, the Challenge equipped participants with basal knowledge necessary to learn about and take action for these issues. This programme culminates with public outreach at the annual Festival of Biodiversity. Besides the annual BFF Challenge, fireside chats and other capacity-building workshops have also been organised for youth interested in learning more about biodiversity conservation in Singapore.
To learn more about the Biodiversity Friends Forum, please click here.
Participants of the Biodiversity Friends Forum programmes could qualify for the National Youth Achievement Awards (NYAA) programme.
Since 2020, Biodiversity Friends Forum has been included in the NParks’ Youth@SGNature initiative, which brings together new and existing programmes that provide youth with platforms to engage with nature and motivate youths to be stewards for biodiversity conservation and greenery. The Youth Nature Explorer and Youth Stewards for Nature are two such programmes jointly presented by Biodiversity Friends Forum and the Green Friends Forum, which youth can participate in. You may find out more about the programmes in their respective webpages.
The Biodiversity Roundtable
The Biodiversity Roundtable is an initiative which includes more than 20 non-governmental organisations involved in local biodiversity issues, and NParks. The Biodiversity Roundtable meets regularly to discuss issues and events related to the biodiversity of Singapore and has jointly organised the annual Festival of Biodiversity since 2012.