Getting bigger: SEC unveils Young Environmental Journalist Award

The Singapore Environment Council (SEC) opened its doors to applications for the Asian Environmental Journalism Awards 2014 (AEJA), with the introduction of a new category targeted at youths aged 18 to 27.

“This new SEC Young Environmental Journalist of the Year category is crucial to garnering the interests of the many young journalists whose works have been published in professional publications to be more involved with environmental journalism,” said Mr Jose Raymond, Chief Executive Officer of the SEC.

Former Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and former Mayor of North East District, Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, will oversee the entire judging process and provide valuable insights as AEJA’s first ever, Chairman of the Judging Committee.

Launched in 2012, the AEJA is Asia’s first journalism awards for the environment which encourages the media and its professional and citizen journalists across Asia, to uphold the responsibility to society, and play a pivotal role in urging stakeholders to achieve a collective vision of maintaining sustainable and green cities.

“Working with the Judging Committee comprising experts in the industry, we are certain that Mr Zainul will steer the Awards to break new ground, while preserving its integrity and quality,” added Mr Raymond.

Mr Zainul Abidin, who has been in the media, government and community development sectors for more than 40 years, said: “Heading the Judging Committee is an exciting undertaking for me, given the regional footprint that AEJA has had over the past two years. The programme is also a far-reaching platform that creates awareness of the environmental issues taking place in the region. I was impressed with the submissions that were received last year and I am looking forward to judging similarly impactful, high-calibre entries.”

The six award categories for the AEJA 2014 are:

  • SEC-CDL Environmental Journalist of the Year
  • SEC Young Environmental Journalist of the Year
  • SEC-Coca-Cola Environmental Story of the Year
  • SEC-Sky Creation Design Environmental Blogger of the Year
  • SEC-CITIC Telecom International Environmental Photograph of the Year
  • SEC-Lee Foundation Excellence in Environmental Reporting by a Media Organisation

The SEC welcomes Sky Creation Design Pte Ltd, an interior design and renovation company in Singapore, as a sponsor of the Environmental Blogger of the Year category. “Sky Creation Design Pte Ltd has a firm commitment to the environment and we are proud to sponsor this category and recognise the far-reaching influence citizen journalism has on society, especially with regard to pressing issues like the environment. The Awards is aligned to our operations and ethics, given that we make it a point to employ sustainable materials and environmentally-sound designs in our work,” said Dr Sky Tan, Chief Executive Officer of Sky Creation.

Echoing Dr Tan’s sentiments, Ms Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer for City Developments Limited (CDL), highlighted the influential role of journalists in driving environmental awareness. “Journalists connect the dots between the environment and the people, without which many environmental issues would have gone unnoticed. The AEJA honours passionate environmental journalists for their integrity, courage and holistic environmental reporting. Their reports have helped raised eco-consciousness within the media fraternity and wider community across Asia.”

Since the inaugural AEJA in 2012, leading green developer CDL has been a strong supporter of the Environmental Journalist of the Year award category, as part of its long-standing corporate commitment to sustainability.

The AEJA is in its third year running, and the SEC is positive that the Awards will continue to improve and garner more participation in the years to come. Coca-Cola Singapore has seen the value of the programme since its inception.

“This marks the third year that Coca-Cola Singapore supports the Coca-Cola Environmental Story of the Year Award, in partnership with SEC. Our support to AEJA is based on our firm belief that when society is working together, be it the private sector, civil society, and member of the media, we can overcome even the most complex social issue of our time like climate change,” said Ms Gill McLaren, General Manager, Coca-Cola Singapore and Malaysia.

CITIC Telecom International, which sponsored the AEJA 2013, will continue its support this year. “The level of professionalism that we saw last year prompts us to look forward to more compelling and thought-provoking images. We are glad to sponsor the SEC-CITIC Telecom International Photographer of the Year Award and indeed, these pictures do speak a thousand words,” said Mr Richard Loo, General Manager, South East Asia, CITIC Telecom International.

Having seen a three-fold increase in participation, SEC believes the momentum will carry forward to exceed last year’s 84 applications from over 14 countries. The SEC has reached out to more partners across Asia, and has secured the support of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Nature Photographic Society (Singapore), Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists, The Photographic Society of Singapore, Singapore International Foundation, Singapore Press Club, The Media Alliance, Vietnam Forum of Environmental Journalists (VFEJ) and World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

The Awards ceremony will be held on 16 October 2014 and will be graced by Guest-of-Honour Ms Grace Fu, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Interested parties should visit www.sec.org.sg/aeja for more information on eligibility, and application guidelines and submission procedures. Applications for AEJA close on 3 August 2014.

1 For more details on the eligibility of the SEC Young Environmental Journalist of the Year, please visit http://www.sec.org.sg/aeja/young-environmental-journalist-of-the-year.php.

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