biodiversitychallenge, biodiversitychallenge2021

BFF Biodiversity Challenge 2021 Closing Celebrations (Part II)

On a cozy Friday night, the BFFers were set to come together for the last time (as part of the BFF Challenge 2021) to wrap things up! Armed with eye-catching nature-themed virtual backgrounds, our participants, alumni, mentors and guides joined the zoom session and were ready to have fun and learn from one another.

Getting Started

To kick things off, Joy took everyone on a trip down memory lane as we reviewed photos and blog posts from all the field trips and Acts for Nature (AFNs) our fellow participants did. It was certainly heartwarming to see the curious looks on everyone’s faces during those trips, and look back to a time when we could still come together to learn from one another and nature… No doubt, the best way to learn about nature is to really experience it first-hand.

Fun time!

Next, as with every Zoom session possible, we had our very own Kahoot quiz hosted by enthusiastic emcees Chui Qing and Yu Xin. What made the session even more fun were the poignant sharings by our fellow BFFers Ramm, Phoebe, Lecarl and Gavin, whose pictures were featured in the quiz. These helped some of us relive the field trip experience and helped the rest to get some insight on what they missed out 🙂

The Kahoot ended with Siva sharing his experience at the URA’s Long Term Plan Review (featured in the last question), who in turn encouraged everyone to participate and let our voices be heard! Great start to advocacy eh?

Guest Speaker: The Untamed Paths

The highlight of the session was having Dennis Chan, founder of The Untamed Paths, share with everyone his journey in doing his part for conservation. Coming from a non-conservation related background, he took the leap of faith to do something completely different for his career; taking his hobby to a new level and starting The Untamed Paths. His sharing about his incredible journey and how he was self-taught and built a nature guiding company from scratch was particularly inspiring to many of us. Dennis proved to be a living example of how with passion, anything is possible.

Award Ceremony

As a symbolic end to the BFF Challenge 2021, BFFers were treated to a rather chaotic but hopefully entertaining virtual award ceremony. Those who completed the challenge received their e-certificates in real time, to simulate an actual ceremony and to end off their journeys with a bang. Some of them even got special recognition awards for their outstanding efforts in completing the challenge, recognising BFFers behind some beautifully written reflections and creative AFNs.

An AFN which received a special mention was Brandon’s comprehensive and informative guide to herping at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Some participants also wrote detailed and insightful reflections, such as Phoebe’s reflection post on her intertidal walk at Changi Beach. 

The mentors and partners who supported BFF were also present and gave out the awards, celebrating the end of a fruitful BFF Challenge 2021 together.

Congrats to the youths who completed the challenge, including those who were absent, and those we didn’t manage to snap a photo of in time ><

What now?

As with every event, BFF Challenge 2021 has come to an end. However, the lessons learnt, experiences gained and friendships forged do not end with this. This platform has always served as a stepping stone for those interested in biodiversity to meet like-minded individuals and find opportunities to further grow their passion in this area. Hence, we finished off the session with a few possible avenues for BFFers to continue to contribute to the local conservation scene:

  • Join as a long term volunteer: (see slides)
  • Join the new BFF Alumni telegram chat: Get spontaneous updates and once-off volunteer opportunities! (refer to the link sent earlier in the BFF Challenge WhatsApp group) 
  • Be heard: Sign up for the Long Term Plan Review
  • Pay it Forward: Join as an organising team member of BFF Challenge 2022
  • Many many more!

Change doesn’t happen just by waiting for something big to happen, so let’s collectively do our own part in our everyday lives, no matter big or small 🙂

Final Words

Once again, thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s challenge, as well as the many other groups and individuals who have kindly offered guided walks for our participants, or have supported us in one way or another! May this not be the last time we meet as we embark on our paths to support biodiversity conservation in Singapore 🙂