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Title: Nature guiding in Singapore – guiding environmental citizenship through the public sphere
Keywords: environmental citizenship, public sphere, environmental volunteering, nature interpretation, nature guide, public pedagogy, Singapore
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: CHOW TAK WEI (2018). Nature guiding in Singapore – guiding environmental citizenship through the public sphere. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Singapore’s environmental narrative has moved away from one of conflict to one of cooperation, seeing civil society less as activists but valued stakeholders that has created for a vibrant environmental volunteering scene. As global movements impose greater responsibilities of environmental protection towards individuals, environmental citizenship emerges as relevant form of political thought, empowering citizens to evoke change on grounds of environmental justice over national identity. However, environmental citizenship literature presently does not account how an individual becomes an environmental citizen, and what qualities of society are desirable for environmental citizenship’s growth. This thesis serves as an empirical account for the becoming of an environmental citizen by considering the public sphere theory, using components of site, agent and State. After consultation to past literature on environmental citizenship, public sphere theory and nature interpretation, a conceptual framework illustrating the movement of a citizen towards environmental citizenship is drawn up. To appreciate this conceptual framework in practice, participant observation on nature guided walks and semi-structured interviews was carried out with volunteer nature guides across six guiding groups, and two National Parks Board (NParks) staff. Demonstrations of environmental citizenship during walks are categorized into three public pedagogies: pedagogy for the public, pedagogy of the public and pedagogy of publicness. Interviews with nature guides reveal motivations and takeaways from their guiding experience that strengthen their beliefs as environmental citizens. Three qualities of successful public sphere components that encourage environmental citizenship are suggested: reflective sites, inclusive agents and a supportive State. IV Further research on environmental citizenship in Singapore can be extended towards other forms of environmental volunteering, on which sites are more reflective, and linking environmental citizenship to narratives of environmental sacrifice. In conclusion, this thesis establishes the relevance of geographical knowledge and interactions in the public for an individual to be moved towards environmental citizenship.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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