Millions of young people around the world know Bear Grylls as a Global adventurer, TV host and best-selling author with a passion for Scouting. Now, as the new Chief Ambassador for the entire global Scout Movement, Bear is getting behind an unprecedented mobilisation of 50 million Scouts to improve the sustainability of our planet.
Today, the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) announced Bear as its new Chief Ambassador, making him the first public figure to be named for the role. Bear has been the youngest ever Chief Scout in the United Kingdom for nearly a decade, leading the way during a period of sustained growth. In his new role as Chief Ambassador, Bear will continue that effort on the world stage by acting as a global voice for youth education and inspiring Scouts to create positive change in their communities.
"I'm very proud and humbled to take on this new role as Chief Ambassador of World Scouting and continue to promote the great work Scouting is doing across the globe. Scouting is a worldwide force for good that unites young people with positive values and an adventurous spirit," says Bear. "We aim to make a difference in our communities, help young people learn new skills, and be kind to all people."
As one of his first acts as Chief Ambassador, Bear was on hand for an event at the United Nations headquarters today to launch Scouts for SDGs -- a mobilisation of 50 million Scouts to make the world's largest coordinated youth contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). "Never before have so many Scouts come together around an engagement of this scale and I'm excited to launch this global activation of young people to contribute to the SDGs," added Bear.
Since 2013, Scouts have given more than one billion hours of service towards sustainable development through local projects under World Scouting's programs, including the flagship Messengers of Peace initiative. Among these projects are grassroots activities led by Scouts to provide access to clean drinking water for schoolchildren in South Sudan and promote peace in Colombian communities affected by gang violence and conflict.
Scouts for SDGs builds on these efforts with an aim to engage 50 million young people in a coordinated effort to deliver two million local projects and an additional three billion hours of service for the SDGs by 2030.
"Scouts everywhere instinctively take action to make right what they see as being wrong in the world," says Craig Turpie, Chairperson of the World Scout Committee. "Scouts for SDGs is all about the youth of today thinking globally and acting locally -- being the change that they want to see in the world."
Scouts for SDGs features a digital campaign and online SDG hub, as well as new tools and resources for National Scout Organizations to raise awareness and take action for the SDGs. The initiative will also provide financial contributions to local actions by Scouts thanks to support from Alwaleed Philanthropies, United Nations agencies, and a wide network of partners and volunteers that will help expand the effort.
"Scouts have already made an extraordinary contribution to the SDGs through more than one billion hours of service and millions of local projects to promote peace, reduce inequalities, tackle climate change, and more," says Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary General of WOSM. "With Scouts for SDGs we are intensifying our efforts to unleash the power of millions more young people and tackle some of the most pressing social, environmental and economic challenges facing our world."
Several guests of honour including Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, and heads of international organizations joined the Scouts for SDGs launch event which was co-hosted by WOSM and the World Scout Foundation in partnership with the Office of the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth. The new initiative was warmly received by the UN and other delegates who recognise the unique role that Scouts can play to achieve the SDGs.