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NSS Every Singaporean A Naturalist: Branching Out to New Horizons

With 14 newly onboarded schools and improved content, the NSS Every Singaporean A Naturalist (ESN) programme continues to flourish in 2022!

Launched in 2018, NSS ESN is the Society’s flagship citizen science project and nature education programme aimed at nurturing hearts and minds for nature. It equips our participants with the knowledge and skills to appreciate, identify, and monitor the urban biodiversity around them. Through experiential learning, our participants gain insight on nature and nature conservation in Singapore.

In doing so, we hope to inspire and make every Singaporean a naturalist – a lover and protector of nature.

With just six schools in 2018, we have since expanded our programme to 44 schools in 2022. Over the course of the past five months, we have trained 11 new schools as well as a small group of Nature Mentors who will help guide these schools as they embark on their Urban Biodiversity Monitoring journey. To date, our student naturalists have recorded a total of 4,942 observations of 353 species!


With student naturalists ranging from as young as preschoolers to university undergraduates,  NSS ESN is an accessible platform for students of all ages to connect with nature. More recently, students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic joined our programme and will be monitoring an area within the Clementi Forest, where a butterfly sanctuary is being proposed.

Furthermore, NSS ESN has welcomed onboard our first community group, Outward Bound Singapore, whose instructors have begun monitoring at three of their campuses across mainland Singapore.


Aside from the Urban Biodiversity Monitoring, our multi-faceted programme includes a variety of components aimed at deepening appreciation and understanding of nature whilst empowering our participants to become ambassadors of our natural heritage.

One such example is the Naturalist Chatter, our online speaker series whose 2022 iteration kick-started in February with illegal wildlife trade as the theme for this year. To date, we have conducted three sessions. Each session invites an expert guest speaker to share their expertise on topics ranging from biodiversity and conservation in Singapore, to wildlife trade in Southeast Asia, and rescue and rehabilitation efforts of our native Sunda pangolin.

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Additionally, NSS ESN conducts Guided Walks & Workshops for Teachers of onboarded schools to empower them by building their capacity and competency! On 16 March, we had our first guided walk of this year at Bukit Batok Nature Park, where we managed to spot a variety of wildlife including the ever-elusive Sunda colugo.

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Moving forward, we have more exciting and new events lined up, such as the Inaugural Biodiversity Race and the Inaugural Symposium where students are to put their knowledge and skills into action.

NSS ESN has only been made possible due to the generous support from Mandai Nature Fund as well as our NSS members and volunteers who have contributed their time in mentoring and partaking in our activities and events. With your support, we will continue our mission to nurture hearts and minds for nature!

Keen to volunteer with us as a Nature Mentor? Find out more and register at the following link:!

Text & Photos by: Michelle Hariff and Sung Mei Yee