06 April 2017

Pesta Ubin featured in Challenge magazine

"Coming together for Pulau Ubin" is a great feature article about Pesta Ubin written by Tay Qiao Wei for Challenge, a magazine of the Singapore Public Service, distributed to 120,000 public officers.
Full article in Challenge magazine.
The feature article highlights some less obvious aspects of Pesta Ubin such as building trust, how it provided opportunities for bonding over commmon interest, and for community and agencies to work hand in hand.

What is Challenge magazine?
From their About Us page ...

"Staying true to its original mission to encourage innovation in the Public Service, Challenge approaches the Public Service differently by surprising our readers with the diversity and creativity of our Public Service, while daring to ask the hard questions that would spur us to higher heights."

The feature article highlights some less obvious aspects of Pesta Ubin...

Building trust

But other than celebrating the rustic island, Pesta Ubin has another purpose: to bring different interest groups together to foster trust and understanding between them and with the National Parks Board (NParks), the public agency in charge of Pulau Ubin.

Ms Ria Tan, a nature advocate who runs the WildSingapore blog, has coordinated the annual affair since 2014 (see sidebox “From one day to a full fiesta”). She plans the event schedule, liaising between the organising interest groups and NParks.

“Pesta Ubin is for agencies and organising groups to interact in a happy setting, for everyone to get to know the key people, their issues, preferences, and the way they work,” she says. “Once they have this good relationship of trust and friendship, if it comes to a difficult situation … they already have this relationship where they can pick up the phone and communicate.”

As well as the meaningful collaborations that grew from Ubin Open House ...

Bonding over common interest

Such building of rapport has also sparked new collaborations between individuals from different groups.

The Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative, for example, was formed by a group of fishermen, fish farmers and marine conservationists who realised they shared an interest in mangroves during the 2014 Pesta Ubin.

Including better collaboration between agencies and the community ...

Working hand in hand

For Pesta Ubin 2017, NParks will be supporting by providing locations for several events, boat and van transport, as well as publicity materials such as banners and pamphlets.

They work closely with Ms Tan, who compiles and forwards requests for support from the organising groups to NParks.

“Ria’s rapport with many NGOs has helped to bring many likeminded people together. Her active usage of social media has also helped to publicise Pesta Ubin events effectively,” says Ms Choi Yook Sau, NParks’ Deputy Director of Conservation on Ubin. Besides communicating over regular emails, Ms Tan meets NParks at least once a month.

Read the full article in Challenge magazine.

Pesta Ubin returns in 2017 for 10 weeks! 10 May to 16 Jul! All the details on the Pesta Ubin 2017 blog and on the Pesta Ubin facebook page. See you there!

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