2. Community leadership and sustainability

2.1 Background: The importance of environmental volunteers and citizen scientists

You don’t need any formal training to be an environmental volunteer or citizen scientist – you just need a passion for the environment.

Environmental volunteers and citizen scientists undertake vital activities to improve environmental health and knowledge. Without their efforts, the environment would be in poorer condition and far less understood. The work they undertake each year is worth tens of millions of dollars and could not be done by government alone.

Education is another important role for volunteers. Talking about local environmental issues within the community helps others to see and understand the importance of the environment. This helps create a more aware and more environmentally minded community.

Healthy planet, healthy person

Environmental volunteering is good for the health of our planet and good for our own health! Many volunteering activities are active and outdoors, which is good for our physical wellbeing. Being out in nature is good for our mental health and can be relaxing and rewarding. Doing environmental activities with friends and other members of the local community can build our relationships and help us to feel a part of something important.

People of all ages and level of experience can get involved in environmental activities. Photo: ACT Parks and Conservation Service.