CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia Holds ‘Go Green Community Sharing Workshop and GAIA Award Ceremony’
CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia (Gaia) held a Go Green Community Sharing Workshop and GAIA Award Ceremony last Friday (26 May). Prof. Tung Fung, Associate Vice-President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Ms Vivian Lee, Senior Charities Manager of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, and Prof. Gabriel Lau, AXA Professor of Geography and Resource Management and Director of the Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, CUHK, gave certificates of participation to the schools and NGOs that participated in the ‘Go Green Community – Jockey Club Carbon Reduction Partnership Scheme’ (the Scheme) over the last year, and presented awards to a number of members of the ‘GAIA – Green Aspirations & Innovative Actions Online Platform’ who achieved outstanding performance in carbon reduction.
Launched in 2012, the Scheme is a partnership project engaging schools and NGOs to reduce carbon emissions and help the Hong Kong community build the capacity for sustainability. At the sharing workshop, Ir Leung Chi-fung, Director of the Green Building & IAQ of Business Environment Council, Mr Lau Chun-fai, a teacher at CCC Kei Wai Primary School (Ma Wan), and Ms Yeung Kwai-chun, a teacher at The Mission Covenant Church Holm Glad College, spoke on how the Scheme helps and encourages schools and communities to take action to combat climate change.
They said that the ‘Go Green Community Education Kit’ facilitated teaching and learning. The education kit equips users with the ability to conduct a simple carbon audit and knowledge of the carbon footprint concept. It helps them estimate carbon emissions in their surrounding environment using a scientific method and encourages them to reduce their footprint by precisely planning a greener lifestyle based on the results.
In addition, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust made an extra donation of over HK$13.6 million in 2016 to launch Gaia’s ‘Carbon Reduction Project’. It has enabled 37 schools and two NGOs in 15 districts in Hong Kong upgrade their energy-saving facilities. It is estimated that the project will help the schools and NGOs reduce carbon emissions by over 540 tonnes and electricity consumption by a million kWh a year, and reduce electricity expenses by over HK$1.2 million annually.
The Scheme has organized ‘Green Mini Movies Festivals’ and arranged visits to green pioneers around Hong Kong. The participants gain knowledge of, and experience in, promoting a low-carbon lifestyle to their friends, family and the community as a whole, inspiring action to fight climate change.
The Scheme also proactively engages participants through the internet, using the GAIA – Green Aspirations & Innovative Actions Online Platform (cut-carbon.gaia.cuhk.edu.hk). GAIA has recruited about 140 ‘GAIA 1.0 Members’ (schools and organizations) since its launch in 2014. The members share green information and exchange experience on the GAIA platform, resulting in more than 260,000 students, staff and beneficiaries participating in environmental education and promotion activities.
Nearly 2,000 ‘GAIA 2.0 Members’ (individuals) have committed to green action related to clothing, food, housing and transportation, based on GAIA Pledge Checklists. GAIA 2.0 Members have reduced carbon emissions by over 95,000 kg, which is equivalent to planting over 4,000 trees. GAIA Members who are the most active on the GAIA platform and have the best results in carbon reduction receive awards for their hard work in reducing their carbon footprint throughout the year.
About CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia
CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia is a five-year community engagement programme launched in 2012 by CUHK with a generous donation of HK$70 million from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. In support of Gaia’s commitment to paving the way to a sustainable future for Hong Kong, the programme’s aim is to promote environmental conservation and sustainability in local communities, through public education and carbon-reduction partnerships with schools and non-governmental organisations.
To draw on the collective wisdom of the community and to encourage active public participation in tackling various environmental issues, CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia has organized the Environment and Climate Change Forum Series. The forums invite experts and practitioners from different fields, as well as members of the public, to offer different perspectives on our environmental challenges and the impact of climate change, and to propose feasible solutions.
The first of its kind in the world, the Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change (MoCC), maintained by Gaia, is open to the public with free admission. The MoCC showcases the ‘Three Poles’ (the North Pole, the South Pole and Mount Everest) collection of renowned Hong Kong explorer Dr Rebecca Lee, innovative research on the environment, energy and sustainability initiated by CUHK, and the Jockey Club’s initiatives to promote green living in the community.
More details of the CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia can be found at www.cuhk.edu.hk/gaia.