CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia Holds the ‘Green Leadership Camp 2015’
The ‘Go Green Community – Jockey Club Carbon Reduction Partnership Scheme’ of CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia (Gaia) held the first-ever green leadership camp recently. Designed for secondary school students, the Green Leadership Camp 2015 (the Camp) aimed to nurture green pioneers on school campuses and future leaders for a green society. The Camp was warmly received by schools, with about 180 nominations made by principals and teachers. The applications were reviewed by professors of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and only 80 students from 20 secondary schools were selected to join the Camp.
Speakers from CUHK and environmental organizations were invited to deliver talks on the theme ‘Climate Change Mitigation’, and to discuss with the students a wide range of issues relating to the topic. A guided tour to the Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change (MoCC) and a half-day workshop on ‘Green Campaign: Planning, Promotion and Implementation’ conducted by professional trainers were also arranged. After the training, students were able to deepen their understanding of climate change and strengthen their organizational and communication skills, with which they would be able to organize and lead green activities at their schools.
The Camp also provided the students with an immediate opportunity to apply the knowledge they had learnt. Working in teams (each formed by two schools), the students had to develop proposals for ‘green campaign for a low-carbon campus’, and presented the proposal to a panel of adjudicators. The joint team of Christian & Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Secondary School and Ying Wa College eventually won the Gold Award, whose proposal was to organize a recycling week to promote re-use, recycling and upcycling at school. The Silver Award was received by Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School of MFBM and STFA Lee Shau Kee College, who planned to conduct environmental education by light-hearted means such as movie appreciation, while the Bronze Award winners, CNEC Christian College and Kwai Chung Methodist College, proposed to launch a campus greening project.
After the Camp, many students found themselves having a more scientific understanding of climate change and its severe impact. One student noted, ‘at the workshop I learnt effective strategies to lead environmental initiatives in the school setting, and the experience in developing our own proposal to build a low-carbon campus allows me to think through the issues of objectives, feasibility, resources, implementation and so on’. Such hands-on experiences have inspired the students to take on the role of ‘green leaders’ and they are eager to influence people to adopt a low-carbon lifestyle.
The four-day event came to an end, but not the students’ work. They will implement their green campaign proposals between August and December, and submit implementation reports and personal reflections. The best written reflections will be selected for publication in the MoCC e-newsletter, Oceans and Sky.
Details of the Camp are available on the website of Gaia:
CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia
CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia is a 5-year community engagement programme launched in 2012 by CUHK, with a generous donation of HK$70 million by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. Committed to paving a sustainable future for Hong Kong, the programme aims at promoting environmental conservation and sustainability in local communities, through public education and carbon reduction partnerships with schools and non-governmental organizations.
The Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change (MoCC) maintained by Gaia is open for free to the public. The MoCC showcases the ‘Three Poles’ (the North Pole, the South Pole and Mt Everest) collection of the renowned Hong Kong explorer Dr Rebecca Lee, innovative research in environment, energy and sustainability initiated by CUHK, and the Trust’s initiatives that promote green living in the community.
More details of the CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia can be found at www.cuhk.edu.hk/gaia.