Empowering the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders in Hong Kong
Nurturing future green leaders in Hong Kong is critical for addressing environmental issues in the Asia Pacific region.
From 2013 to 2018, TNC’s Nature Works Hong Kong (NWHK) environmental youth leadership program engaged 400+ students in developing projects to address conservation challenges such as food waste, biodiversity loss and energy use. Last year, TNC transitioned management of NWHK to the English Schools Foundation and will continue to provide advisory support.
To create a world where people and nature thrive requires paradigm-shifting strategies that change how people value nature. We need more people to understand the critical role nature plays in our lives, and in response, more people will be inspired to step up and do what they can to save nature. This is why we are nurturing future green leaders in Hong Kong with the next phase of The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) education program.
In 2019, building on our conservation science, with support from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, we launched a new “Ridge to Reef Environment Education Program” to enhance the environmental literacy of Hong Kong’s youth. Using TNC’s Act-Learn-Lead model, we are working with Hong Kong’s students, teachers and schools with a holistic program.
The Ridge to Reef concept shows that what happens on land affects what happens in the water. With Hong Kong being a coastal city, healthy waterways are vital to all of us. To create lasting change, the HKJC R2R focuses on students’ environmental literacy, teachers’ curriculum and schools’ policies and procedures by:
- supporting all levels of the educational structure within schools
- developing localized, free online curriculum to teachers
- deploying curriculum through educator training workshops
- engaging students in hands-on citizen science conservation fieldwork, and
- offering students internship opportunities at our TNC Hong Kong/Asia Pacific regional office.
We are now developing a free online nature education curriculum that will be available to all Hong Kong teachers. Materials available on this new “learning hub” will include videos, lesson plans, virtual field trips and classroom activities for teachers to use in expanding their students’ environmental awareness. We’ll be reaching out to Hong Kong teachers to show them how to use the learning hub and to take them on local field trips so they can understand first-hand some of the environmental challenges Hong Kong is facing.
To get Hong Kong secondary school students outside and learning about conservation science, we are launching Citizen Science in Action Field Survey Experiences: TNC-led field trips for 300+ students that include data collection, as well as in-class pre- and post-field trip learning materials. These trips will also help encourage students in community volunteerism for the good of our environment. The field experiences will focus on TNC’s oyster reef restoration work and estuary and terrestrial biodiversity.
A lucky 14 Hong Kong students will have the chance to develop hands-on conservation project design and implementation experience through internships at TNC offices and project sites. These internships can help build career pathways for participating students, as well as give the interns a chance to become conservation leaders among their peers.
Our vision is to inspire a generation of young conservationists armed with the knowledge and skills to take action and preserve Hong Kong’s ecosystems.
If you are a student, teacher or education administrator who would like to know more about the HKJC R2R program contact firstname.lastname@example.org.