TTT @ UBC Dialogues: Marine Conservation Luxury or Necessity?

Written on . Posted in Marine conservation, Past Events

(13 January 2014) UBC Dialogues “Marine Conservation: Luxury or Necessity?”

Vickie Yau, our Associate Director was a graduate of the University of British Columbia and in the beginning of 2014, she was invited to be a discussant on a panel of 3 on “Marine conservation: luxury or necessity.” Among the panel were Dr. Yvonne Sadovy, Professor, School of Biological Sciences from the University of Hong Kong’s Swire Institute of Marine Science, and Dr. Amanda Vincent, Professor, Fisheries Centre & Zoology, Canada Research Chair in Marine Conservation from UBC, and Director and Co-founder of Project Seahorse.

UBC Dialogue aims to engage alumni and the public about complex social issues.

The podcast and photos can be reviewed here at UBC dialogue.

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More photos and website

TTT x UNESCO-HK ESD 2013/14: Biodiversity Workshop

Written on . Posted in Biodiversity, ESD, Events, Marine conservation, Past Events

23 November 2013 / Students and teachers from Shatin Methodist College, CUHKFAA Chan Chun Ha Secondary School, Ling Liang Church M H Lau Secondary School and St Paul’s Secondary School joined us at the Eco Education Centre for a workshop on Biodiversity of Tai Tam Tuk.

This was our second workshop hosted in a series organised by UNESCO-HK’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Learning Programme 2013/14 under the Environment theme, with this year’s focus: “Preserve the environment for sustainable development”.

We structured the workshop to facilitate learning about the rich biodiversity of HK’s diverse ecosystems, but also to explore the relationship between conservation and sustainable development.  What is the value of protecting biodiversity?  How have international conventions decided to manage global biodiversity?  What is HK doing about it?  What can we all do about it- starting locally?

The session was led by TTT’s Vickie Yau collaborating with Dr Terence Ng, a post-doctoral fellow at The Swire Institute of Marine Science, University of HK, in neighbouring Cape D’Aguilar.

Dr Ng received his PhD in marine science in 2013.  His research focuses on the poorly understood sexual selection strategies of marine snails.  Students were lucky to watch Dr Ng’s footage of the snails in action!

Students learned about the environmental science of intertidal ecology of HK and the Tai Tam Tuk mangroves, and received practical guidance on identifying common local mangroves and associated fauna such as mudskippers and Buddhist crabs.  Jenna Ho Marris, one of our founders, gave a short presentation about HK’s first Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which is due in 2015.

Students were then guided to conduct independent field studies of the physical and biological features of the exposed intertidal zone by the Eco Education Centre.  Vickie closed the session with a reminder about plastic marine debris and its impact on biodiversity.

Thanks to Dr Terence Ng and SWIMS for their support, and to volunteers Ken Wong, Maggie Yu and Law Shun Hei of the City University Photographic Society.

Learn more about Terence’s work, watch his winning presentation at the Three Minute Thesis Competition 2012 here.

More photos from the workshop can be accessed at UNESCO-HK’s online album.

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TTT x UNESCO-HK ESD 2013/14: Water Workshop

Written on . Posted in ESD, Events, Past Events, Water

9 November 2013 / Students from The Chinese Foundation Secondary School joined us at the Eco Education Centre for a workshop on Water and Us, our first workshop of a series organised by UNESCO-HK’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Learning Programme under the Environment theme.

This year’s Environment theme has the focus: “Preserve the environment for sustainable development”. Linking the concepts of water, environment and sustainable development, students explored sources of fresh water in the world, water treatment and waste water impact.

The workshop was led by TTT’s Vickie Yau collaborating with Elvis Xu, a PhD candidate at The Swire Institute of Marine Science, University of HK- the marine laboratory located at Cape D’Aguilar, just across Tai Tam Bay, and adjacent to HK’s only marine reserve.

Elvis’s research focuses on environmental factors influencing seawater quality and tracking environmental risks to Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve.  He discovered high levels of pollutants in seawater in the reserve, including endocrine disrupting chemicals, being released from adjacent sewage treatment plants.

Dunstan Marris, one of our founders, gave an introduction to the business side of HK and China’s water supply and how this can be seen as “water risk”.  He explored the contribution of industrial and agricultural use of water in China and the concept of a water footprint, which Vickie later developed.  How can the business sector change its water consumption, why should it do so and what is the role of individuals in guiding action?

The workshop concluded with a reminder about the impact of personal actions on water risk- not only our personal consumption, but also that our behaviour can impact business.  Students considered how individuals can conserve water at a personal level, by a housing estate and what HK can do to improve its water supply.

Thanks to the Water Services Department for their guidance and resources in developing course material, and to Elvis Xu and SWIMS for their support.

Learn more about HK’s water in this 2012 article by HK-based NGO, China Water Risk: 8 Things You Should Know about Hong Kong Water

Photos from the workshop can be accessed at UNESCO-HK’s Facebook page.

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TTT x UNDESD Student Summer Institute 2013

Written on . Posted in ESD, Past Events

We will talk about Nature and Us at the UNDESD Student Summer Institute held in Zengcheng, Guangzhou, under the theme of Ecological Civilisation and Sustainable Development. The programme is organised by UNESCO-HK together with Hong Kong Institute of Education for Sustainable Development and Utahloy International School Zengcheng.

Update

This first ESD Summer Institute welcomed over 50 participants, 30 students with 5 teachers from Hong Kong, and 14 international students with 3 teachers at Utahloy International School in Zengcheng.  Participants included Hong Kong local, ESF and international schools and overseas students including from Berkhamsted School UK, Malvern College UK, Ching Chung Hau Po Woon Secondary School HK, Cognitio College (Kowloon) HK, Elegantia College HK, South Island School HK, Victoria Shanghai Academy HK, Stevenson School US and Utahloy International School Zengcheng.

Zengcheng is a city in Guangdong Province, China which is under the administration of nearby Guangzhou.

This was a great learning experience for local and international students. They engaged in academic exercises and outings to sites related to the theme of the Summer Institute, “Ecological Civilization”.  Students gave presentations on topics of “the Resource Curse” and “Endangered Species” and were formally judged by teachers from Hong Kong and Zengcheng on their presentations.

Day 1 kicked off with a leisurely hike in the morning and a boat cruise on a local lake in the afternoon.  On the second day, we participated in an educational tour of local sewage facilities in the morning and an organic farm in the afternoon.  Day 2 closed with a Talent Show and Cultural Night open to all staff and boarders of Utahloy and was a great success.  Students of all grades enjoyed the 1.5 hour show arranged by fellow students, and for a birthday girl from Hong Kong we celebrated with a verse of Happy Birthday!  We concluded the 5-day trip with a closing ceremony where the school principal commented on the presentations and overall performance of all students, and awarded student groups for their participation and enthusiasm throughout the trip.

TTT x RHKYC: LCSD Sport for All Day 2013

Written on . Posted in Biodiversity, Marine conservation, Past Events

As part of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of Hong Kong’s Sport For All Day 2013, we are joining RHKYC Charity Foundation in a full day of water sports and activities for Shau Kei Wan East Government Secondary School and Shau Kei Wan West Government Secondary School, and to talk about Marine Biodiversity of Hong Kong.

Update

This event was wonderful. Check the RHKYC pictures here.

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TTT x Amity Foundation: Walk for Living Water 2013 Prize Workshop

Written on . Posted in ESD, Past Events, Water

6 July 2013 Workshop – As a Prize for the winning teams of Walk for Living Water, we gave a session of our Water and Us workshop to SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School (Shatin), Buddhist Mau Fung Memorial College (Tin Shui Wai) in collaboration with Deloitte China and SKH Chan Young Secondary School (Sheung Shui).  We also welcomed a special guest Lam Yi Ling.

St Michael’s Primary School, Chai Wan

Written on . Posted in Past Events, Water

19 June 2013 Outreach – We visited St. Michael’s Primary School in Chai Wan to talk to Primary 4 to 6 students about Water and Us, with The Amity Foundation.  Read more about the session here (Chinese only).