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 Amity Foundation: SKH Chi Fu Primary School Outreach

Written on . Posted in Water

(13 November 2013) This event was one of many outreach efforts with Amity Foundation to promote awareness of water scarcity and the privileges we enjoy in a well-developed infrastructure like Hong Kong.

In a joint effort, Amity Foundation presented on their efforts and experiences in building infrastructure for rural communities in China. We presented on the situation in Hong Kong bringing the matters of water closer to home.

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More photos

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 Ocean Recovery Alliance: Kids Ocean Day 2013

Written on . Posted in Events, Marine conservation

(8 November 2013) The 2nd Annual Kids Ocean Day Hong Kong saw more than 1,000 students, teachers and volunteers forming the shape of a giant shark on Repulse Bay Beach, calling out “Respect”, and “Save me” in Chinese characters.

This amazing event was brought to HK in 2013 by Ocean Recovery Alliance, and created 20 years ago by the Malibu Foundation, California, to engage kids in ocean conservation.

But KOD is not just a fun day of beach art. As co-organisers with ORA, TTT recruited some 40 keen volunteers from the University of Hong Kong, to bring the marine conservation message into school assemblies across Hong Kong and Macau.

With their help TTT spread the message (including in Cantonese for the first time) speaking to some 700 students at Confucian Tai Shing Primary School, Ap Lei Chau Kai Fong Primary School, Canadian International School and School of the Nations, Macau, with the initiative reaching some 1,800 students total. Thanks guys!

Read the full report by Ocean Recovery Alliance.

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UPDATE

Kids Ocean Day was a collaboration with the Ocean Recovery Alliance and others in a month-long effort to raise awareness and empower the younger generation to protect the ocean. Months ahead of the event, the day was preceded by an art competition open to all school-aged children. The theme of the competition was, “What do you hear from the ocean?”

Over 200 children answered this call for submission. Entries ranged from kindergardeners to upper primary school students and some of the voices that children heard were, plastic bags choking sea turtles, shark’s cry for help, and trash laden seabed and waterways.

With the creativity of a large and dedicated team, we turned the negative perspectives into a powerful message by means of aerial art, and this time, choreographic aerial art! The week leading to the big event day, we had Michael Klubock from Los Angelos, United States, here in Hong Kong to conduct a fun and interactive visual presentation for children in school assemblies. Our Foundation provided the support for the assembly to make it possible for Chinese speaking schools to have the same exciting experiences.

Days leading to the event, John, the aerial artist, worked tirelessly to create the image, story and choreography on Repluse Bay Beach. The image was a composite of 3 different entries from children who all echoed a concern for sharks.

The final image created on the beach was a giant shark that used over 200m of rope to create. The fin was at first, severed, and then stitched back as the entire crew of children making the shape of the fin walked toward the body of the shark to revive its life. The choreography ended with the winners of the art competition, the 3 children, frolicking into the ring of the eye and dotting it to revive its life.

After the event, Michael Klubock and our Foundation made an extended leg to a school in Macao to share our event in Hong Kong and invited them to join us for next time.

Watch the video here.

Floating Boat Project @ HKU ChangeMakers ConFest 2013

Written on . Posted in ESD

(24-26 October 2013) HKU General Education Unit x Jockey Club Make A Difference (MaD) School: ChangeMakers ConFest 2013 was a three-day integrated Conference and Festival to engage community and social innovators for positive change.

The event involved cross-sectoral, cross-disciplinary dialogues with two themes: regeneration of space; and creativity and social innovation.

Our Floating Boat Project was a collaboration with Draw Together Hong Kong and Ocean Recovery Alliance. The event involved 3 different mediums- storytelling, visual arts, and performing arts- to convey beauty, nature, and humanity.

ConFest participants were invited to listen to stories of nature, participate in drawing and painting, and engage with nature in the act of folding paper boats from recycled paper that mediate the aesthetic experience of beauty, nature and humanity.

HKU General Education Unit was established in 1995 to provide whole person education to students of the University through co-curricular courses and experiential learning activities.

MaD was established in 2010 by Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture with founding sponsors CreateHK and Brand Hong Kong. JC MaD School partners with local and leading global social innovators to inspire and empower young people across Asia to create positive personal, economic, social and environmental change.

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UNESCO-HK ESD Learning Programme 2013/14

Written on . Posted in Biodiversity, ESD, Water

November 2013 Workshop – For the 2nd year running we are a parter of UNESCO-HK’s ESD Learning Programme 2013/14, offering workshops on Biodiversity and Water and Us, with new and updated activities.

UPDATE

Our organization supports the tireless endeavours of UNESCO HK Association who strives for the promotion of Education for Sustainable Development, World Peace, and other youth empowerment and capacity building programmes and activities for a more sustainable and brighter future of HK. In 2013, we were delighted to be able to offer two workshops for their programme of 300+ students. Students choose their programs under different themes of sustainable development, of which, our organization has been able to support two of them – environment, and built environment.

In the workshop of Water and Us, we were delighted to be able to work with students in understanding the infrastructure of water supply and sewage treatment in the microcosm of the Tai Tam area. From history and urban development to our current day challenges, students learnt from the perspectives of sciences and humanities to understand the complexity of sustainable development.

In the workshop of Biodiversity and Tai Tam Tuk, we were privileged to be able to introduce students to the unique environment of Tai Tam Tuk that is abundant with mangroves and living organisms in the intertidal zone. Students learnt about the ecological uniqueness of the area and then experienced it through activities that facilitate discovery and inquisition. Students assumed the role of scientists to investigate the area on salinity and on exposed shore areas for living organisms and their role in the greater ecological system.

More photos

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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