The First Hong Kong Youth Environmental Summit Offers Young Leaders The Chance To Make Hong Kong Schools The Greenest On The Planet
Conservation International Hong Kong announces that the first Hong Kong Youth Environmental Summit (HKYES) is now open for registration.
Student interns at Conservation International Hong Kong are leading a committee of students, academics and professionals from more than a dozen schools and green groups to put Hong Kong schools in the world’s spotlight as the greenest ones on earth – one student, one step, and one year at a time. With Conservation International Hong Kong, the Nature Conservancy and World Green Organization as lead co-organisers, the Summit provides a platform for green student ambassadors of any school to help each other accomplish one shared environmental goal in their schools each year.
Two student representatives (aged between 15-20) from each participating Hong Kong school will gather on Saturday, 12 December 2015 at Renaissance College to interact with professors from The University of Hong Kong (HKU), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). They will learn how to implement an environmental initiative at their respective schools by participating in workshops and activities with themes of public speaking, persuasive speaking, proposal writing and theory of change as well as practising and applying this new knowledge with advice from well-known professors from top universities in the city.
For the inaugural Summit, students will focus on applying their talents, skills and passion as well as teamwork to convince a significant number of Hong Kong schools to switch to recycled paper, or consider other similar ways to reduce the devastating loss of the world’s forests, which is a key driver of climate change.
Ike Jin Park, young environmental enthusiast and organiser of HKYES, and team have also collaborated with Tesla Motors to create Hong Kong’s first school-based charging station which will also be available at the summit. Renaissance College will be Hong Kong’s first secondary school with an electric vehicle charger.
“I approached Jude Wu, Managing Director of Conservation International Hong Kong, to help scale up the recycled paper initiative, called Project O2, conceived during my previous year at school which was incubated by the Nature Conservancy’s Nature Works program. Project O2, led by students, focuses on helping Hong Kong schools understand the benefits of switching over to using recycled copy paper, thus saving the forests that we want our children and grandchildren to enjoy,” says Ike, aged 17. He is a student at Renaissance College and interned at Conservation International Hong Kong this summer.
“As I was having some difficulty with the outreach to school administration, our solution was to pilot a Summit and invite students all across Hong Kong to not only transition all Hong Kong schools into using recycled paper, but also to create an ongoing network for other student-led green initiatives to succeed at many Hong Kong schools over time. Students like me will be able to learn and share techniques to implement change, become champions for environmental commitments by their respective schools and meet like-minded individuals from schools across the city,” he continues.
“Working with passionate youth equals working with our future environmental leaders. They are our future heroes, the ones who will protect and restore the balance between people and nature. They know their future is in their hands and are ready to start making a difference. We envision this as a unique educational opportunity for both students and schools. My hope is that the green student leaders at each school discover that they are not alone. They can help each other awaken adults to the urgency, the ease, and the value of making small decisions that, collectively, have monumental impact,” says Jude Wu, Managing Director of Conservation International Hong Kong.
The first Hong Kong Youth Environmental Summit has had great support from the local community. Presented by Conservation International Hong Kong in collaboration with the Nature Conservancy and World Green Organisation, the Summit’s supporting organisations include the Business Environment Council, Tai Po Environmental Association, Friends of the Earth, Greeners Action, Green Power, Green Monday, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, Kids4Kids and The Conservancy Association.
Hong Kong students, aged between 15-20, are encouraged to sign up for the Summit by Saturday, 5 December 2015. There is no entry fee. Register here:http://goo.gl/forms/GC3Y7WWJdw. Visit www.hkyouthenvironmentalsummit.org to learn more.