Environmental education - 6th International Eco-Schools conference
The 6th International Eco Schools Conference was organized by WWF Malaysia along with Green Growth, Asia. The Eco-Schools Programme (ESP) aims to support participating schools to implement a whole-school approach towards educating students and the public on sustainability and environmental conservation. The theme for this year was ‘Waste Management and its impact on Nature and Biodiversity.’
GIIS Singapore was represented by both Queenstown and East Coast Campuses. Thanks to the invitation from WWF Singapore, it was attended by Ms. Srivalli Singh along with three student representatives, namely Aishwarya Singh (IB YR 1) D, Sweatha Ananthalingam (IBYR 1 C) and Subiksha Ganesan (CBSE 11 B).
There were sessions by speakers, both onsite and via skype, on recycling waste cooking oil into biodiesel and Melaka’s green initiatives, conservation on Hawksbill turtle, Melaka River Rehabilitation Programme, hands on workshops on composting, packaged products, tile making from egg shells, rain water harvesting for students. There was a movie screening, ‘A plastic ocean’ and a skype session with Ms Joanne Ruxton, the producer of the movie. The movie was basically on the amount of micro-plastics in ocean, due to dumping of plastics and its impact on the animals.
The Opening ceremony, with keynote addresses by representatives of the Malyasian Government, WWF Malaysia and Green Growth Asia, was covered by the local media. Simultaneously, there was an exhibition by the Malaysian Eco Schools using a lot of recyclable materials. There were field visits to the UMW Toyota Motors and the Turtle Information Centre, Melaka. The students participated in a turtle race, whereas the teachers were given a talk by a representative of the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association.
Students gave presentations on the Green initiatives carried out in their respective schools. Queenstown campus students gave a talk on “Our fight against Styrofoam”. At UMW Toyota Motors, they attended a session on Waste Management in Automotive Industry. They learnt about the new Hybrid Camry car, and waste segregation in the service centre. They also learnt about the different servicing methods and technologies that UMW Toyota uses. The teachers attended a workshop, which was conducted by the Social Enterprise Academy. It was interesting to learn about the different business models and how social enterprises benefit the environment and the society. The day ended with a cultural night, where students’ on-spot prepared different songs and dances and presented it.
Spanning a period of five days, it was an intensive learning session both for students and teachers. It was an intensive learning journey, where participants formed a strong network of informed and engaged persons of change for a sustainable world through having fun and making friends and learnt the 5Rs of environment; reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse, rot.