Leave It To Us Junior Board
The idea of holding an International Children's Conference on the Environment in Eastbourne, England in October 1995, came from the Junior Management Board of a local zoo park. This idea was supported by Eastbourne Borough and the East Sussex County Councils, which won the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and eventually secured a major sponsorship from British Airways, whose contributed included the provision of free flights for delegates around the world. Some 800 children from 90 countries attended the Conference. They presented and discussed environmental projects they developed, devised and debated "challenges" to the United Nations and national governments, and participated in study tours and workshops on environmental themes. It was accompanied by an extensive exhibition/display area open to delegates and the general public, and a week long festival organized by the Borough Council and local business for local children and visitors. During the planning of the conference a Junior Board was established to work closely with the conference sponsors and organizers. This Board comprised members from local schools, foreign nations and played a vital role in developing the Conference programme, selecting facilitators, devising workshops and study tours. They also introduced and chaired sessions, organized and presented the environmental "challenges" and attracted media interest. Today, the Conference is being considered as a regular event on the global environmental scene.
Fifteen-year-old Akima Paul, concerned about the state of the environment, began to speak out on the issues. She began by using newsletters sent out by Friends of the Earth, as a way of passing on the environmental message. She wrote bold articles about the lack of care for the beaches of her Caribbean Island, Grenada, and the excessive use of plastic and the cutting down of trees. She then became an official member of Friends of the Earth and enthusiastically participated in all their activities. She wrote articles for almost every issue of their newsletter, The Environmentalist on a myriad of issues affecting her corner of the world, including coastal and water pollution. Her strong point is that she talks and writes, with great conviction, about issues which are close to the hearts and minds of the Caribbean people, young and old alike. In addition, to heighten Grenadian awareness, she shares her views on radio, in inter-secondary school debates, through the art form of calypso and poetry. All of this she does with the philosophy "the consciousness of well-doing is ample reward".
Red Scarf Environmental Protection Action Group
Wangyue Primary School was set up in 1989. In 1991, at the suggestion of the students, the Red Scarf Environmental Protection Action Group (RSAG) was created. Once a week, the pupils leave the school grounds to observe their environment, analyze pollution problems and propose solutions to the polluters and the Government. In 1992, RSAG discovered that a lot of wastewater from a brewery was being discharged into the Xiangjiang River without being treated. This situation was reported to the local environmental protection agency, and at RAG's suggestion and under its supervision, a waste water treatment station was built. There was a time when there were 10 garbage dumps in the Wangyue residential area, which contaminated the environment. RSAG noticed this and proposed to the area committee that the rubbish be packed locally and collected. As a result, the situated was changed and dealt with appropriately. In 1996, RSAG initiated a movement to wipe out "white pollution". Under their leadership, the movement spread throughout the school, the district and city. More than 10,000 students took part and the district government prohibited the use of all plastic foam dinner sets. RSAG has also carried out activities dealing with environmental education and summer camps. They have written essays on the environment, which have won awards at the provincial and city level. In 1998, Wangyue was chosen as an environmental education model by the Environment Protection Agency of Hunan Province.