< 1st Asia Youth Green Leader Conference> organized by Gyeongsangnamdo Ramsar Environmental Foundation (GREF) and sponsored by the EAAFP, was held on7 - 10 August 2018 in Upo Wetland [EAAF096], Changnyeong, Republic of Korea. This conference is for students all around the world to gather and share their activities to conserve the environment, particularly wetland and wildlifein school. 44 students in total - 1 from Cambodia, 2 from Taiwan, 3 from Japan, 38 from Republic of Korea - participated in the conference. The event started with welcoming remark from Mr. Youngpa Jo, CEO of GREF, and introducing guests. He said it is a great honour to meet passionate students, teachers from different countries who are into nature and be green leaders.
In the first session, Hyeseon Do, EAAFP Programme Officer, gave students a presentation about how important conserving migratory birds and their habitats . With the question of “What do you think why we meet here?”, she emphasized the importance of the role of the Youth on conservation activities. Besides, she told how young conservationists can protect birds. After the presentation, they had an ice-breaking time doing several activities. Students made own name cards and exchanged it with each other and stick a carp tattoo to their arm. After the lunch, Minshil Lee, EAAFP Programme Assistant, introduced an EAAFP interactive art project called ‘To Our Winged Travellers Project’ to students and They put their effort in a letter with beautiful painting wishing safe journey of migratory waterbirds.
Also, many posters - student club's conservation activities for Oriental Storks and natural environment like a wetland, were exhibited on the wall. Students had a presentation about those with Q&A session for each club.
One of the student groups was from Yonago Waterbird Sanctuary which is EAAFP Site [EAAF060] – in the eastern end (edge) of Lake Nakami, the fifth largest lake in Japan. “There were many children who were active at the Ramsar club of Yonago waterbird Sanctuary during the elementary school days” Hiromi HAYASHI, the presenter, said. She introduced Junior Ranger Club activities like the investigation of water, raising sweet potato and make soup patty for children. For the better water quality, students also participated in the cleaning event of Lake Nakaumi and Lake Shinji as well. For all these activities, they received awards fromthe Ministry of the Environment of Japan. She wished to continue the activities in the future, and all listeners(participants) agreed with her and seemed passionate about conserving activities.
After all sessions, students divided into 4 groups depending on the theme and announced Declaration of Practice to conserve the healthy geo-system and love lives. You can see the oaths bygroups like below.
Group 1. Adaptation of Climate Change
- We are going to use public transportations and electric car, if necessary.
- We try our best to recycle and use recyclable cups, chopsticks, and glass.
Group 2. Biodiversity maintenance
- We pledge to recommend eating organic rice to at least one person for promoting an eco-friendly rice farming.
- We try to encourage teenagers, like ourselves, to participate this kind of activity to practice sustainable environmental preservation and protect creatures which are small, like endangered species.
Group 3. A wise use of ecosystem services
- We are trying not to use plastics
- We conserve and save natural resources to conserve ecosystem services and equivalent sharing with others.
Group 4. Practice of love of nature
- We only use a product which is free from animal testing and animal component.
- We reduce the usage of the plastic bag and use the environmentally-friendly product.
You can see more photos on our Flickr.