Asia and the Pacific

© Samvardhan

Global Communities for Sustainability, Australia and India; in combination with Samvardhan – Nurturing Nature and People, India

Global Communities for Sustainability
The project involved high schools in Australia working with high schools in India on identifying and addressing sustainability issues in their own local areas in partnership with local community stakeholders while sharing their learnings through online discussions on the project website. The project involved showcasing of project action and exchange visits by student representatives to Australia and India. The project provided an intense learning opportunity for students over the period of the academic year. It builds models of exchange and sharing and develops cultural understanding, leadership and problem solving skills for sustainability among young people. Community actions are initiated by students in partnership with local councils and officials.

Samvardhan – Nurturing Nature and People
The Samvardhan project is improving the quality of life of nearly 4500 families in the tribal area of South Gujarat (located in Western India). The focus of the project is on access to safe water, improving livelihoods and enhancing effective primary education. The approach to achieve desired results and to sustain it is by building sustainable community institutions and by enhancing capacity of the existing. This also strengthens grass root level democracy at the village level which empowers the community to get access to entitlements. This has been achieved through a unique model of building cadre of rural entrepreneurs named as “Community Entrepreneurs” (CEs). This cadre lives in each of the villages and enhances local capacity for sustainable change. The project is implemented by Centre for Environment Education (CEE), India with Field Studies Council, UK as overseas partner.

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© Shangrila la Institute for Sustainable Lifestyles

Water School for a Living Yangtze, China

Water School for a Living Yangtze is a component of the International Water School Programme initiated in Austria by Swarovski. The long-term goal of the Water School for a Living Yangtze is to restore the ecological integrity of the Yangtze River by increasing public participation in sustainable water resource management. In the short term, the programme seeks to foster environmental stewardship in select watersheds of the Yangtze through education and community outreach. The project aims to create opportunities for empowerment and action, promote awareness and understanding of the importance of the resource water, the principles of wise and sustainable water management and the need for responsible actions to be taken. At present, the programme is in effect in twenty-seven different schools and communities along the Yangtze River in the Shangri-la (Yunnan), Sichuan and Shanghai regions. The programme process involves developing water school teaching material, training teachers, implementing the project in the selected pilot schools over three years and fostering and supporting water community action. It is also a platform for cultural exchange between students from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, both within China and internationally through links with other Water School projects around the world.

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© Institute Perguruan Kuala Terengganu

Reuse young coconut husk, Malaysia

The project wants to find a solution to use the waste of young coconut husks after its pulp is being scraped and the water is used as a drink. Coconuts are sold on the streets of Malaysia everywhere with throwing the husks on the streets. These husks are the food of worms that produce good compose. In the same time, the skin of young coconuts can be used as a substitute for plastic bags during plant propagation and growing seedlings. This method avoids the normal practice of leaving the husks on the street, where the cumulated water in the husk is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and burning them will cause damage to the environment. The aim is to encourage and support public participation and community through schools. Compost can be done in their localized area with local organic waste. Because the project is just about to start, ideas and decision making are still needed in details. To achieve this, the teachers shall show examples as ideas do come from teachers too and modify them to suit special needs.

© Untouched World

Untouched World Charitable Trust, New Zealand

The New Zealand lifestyle essentials clothing brand Untouched World and its sibling Untouched World Charitable Trust grew out a desire to create a positive, sustainable future with social, cultural and environmental sustainability built deep within the DNA of the business. The aim of this DNA relationship between the Trust and its parent company is to facilitate full circle chain of influence internally and externally which actively challenge people to think and act more sustainably. A matrix model has been developed to determine the social, economic political and environmental impacts of current practices across the business. Therefore, an inclusive staff education programme that increases understanding of sustainability and provides concrete examples of current actions being taken by staff in the business is developed and implemented.

The main focus of the Untouched World Charitable Trust itself is youth leadership. It provides young adults with unique learning experiences in a diverse array of sites through-out New Zealand, developing practical, intellectual and life skills to maximise their potential and inspire them to lead the way in achieving a sustainable future. The programmes involve school students, years 11-13, and pre-service teachers beginning their teaching career. In both cases the programme is trying to build leadership capability and a ‘shift in thinking’. The students and pre-service teachers are mentored by lecturers, teachers and community educators from a range of backgrounds, and follow-up continues into their adult lives.

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© Alova Tuvalu

Small is beautiful, Tuvalu

Tuvalu’s citizens are threatened with becoming the planet’s first entire nation of environmental refugees. Small is Beautiful’s primary objective is to assist Tuvaluans to survive as a nation, and if possible, to allow them to remain on their ancestral land. This can be achieved by a combination of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and raising awareness of other sustainable development solutions and initiatives (using some of the Small is Beautiful tools, participating in campaigns for the application of international directives and by changing individual habits through education); by the study of appropriate on-site solutions for local environmental problems and by planning for worst case scenario per identifying a new homeland where the nation of Tuvalu can be resettled, and establishment of an official status for environmental/climatic refugees. The ultimate objective is to participate in an active, global movement to create tools for safeguarding our environment and hopes of a solution for us all. The project focuses on most of the environmental issues such as energy, waste, biodiversity, water, air and erosion but also cultural preservation and education about all these issues.

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