The Earth Called – UWC Thailand Answered: Student-Led Sustainability Projects
For the third year running, UWC Thailand has embraced the CNN Call to Earth initiative, empowering students to tackle critical environmental challenges. This year, four dedicated groups rose to the call, spearheading projects focused on diverse aspects of sustainability.
From mangrove restoration and supporting gibbon rehabilitation to tackling plastic pollution and promoting eco-friendly practices, these initiatives showcase UWC Thailand’s unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship.
UWC Thailand Students Sow the Seeds of Sustainability
UWC Thailand’s Mangrove and Gardening Club embarked on a mission to collect mangrove seed pods for the school’s nursery, venturing out to a local beach on the inland sea. This ongoing initiative reflects the club’s dedication to restoring coastal ecosystems and fostering environmental awareness among students.
During their expedition, club members gathered the seed pods and gained valuable knowledge about the diverse mangrove trees found within the island’s environment. This firsthand experience deepened their understanding of the intricate coastal ecosystem and the vital role mangroves play in its health.
Upon their return, the collected seed pods were entrusted to the Grade 1 students who potted them to raise in the school’s nursery. Once the saplings are ready, they will be carefully replanted in a suitable location, breathing new life into the vulnerable coastal landscape.
Grade 1 and 10 Students Partner for Mangrove Restoration
Grade 1 students at UWC Thailand joined forces with their Grade 10 buddies to embark on a collaborative mangrove planting project in the Cape Yamu coastal area of Phuket. Together, they planted over 500 mangrove trees in collaboration with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR).
Guided by their older peers, the young students waded through the muddy shores to plant and secure the numerous saplings provided by the DMCR. They also transplanted saplings grown and nurtured in the school’s very own mangrove nursery.
UWC Thailand has a long history of mangrove conservation, dating back to 2015. Since then, the school has planted over 30,000 mangrove saplings across Phuket. This initiative has helped replenish numerous mangrove forests previously depleted due to shrimp farming, firewood collection, and charcoal production.
This ongoing commitment to reforestation demonstrates UWC Thailand’s dedication to preserving Phuket’s biodiversity and natural habitats. The project extends beyond its ecological impact, fostering a culture of giving back among students. Through hands-on experience, they gain a deeper understanding of environmental responsibility and the significance of protecting our planet’s resources.
UWC Thailand Students Lend a Hand to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project
Each Saturday, UWC Thailand’s Grade 11 and 12 Gibbon Rehabilitation Project Team exhibits their dedication to environmental responsibility by volunteering at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. Aligned with the global call for environmental awareness championed by CNN, they play a pivotal role in vital weekly maintenance tasks, including:
- Ensuring clean enclosures
- Planting fruiting trees around the center
- Maintaining the grounds and facilities
The student teams have also risen to the challenge of relocating gibbons, who are ready for release, to safer, elevated enclosures within the jungle. The laborious task of transporting cages and equipment uphill demands tremendous physical exertion, shining a light on their unyielding commitment to the well-being of these primates. Post-relocation, teams venture into the jungle regularly, conducting comprehensive checks on the enclosures and guaranteeing the gibbons’ proper care and nourishment. Their steadfast dedication and resilience in these demanding duties underscore their profound dedication to environmental stewardship and the conservation of wildlife.
In addition to their routine volunteer efforts, these students spearhead a substantial long-term initiative. They are crafting informative signs and brochures for the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, enlightening visitors about the rehabilitation process and the center’s significance.
Their commitment extends further still. In the wake of a recent storm that devastated the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project’s interpretive center, its sole source of income, this student team took proactive measures. They raised awareness about the center’s dire situation and spearheaded fundraising campaigns to aid in its reconstruction.
Through their dedicated efforts, UWC Thailand students make a valuable contribution to the well-being of gibbons while fostering environmental consciousness and inspiring others to take action.
UWC Thailand Grade 4 Students Tackle Layan Beach Cleanup
Armed with buckets, gloves, and a mission to make a difference, UWC Thailand’s Grade 4 students descended upon Layan Beach for a morning cleanup. Determined to protect the delicate coastal ecosystem, they spent hours combing through the sand, sorting the collected trash into recyclable, reusable, and rubbish containers.
Their efforts yielded a surprising variety of items, including bottle caps, glass bottles, foam, lighters, flip-flops, sandals, shoes, clothing, rope, and even chip bags. By removing this significant quantity of refuse, they prevented it from entering the ocean and potentially harming marine life.
Through their dedicated efforts, UWC Thailand’s Grade 4 students not only contributed to a cleaner beach but also gained valuable firsthand experience in environmental stewardship. This initiative serves as a powerful reminder that even small actions can have a significant impact on the health of our planet.
Cultivating a Generation of Environmental Stewards
At UWC Thailand, environmental stewardship isn’t just a slogan, it’s a way of life. While inspired by initiatives like CNN Call to Earth, we believe that every day presents an opportunity to make a positive impact on our planet.
From our M.A.N.T.A. program protecting marine life and replenishing coastal mangrove environments to campus-wide sustainability initiatives, we’re actively working towards a greener future. We empower our students through service learning, fostering a generation of passionate environmental leaders.
This journey isn’t about one-off events, but about continuous learning and collaboration. Together with our community and global partners, we can inspire others and build a more sustainable future for generations to come.