The involvement of the private sector in environmental awareness in Thailand has acquired a new vision with a project called Think Earth.
This project, conceptualized by Phornthep Phornprapha has to date mobilized over 250,000 students from government and private schools to participate in helping solve environmental problems at an early age.
In the past two years he has been able to disseminate conservation awareness, throughout the country, as well as plant half a million trees to revive Thailand's dwindling forests. To sustain this activity, Phornthep founded a Forest Ranger Fund, which also supports the Huaykakaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.
For his efforts, in 1992, Phornthep received the Best environment Conservationist Award and the Best Public Promotion on Environmental Issue Award from the Thailand Marketing Awards.
Dr. Vandana Shiva
Dr. Shiva is among the most outspoken defenders and campaigners for the third world poor - particularly women. She forcefully demonstrates that they are not to be blamed for environmental degradation.
Initially trained in particle physics, she adopted a comprehensive approach on environmental issues as coordinator of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy in Dehra Dun, India.
She is one of the most sought-after speakers on environmental matters and among her many books, Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Survival in India has become a classic.
Time, an international news magazine, has consistently displayed a genuine concern for the environment and played a vital and meaningful role in informing its millions of readers about how they can help to improve the environment.
The Tengtou Village
Since 1965, Tengtou Village in Zhejiang Province has undertaken environmental protection by combining agriculture with forestry, animal husbandry, fishery, industry and trade. The outcome of 25 years of effort is the realization of productive fields and underground irrigation. Along with large-sized animal farms, biogas pools and gas supply piping facilities, a three-dimensional cultivating and breeding eco-farming structure of forest and rice planting has been set up in the village. Their recycling system of farming, animal husbandry, cultivation, by-product processing, biogas use in lieu of fossil fuels and their use of organic fertilizers, reduces the amount of chemical fertilizer and pesticides used. In 1990, the profits of the village was 1.71 million yuan RMB, which greatly raised the community's level of education, welfare and sanitation. Three districts have been set up in the village: industrial and trade, education and residential. With the construction of five non-polluting clothes, fodder and diamond factories, it is now a beautiful eco-village.
In 1979, a young teacher, Charles Herve-Gruyer set sail on Fleur de Lampaul with a number of troubled children and adolescents, as well as scientists from Europe. The goal of their expedition was to study cetaceans (270 observations of 12 species were made).
In 1990, Fleur de Lampaul became the first sailship in France to offer children oceanographic courses. Documents on the marine environment are produced by the children and the scientists: 10 films - three of them for schools, 130 TV spots in more than 20 countries, 680 press stories, 600 radio broadcasts and photo exhibits in schools.
Following the success of these expeditions, European authorities decided to support the project. The sailship is in the process of being recognized as a Scientific and Technical Cultural Centre by the Ministry of Research and Technology.
In 1992, Fleur de Lampaul set off on a 26-month sailing expedition across the continents to study some of the ecosystems of our planet, including sea, desert, equatorial Africa, Amazonian forests, coral reefs, and to meet indigenous seafaring peoples.
If children could be made leaders in environmental programmes, Severn would surely be among them. She makes more sense than most adults who engage in small talk and do nothing. Severn, like many children her age, are doers and that means a lot when it comes to the environment. At age 5, she fought for the Indians in British Columbia to protect them from logging interests. At age 10, she founded the Environmental Children's Organization, which participated in the Earth Summit and brought the house down with her impassioned speech.
Chandra Degia and Jimmy Brown
Wildlife and Environmental Conservation (WECAN), formed in 1991, encourages environmental awareness among Jamaican youth; the development of a sustainable conservation ethic; and resource appreciation.
WECAN concentrates on youth teaching youth, Chandra and Jimmy have been the catalysts. Programmes and activities, which have been implemented, include nature hikes/camping/caving, field work with biologists, organic gardening, paper recycling, environ-rap (music), presentations by biologists, a biannual environmental magazine, a children's zoo, bird watches and slide show presentations.
They have organized a number of field excursions and have become knowledgeable about the birds of Jamaica and their habitats, and have made a number of presentations on the subject.
Chandra and Jimmy taught environmental education, developing their own curriculum, finding examples, and promoting enthusiasm for conservation among less-privileged children. Both have devoted many hours to research and to the efficient management of WECAN.
In April 1991, Friends of the Earth launched the first recycling scheme on the island. A special Guide to Recycling brochure was published and circulated to schools on the island.
Posters, stickers and reusable bags were given to all individuals and schools interested in initiating their own small scale recycling programme. In addition, seventy bins were placed in key areas in order to promote recycling in the community.
Unleaded petrol has just recently entered the Cyprus market. In April 1992 Friends of the Earth, in collaboration with Inter College, launched a campaign aimed at raising awareness on the effects of lead on human health.
Inter College's commitment to environmental protection is also reflected in its initiative to set up a course on environmental protection for business individuals, making it the only environmental studies course in the entire academic sector of the island.
Nyahode Union Learning Centre
The valley where the Nyahode Union Learning Centre is located used to be a white commercial farming area until 1980 when some refugees from Mozambique settled there. They established a secondary school, which could also be attended by young adults.
Soon, a land use plan was drawn and the students began reforesting, planting orchards, building dams and spillways to harness the high amount of rainfall and used them to irrigate the fields. With the green cover, water has not been a big problem and their area has been made into a model community.
Nafisa is a journalist for Newsline publications based in Karachi, Pakistan. She has written articles for her monthly magazine, but three of these stand out in support of environmental conservation. One is an article on a village whose inhabitants use dirty water from the Lyari river for all their needs, thus resulting in disease. The article mobilized the villagers into action and they now enjoy the benefits of a water project funded by the World Bank. Another article resulted in pressure against the government from building a highway across a national park. The highway has since been rerouted outside the wildlife preserve. A third article also pressured the government, through a court order, to stop the order which allows the hunting of the Houbara Bustard.