China Launches 1,000 Youth Ambassadors for the Environment

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China is putting its students to work this summer as climate ambassadors to spread the word about climate change and what people can do to stop it.

Through a new training program called “One Thousand Environment-Friendly Youth Ambassadors Action,” eight Chinese ministries, along with the UNDP, hope to educate 1 million people about the actions they can take to preserve the environment and limit climate change.

The program started last month with training for 1,000 high school and college students in Beijing (north China), Shanghai (east), Xi’an (northwest), Chengdu (southwest) and Guangzhou (south).

Each young ambassador is expected to train another 1,000 people, hence one million people around the nation will be informed of professional environmental knowledge. The program is sponsored by the national Center for Environmental Education and Communication, China Environmental Awareness Program, Ministry of Environmental Protection, UNDP and Johnson Controls.

In Shanghai last month, 211 young adults received the training.

Our one and a half day training was divided into five parts: Our Magic Planet, Reflection on Human Behavior, Calling for Revolution, Environmental Protection in Daily Lives, and How to Be a Qualified Ambassador.

The first four parts involved lectures in environmental science by professors from Peking University. The last part focused on the delivery: How to make an impressive speech and how to organize future training.

“After receiving this certification, I felt a strong sense of responsibility. Every time I see it, I’ll remember that I am an ambassador; I should not only be more environmental-friendly myself, but also affect everybody around me to live a greener life.” said Feifei Lan, a sophomore from Fudan University.

Over the next two months, the ambassadors will fulfill their mission in schools, communities and even corporate settings by giving speeches and training more people. The hope is that this 1-to-1,000 method will arouse an environmental-friendly typhoon around China.

Here’s a quick look at the lessons the students will be giving to the population:

    1. We have only one Earth and it’s almost impossible to create a second one. Just look at the failure of Biosphere 2.

    2. Climate changes that are being brought about by human actions have already destroyed the eco-systems in many parts of the world.

    3. China is facing a resource crisis.

    4. It’s impossible for China to separate economic development and environmental protection.

    5. Take these four steps to cut energy use in your daily life: Pay attention to your habits, make a thorough plan for saving energy, implement the plan and modify the plan.

    6. Consider the facts, such as these: If 10% of all the plastic bags could be reduced, 310,000 tons of CO2 emission would be reduced, thus everyone should bring a shopping bag with him or her; if 10% of all the paper could be printed with double sides, 164,000 tons of CO2 emission would be reduced, thus it’s better to print double-sides.


See also:

How China is Spreading the Word about Going Low-Carbon

Shanghai to Pilot China’s First Municipal Emissions Exchange

China Floats Carbon Tax Plan as a Means to Curb Emissions