Education for a Sustainable China

The Shangri-La Institute attends the International Conference on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for the Sustainable Development Goals: Policy and Practice

In 2016, Wande Gomba, a representative from SISC and the Greater Shangri-La RCE, submitted a paper on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for The 2016 International Conference on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for the Sustainable Development Goals: Policy and Practice. For more information see here.

This conference, the fifth of its name, held the Sirindhorn International Environmental Park Cha-am, Phetchaburi, Thailand, saw speakers on various aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals. The event was also an opportunity to celebrate the birthday of the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Wande Gomba submitted a paper for this Conference using the case of Bazhu Village on the Tibetan Plateau as a case study. ESD programs in the area have seen communities inspired and engaged to effect environmental changes, and empower themselves to enact sustainable development in the village.

Conferences like this one continue to validate The Shangri-La Institute’s message and allow for cooperation, dissemination of information and a greater understanding of how ESD can be used to empower communities.

The SISC collaborates with the JUMP! Foundation on water conservation education

On Monday April 18th, 2016, The Shangri-La Institute for Sustainable Communities collaborated with The JUMP! Foundation (for information see their website here) and the Beijing Jintai Museum in Chaoyang Park for a social learning session based on water conservation.

The 9 students from Hangzhou and facilitators from The JUMP! Foundation and the SISC came together with SISC Vice- Director Philip Xie for the session, which saw the lines between educator and student blurred as the students took the stage one by one to explain their knowledge of various topics related to water conservation in China.

Have a look at some photos of the session below!

JUMP Foundation Event Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 2.11.24 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 2.12.04 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 2.12.27 PM

We hope that this will be the first on many collaborations with the JUMP! Foundation.

The SISC are grateful to the Beijing Jintai museum for providing their space for this event. The Jintai museum is a fascinating space established by Yuan Xikun, a leading artist and sculptor, and the Museum has held hundreds of events since its opening in 1997.

Resources: River Yangtze Bird Book

Wild birds are in important part of nature, and bird watching is an interesting and enjoyable way for people to come into contact with their local environment. The Yangtze River basin has a complex and varied climate, with abundant water resources & plantlife, it provides a great habitat for birds to breed and winter. To improve bird identification along the river, The Shangri-la Institute has planned and published “Yangtze River Basin Bird Watching Guide” as part of the Swarovski Water School project. This book introduces creative techniques to improve the accuracy of bird watching, including painting and fill-in activities, and is a great resource for both the general public and in youth activities.

Public Event: “Nature and People”

SISC joined up with the Dutch Embassy, Beijing Forestry Society and IUCN  (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) in Honglingjin Park, Beijing, for a public ‘long walk’. This event aimed to raise public knowledge of forest ecology, biodiversity, water resources while bringing the public closer to nature through conservation activities and learning how to enjoy a healthy life.

Nearly 1,000 people attended, including primary school students from the Netherlands and China. SISC’s display featured the Water School for a Living Yangtze project, with project staff briefng participants on the plants and wildlife of the Yangtze River Basin. One game organised was based on the migration pattern of the black-necked crane from Qinghai to Shangri-la and the damaging effects of climate change on their natural habitat, introducing the public to the importance of positive action that contributes to the protection of the environment.

Staff Retreat

In October, staff from both Beijing and Yunnan offices joined together in Shangri-la to organise the NGO Financial Training course as well as meeting with members of the local community and project participants.


Kesong Education: Recycling

Earlier this year, the Kesong centre began to teach Tibetan language classes three times a week. Focused mainly on strengthening student’s language ability from what they had learned in semester 1, we took a break from normal language classes to learn about environmental protection and held a handicraft class using recycled materials.

Let’s see how hard they are working…

In groups of two, the students got into action!

The first groups to finish proudly show us their completed work:

Activity two was finding used plastic bottles and making them into little pink pigs!

Finally, the results of our hard work are put on exhibition! Spectacular!

This main aim of this class was for students to realize that what many people regard as ‘rubbish’, can actually be recycled and with some handicraft skills can be made into something for them to treasure.

As soon as they heard we would make pigs out of used plastic bottles, everyone eagerly started collecting bottles! Moreover, we used left over paper from the ‘CD panda’ activity to make little pig babies for the plastic bottle activity. So-called ‘waste’ can in fact be something useful, perhaps it has just been labelled wrong.

Introduction to Kesong Community Learning Centre

Kesong Community Learning Centre was built during the picturesque Yunnan summer of 2009 in Shangri-la. The Community Learning Centre represents a whole new venture for Shangri-la Institute for Sustainable Communities and her donors – an eco-lodge embodying a truly sustainable way of life as well as a teaching and learning centre in close proximity to the community. In the future the centre hopes to be a platform for the dissemination of environmental protection and sustainable development knowledge in the Shangri-la region, as well as providing a means by which to preserve traditional and cultural heritage.