SAFEA Magazine Article Regarding the Poyang Lake Youth Project

 

On May 16, 2008 I formally presented my idea for a proposal to the Jiangxi Provincial Leadership in Nanchang, Jiangxi, for a project I call “The Poyang Lake Youth Project.” The purpose of my project is to raise the level of awareness of environmental issues around the youth, particularly of those in their own backyard, which could be critical for future protection and sustainable development for the Poyang Lake.

 

Our leaders wanting to do their best to make our province better and more comfortable for the foreigners, as well as it’s citizens, encouraged all foreigners working in Jiangxi Province to make suggestions regarding the improvement and possible ideas that we had to help improve our province and it’s further forward movement.

 

Upon hearing about their open request for suggestions of improvement, I created a plan or idea that I believe will draw the youth of our province into greater ecological awareness and knowledge as well as encouraging them to do their part, by motivating them with a desire to do what they can, at a grassroots level, to help as well as feel a part of the special project needs of Poyang Lake. I presented my proposal and it was accepted and approved by the provincial leaders who made the request for our suggestions.

 

On March 30, 2009 one of the provincial leaders along with two assistants and the Foreign Affairs Office from Jiangxi Normal University (the university that I have served for almost 9 years now), came to my home and presented me with the second place award for my proposal. I was very honored that they thought that highly of my suggestions.

 

I proposed a joint project with the leadership of Jiangxi Province, the Education Department, the Environmental Department, the newly formed department that is working on making the plans and creating the support for the “Special Zone” being created in Jiangxi Province that includes the surrounding cities of Poyang Lake, as well as any other organization that might have an acute interest in that project.

 

My idea was to recommend that the province provide basic information and knowledge about both the past history and current situation/status regarding Poyang Lake. This would be done by making and providing simple brochures for the students and maybe even videos, with information that would be simple enough for the students of our province to understand. Once all of the information has been disseminated throughout the student population through the brochures and videos we will hold both English and Chinese speech competitions. The student’s topics will relate to this subject. We will also have students write compositions for various writing contests held on every level of the educational system throughout the province. We would encourage the students, even the littlest children, to draw pictures of the Lake and it’s bird population, using various art forms to get all students involved from the bottom up.

 

My suggestion is to hold contests in every class, school and division. When the results are out we will take the very top students in each category of competition and award them with donated books for their school libraries, possibly donated by local publishing houses. Also we will then take the higher-level student (high school and university) winners on a two-day trip to Poyang Lake at the end to actually see first hand what the lake is like and the problems that it has. When we are there with the students, we would have top scientists come to speak to these top-winning students with television, radio, newspaper, magazine journalists and cameramen to do the coverage of the event. Using the raw material or footage from the activity the province would make yet another video further showing the lakes needs and how our young people are greatly interested and willing to help make any improvements to the lake and increase the sustainability of it’s environment and quality for their future and that of future generations.

 

Upon returning from the two-day visit to the lake and hearing the updated information from scientists such as Prof. Dr. ZhongPing Lai, QingHai Institute of Salt Lakes, Chinese Academy of Sciences and other scientists that he would recommend, along with other experts suggested by the Mountain, River, Lake Project directors. Then our students would have a much better understanding of the Lake’s needs and what they might be able to do to help both now and in future years to come.

 

I have talked to Prof. Dr. ZhongPing Lai about this project and have met with him in person. He is excited about what I have proposed and am trying to do. He is willing to help and find other scientists to help, both with information and coming to speak to our students for this special project and prize to encourage the students of Jiangxi to “get-involved” in the environmental issues of our province.

 

Between May 6th and 13th of this year 2009, I had the wonderful opportunity to be in Xining, both to speak at various universities and schools, and to be accompanied by Dr. Lai to visit Qinghai Lake. Our two provinces share the fact that we both hold one of two of the largest lakes in China: theirs the largest salt-water lake and ours (Jiangxi) the largest fresh water lake. Both also have areas designated for wildlife sanctuaries. I had the great experience of seeing their lake first hand and what they have done to make it a wonderful place for people to visit. They have provided protection for the birds and other wildlife so that they are not destroyed by various threats, while still allowing the visitors to ‘come up close’ and see them without disturbing them. It was a joy for me to be there! It gave me ideas for our own project in Jiangxi.

 

I know that our provincial leaders have been working hard over these last few years to discover the best ways to try and deal with the issues that face our province, just like world leaders and concerned citizens are trying to study and discover the best ways to help humans live in harmony with nature, while still having to develop and provide jobs and livelihoods for it’s people. It’s not an easy job but we have to do it and our best resource for the future is our children, our youth.

 

The first and most important need is to help our students learn and accept personal responsibility: helping them to have a good understanding of their own physical, moral and spiritual needs are where it all starts. Then we, teachers and leaders, need to help them have a better understanding of the world around them, particularly the environment, which is one of the most critical issues for them to know about. I believe we have to start now, and I believe my proposal of “The Poyang Lake Youth Project” is a way to begin with encouraging their environmental awareness.

 

When we have conducted all of the various contests and awarded all of the final prizes that are to be given, I want to bring the students back to Nanchang and have them all sign a suggestion list giving the concerns of the youth of Jiangxi for this project. Then we will send our suggestion list around to every single school in the province from elementary schools up to universities and have all the students sign the suggestion list. The leadership of Jiangxi province will then take our suggestions with some representatives of our youth (some of the winners of the various contests) to the Central Government in Beijing to plead the case of our youth for this project for getting the “Special Zone” approved and funded.

 

What a joy it is for me to be able to create this project and use it as a way to help bring a new awareness of environmental issues and concerns to the youth of Jiangxi so that they can learn to start taking more responsibility not only for taking tests but for their lives and the world around them.

 

Thank you for asking me to share my project and my thoughts on it with you.

Sincerely,

 

 

Professor Connie Gibson

Jiangxi Normal University

Nanchang, Jiangxi Province

 

 

 

 

青少年保护鄱阳湖计划

   翻译:涂譞

 

2008年5月16日,我正式向江西省领导以建言献策的形式陈述了我的建议,我把其命名为“青少年保护鄱阳湖计划”。该计划的目的是为提高我省青少年,尤其是提高那些居住在鄱阳湖周边地区青少年的环保意识,这对鄱阳湖的未来保护和可持续发展至关重要。

我省领导致力于通过一切努力为居住在江西的外国人和本省居民创造舒适优良的生活环境,鼓励在江西工作的外国朋友为推动并实现我省进一步发展积极建言。

知道他们公开征求改进鄱阳湖生态环境意见的消息后,我萌生了一个想法:通过激励我省青少年从基层做起,尽己所能,使他们切身感受到自己是鄱阳湖特殊保护计划的一分子。我相信这样一个计划将加深我省青少年对生态问题的关注并让他们更加深刻地懂得生态保护的重要性和增长相关知识。为此我向江西省委提交了我的建议书并获得了相关省领导的认可和支持。

2009年3月30日,一位省领导及其两名助理、江西师大外办的相关领导(江西师大是我任教近9年的大学)来到我家并向我颁发了建言献策二等奖的证书。他们高度赞扬了我的建议,这使我感到非常荣幸。

我的建议是一个集全省各相关部门共同参与的计划,包括江西省领导层、教育部门、环境部门以及新成立的部门,这一部门正致力于为“特殊保护区”制定计划并且提供支持。此“保护区”由江西省设立,涵盖鄱阳湖周边地区。另外,其他对该计划有强烈兴趣的组织机构也将被囊括其中。

我的想法是建议省相关部门向我们提供关于鄱阳湖过去的发展历史及现状的基本信息和相关知识。这个目标可以通过制作并向我省学生发放简单的环保小册子以及提供简而易懂的录像片得以实现。这些知识信息一旦通过小册子和录像片在学生当中广为传播后,我们将举办各类中英文演讲比赛,其题目将和此次活动主题有关。同时,我们也将在全省范围内针对不同年级学生举办各种写作竞赛。我们还将鼓励学生,即使是最低年级的孩子们,用画笔把鄱阳湖和湖区的鸟类描绘出来,通过多样化的艺术形式让各年龄层次的学生都参与其中。

我的建议是在每个班级、每所学校、每个小区开展各类比赛。结果公布之后,我们将为各类比赛的胜出者赠予支援学校图书馆建设的书籍,以此作为奖励。如果可能的话,这些书将由当地出版社予以捐赠。另外,我们将带领本次比赛高中组、大学组的获胜者一同前往鄱阳湖进行为期两天的参观考察,切身感受鄱阳湖的现状及其问题。届时,我们邀请的杰出科学家也将亲临现场,与获胜者们进行交流。同时,电视、广播、报纸以及杂志记者、摄影师都将对此次活动进行报导。借助这次活动取得的素材,我们省也将制作一个录像片,进一步说明鄱阳湖现阶段发展需求,展现我们青年一代对鄱阳湖保护计划表现出的强烈兴趣。为了青少年的未来和其后代人的利益,他们愿意为不断改进鄱阳湖生态环境、实现可持续发展贡献力量。

在对鄱阳湖进行两天的参观走访、并听取科学家们如中科院青海盐湖研究所赖忠平教授(博士)及其介绍的一些科学家、江西省三江湖工程领导者推荐的其他专家的意见后,我们的学生们将会更加全面了解鄱阳湖的发展需求以及他们现在和将来力所能及的事情。

我已经和赖忠平教授(博士)见面并讨论了这一计划的相关事宜,他对我的建议和正在进行的工作十分感兴趣。同时他也表示会为实现该计划提供帮助,和其他科学家一道提供有用信息并亲自前往特殊保护区为学生们演讲,鼓励我省青少年“亲身参与”江西省环境保护事业。

今年5月6日至13日,我有幸去了西宁,在当地不同大学和学校进行了演讲并在赖教授的陪同下参观了青海湖。我们两省共持同一事实:青海省和江西省分别拥有中国最大的咸水湖和最大的淡水湖,同时两省都设有野生动植物保护区。我亲眼目睹了青海湖的风光及其他们为游客营造的良好的参观场所,这对我来说是一次重要的经历。当地政府采取了保护措施防止鸟类和其他野生动植物受到各种威胁,并允许游客“近距离”观赏但不能打扰动物。我在那玩儿地非常开心!这次参观给了我很多对我省建立鄱阳湖生态经济区计划的启发。

我了解到近些年来我省领导通过不懈努力寻求最佳途径去尝试解决我省面临的发展问题。这好比是世界领袖与有相关意识的公民一齐努力研究并探索出既能促进人与自然和谐共处,又能保障人民安居乐业的最好方法。做到这些并非易事,但我们的青少年是未来希望的源泉,我们必须坚持下去。

目前最重要的任务则是教育我们的学生学会承担起个人责任:让他们对其自身的生理、道德及精神需求有一全面理解,这是一切之本。其次,领导和老师们有必要帮助他们更好地了解身处的世界,特别是要关心环境问题,这是他们需要懂得的至关重要的问题之一。我认为我们要立足当前,并且我相信提出的“青少年保护鄱阳湖计划”将会是激发他们增强环境意识的一个开始。

在各类比赛及颁奖活动结束后,我想带着这些学生回到南昌,让他们一同为该计划在倡议书上签名以表达江西省青少年对此的关注。随后我们将会把倡议书送至全省内的各个小学、中学直至大学,请学生们签下自己的名字,之后江西省领导及青少年代表(各类比赛的部分胜出者)将带着倡议书前往北京,向中央政府表达我们青少年对该计划的关注,希望该“特殊保护区”的建立能够得到中央政府的批准并获得资金支持。

我是多么高兴能制定这一计划并通过它作为促进江西省青少年形成关心环境问题的全新责任意识的一种方式,让他们体会到除学习之外应该为自己今后的生活乃至世界承担更多的责任。

 

十分感谢您邀请我与您一同分享我的计划和一些想法

真诚的

 

 

江西省南昌市

江西师范大学

Connie Gibson 教授