The network was initiated by the Canadian International School of Hong Kong. The school has been inviting other schools to conduct joint activities on environmental protection over the past few years. The network hopes to unite all of the city's students and schools to raise awareness and take action on local and international issues.
"We wanted to give the youth of Hong Kong a larger voice to respond to environmental issues and government policy. Since it is they who will inherit the problems and solutions, they should have more say in what the world should look like," says Nasci Lobo, development assistant of alumni relations and sustainable development at the school. "We want to show the government these issues are serious, immediate and growing ... and that the lack of appropriate and timely responses will only cause further health, monetary and lifestyle problems for our youth when they are older."
The school hopes the network can prepare today's students to become responsible adults and work for their future environment.
"Forming a sense of environmental co-operation now will foster these sentiments in our students as they grow, allowing them to solve problems in a better way than our generation has," says Dave McMaster, head of the school.
The Hong Kong EcoSchools Network's first event, School Earth Hour, will take place on March 29. All Hong Kong schools are being invited to take part by turning off their lights at the same time to create a bigger impact on energy saving, and to send out a message of unity and concern.
The network is open to all, including local schools, and is chaired by two students: Beatrice Yeung of Hong Kong International School and Karen Shum of Hong Kong University Graduate Association College.