Sharing Environmental Problems in Australia With The Students of Al Hikmah Junior High School

Surabaya- Today Tunas Hijau visited Junior high school Al Hikmah Surabaya East Java to run a workshop for children in years 7 and 8 to increase their awareness of environmental issues. The kids had a lot of energy, and all got involved in some warm up games to get the workshop started.

The presentation I gave was centred around the environmental problems that we face in Australia, especially in the region where I live. The first issue that was described was drought and the way that the government and people are tackling the problem of a lack of water by securing existing water sources. Strategies include regulation of how much water is taken out of the rivers by farmers for irrigation as well as water restrictions and changing the behavior of individuals in the community. Potential other strategies discussed include preventing logging in catchment areas, the creation of new desalination plants and the installation of water tanks and grey-water systems.

The next issue was carbon pollution. Because Australia is one of the biggest carbon polluters I think it is an incredibly important issue and so was keen to raise it in the session. I briefly outlined the emissions trading scheme that was considered, but abandoned, by the Australian government. Possibilities for finding new sources of electricity other than brown coal (Australia’s current source) such as nuclear energy as well as cleaner and more renewable sources such as wind farms.

The students were polite and attentive throughout the presentation, despite the fact that my accent is very strong here and so they might not have been able to understand everything that was said. At the end of the session some of the students asked some pertinent questions exhibiting a high level of understanding about the environmental issues faced in Australia.

The workshop was closed by watching some short animated videos each with an environmental moral followed by the creation by the students of a list of small things they could do to help the environment.

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