HKND Group Launches Educational Tree Planting Activity in around 80 Schools in Rivas
From 25 to 28 July, HKND Group held a four-day Educational Tree Planting Activity in Primary and Secondary Schools in Rivas Department. During this event, the company invited professors and students from National Agrarian University (UNA) to deliver reforestation workshops and training sessions to primary and secondary school students in Rivas Department, and teach the school kids to plant trees on their campuses. A total of 3,000 students from around 80 schools participated in this tree planting activity, while the total 15,000 students of this Department were involved in this Educational Reforestation Program initiated by HKND Group in various forms, reaching coverage of 100%.
20 students from the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment at UNA, with their professors, joined the event. After receiving the training provided by HKND Group, UNA students visited the primary and second schools, and explained to the kids the importance of forest resources and environmental protection, as well as proper tree planting procedures. They also put the lecture into practice by teaching school kids to plant seedlings with their own hands, nurturing the next generation to become more environmentally conscious.
In addition to overwhelming support from local schools, teachers and students, the campaign was also conducted with extensive participation of parents.
This Tree Planting Activity is part of the "Educational Reforestation Program in Rivas Department", a program initiated and sponsored by HKND Group with support from the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education (MINED), Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA), National Forestry Institute (INAFOR) and UNA. With the slogan "My Trees, My School, My Community, My Canal", the program is designed to raise the environmental awareness among teachers and students in primary and secondary schools through theoretical training and hands-on experience, and deepen their understanding of the importance of trees and forests, in order to better protect the environment of Nicaragua.
“The Educational Reforestation Program in Rivas Department covers 80 schools in Rivas, among which 29 are located in Rivas, 44 in Tola, and 5 in San Jorge. Thanks to the support of HKND, we are able to raise the environmental awareness among our people through this educational program.” said Félix Ramón López, delegate of the INAFOR for District V.
This educational reforestation campaign also includes the Reforestation Training Conference for teachers held on 21 July 2016. About 160 directors and teachers from around 80 primary and secondary schools in municipalities of Rivas, San Jorge and Tola participated in the training. During the training, representatives from these three municipalities issued joint statements, expressing their willing to shoulder the responsibility of reforestation and ecological protection as citizens and educators.
Prof. Francisco Reyes from Department of Natural Resources and Environment of UNA was in charge of the UNA team in the tree planting activities. He stated that “initiated by HKND Group and jointly collaborated by MINED, MARENA and INAFOR, the environmental educational program was truly instructive for students to learn how to plant, irrigate and nurse a seedling. We have sound reasons to believe that the Interoceanic Grand Canal Project led by HKND Group will bring more benefits to the Nicaraguan people and contribute to creating more employment opportunities.”
In order to achieve a long-term effect, HKND Group also prepared training brochure for the reforestation campaign for distribution to all of the 15,000 students from primary and secondary schools in Rivas Department, aiming at providing long-term technical guidance for teachers, students and parents.
As indicated in the training brochure prepared by HKND Group, forest cover in Nicaragua has dropped
dramatically in the past 25 years as a result of various factors including logging, slash-and-burn farming
Photograph: HKND Group
On 5 November 2015, the Government of Nicaragua approved the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Nicaragua Canal Project, and granted the “Environmental Permit” to the project. The ESIA was conducted by British consultancy Environmental Resources Management (ERM), who organized hundreds of world-class scientists and environmentalists conducting extensive field studies and investigations, which lasted more than two years.
As set out in the 2.7 million-word ESIA report carried out by ERM, the ecological environment in Nicaragua has been deteriorating in recent years. Pristine forests are destroyed at an alarming speed as a result of slash-and-burn farming. Without proper measures, most of the existing forests in the country will disappear within 10 to 15 years.
In terms of ecological environment assessment of Nicaragua, ERM shared similar views with HKND Group who considered Canal construction as the only viable means for vegetation protection and ecosystem restoration of Nicaragua. HKND Group will also put forward reforestation plans on both sides of the Canal to prevent further soil erosion.
HKND Group believes that Nicaragua’s future lies with a generation of young people that are fully aware of the significance of forest protection and ecological environment improvement. HKND Group will continue to carry out such educational programs and training activities in Nicaragua.