Hong Kong Projects

Ridge to Reef Environment Education Programme

The ecosystems of the mountains are connected to the rivers, streams and sea.
Ridge to Reef The ecosystems of the mountains are connected to the rivers, streams and sea. © Kyle Obermann
Hong Kong Jockey Club Logo

Since 2013, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been working with students on environmental youth leadership, and we have engaged 400+ students in developing projects to address conservation challenges such as food waste, biodiversity loss and energy use.

Building on IUCN’s (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) global conservation initiative, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) launched the Jockey Club “Ridge to Reef” Environmental Education Programme, with support from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The holistic program aims to enhance the environmental literacy of Hong Kong’s youth. Using TNC’s Learn-Act-Lead model, we are working with Hong Kong’s students, teachers and schools.

A graphic of a timeline.

The Ridge to Reef (R2R) concept shows that what happens on land affects what happens in the water. With Hong Kong being a coastal city, healthy and well-managed waterways, coasts and oceans are vital to all of us. To create lasting change, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) R2R focuses on students’ environmental literacy, teachers’ curriculum and schools’ policies and procedures by:

  • supporting all levels of the educational structure within schools
  • developing localized, free online curriculum to teachers
  • deploying curriculum through educator training workshops
  • engaging students in hands-on citizen science conservation fieldwork, and
  • offering students internship opportunities at our TNC Hong Kong/Asia Pacific regional office.
A pyramidal graphic showing the Lead-Act-Learn process.

Learn

We are now developing a free online nature education curriculum that will be available to all Hong Kong teachers. Materials available on this new “learning hub” will include animations, lesson plans, virtual field trips and classroom activities for teachers to use in expanding their students’ environmental awareness. We’ll be reaching out to Hong Kong teachers to show them how to use the learning hub and to take them on local field trips so they can understand first-hand some of the environmental challenges Hong Kong is facing.

Ridge to Reef Animation Part 1 Meet Ho and follow along as he learns about Ridge to Reef.
Ridge to Reef Animation Part 2 The Oyster Fairy explains why the Ridge to Reef concept is important to understand the health of oyster reefs.

Act

To get Hong Kong  students outside and learning about conservation science, we are launching Citizen Science in Action Field Survey Experiences: TNC-led field trips for 300+ students that include data collection, as well as in-class pre- and post-field trip learning materials. These trips will also help encourage students in community volunteerism for the good of our environment. The field experiences will focus on TNC’s oyster reef restoration work and estuary and terrestrial biodiversity.

Lead

A lucky 14 Hong Kong students will have the chance to develop hands-on conservation project design and implementation experience through internships at TNC offices and project sites. These internships can help build career pathways for participating students, as well as give the interns a chance to become conservation leaders among their peers.

A teacher and two students squat to look at specimens in the mud.
Students at Pak Nai During field trips, students study oysters from an abandoned reef. © Peryl Tse/TNC

Our vision is to inspire a generation of young conservationists armed with the knowledge and skills to take action and preserve Hong Kong’s ecosystems.

If you are a student, teacher or education administrator who would like to know more about the HKJC R2R program contact Conservation Education Manager, Tom Chan, at tom.chan@tnc.org

The Ridge to Reef Environment Education Programme (R2R) aims to enhance the environmental literacy of Hong Kong’s youth, with the use of The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC’s) LEARN-ACT-LEAD model, to promote the Ridge to Reef holistic conservation approach - what happens on land affects what happens in the water.

Student internship plays an important role in the LEARN component, because interns can serve as ambassadors to promote the Ridge to Reef concept to their peers with student-initiated projects. In the summer of 2019 and 2020, TNC worked with ten students to provide training and guidance on project development, implementation and evaluation. The students worked on a total of five projects.

2020 Intern Projects

Ridge to Reef webinar and pitching competition

Students organized a two-day virtual event that attracted about 60 secondary school students from six international schools. The attendees learned about the Ridge to Reef concept and the importance of oyster reef ecosystems. They also joined a mini pitch competition by designing their own group projects with a five-minute pitch to TNC conservation staff on Ridge to Reef. Three out of the 10 teams got outstanding awards for their innovative and thoughtful ideas.

A screen capture of an online webinar that shows many students faces in a grid.
2020 Intern Webinar 60 students attended the online webinar about the Ridge to Reef concept and the importance of oyster reef ecosystems. © TNC
A screen capture of a lesson plan about estuaries.
Lesson on estuaries As part of the Ridge to Reef webinar, students learned about estuaries, where freshwater meets the ocean. © TNC
2020 Intern Webinar 60 students attended the online webinar about the Ridge to Reef concept and the importance of oyster reef ecosystems. © TNC
Lesson on estuaries As part of the Ridge to Reef webinar, students learned about estuaries, where freshwater meets the ocean. © TNC

Storybook competition

Students aged 11-16 were invited to draw and write an interesting storybook to promote the Ridge to Reef concept. The winning story was Lola & Oscar’s Adventure created by Cloe L. (story) and Tiffany Z. (illustration) of Chinese International School, and the first runner up is Oliver The Oyster by Veda L. Both stories bring out the “Ridge to Reef” concept through the journey of an oyster and cover quite a lot of ecological information.

Storybook Competition

  • An illustrated book cover.

    Lola & Oscar's Adventure

    The winning storybook was written by Cloe L. and illustrated by Tiffany Z.

    DOWNLOAD
  • An illustrated book cover.

    Oliver the Oyster

    The first runner up storybook was created by Veda L.

    DOWNLOAD

Ridge to Reef social media campaign

Students developed a mini-website and an Instagram page to promote the Ridge to Reef concept, introduce the summer interns and promote other competitions and activities. It is estimated about 300 students have been reach through these platforms.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/CEJ2aJ4nTXs/
Mini-website:
https://tncinterners.wixsite.com/ridgetoreef

Ridge to Reef lesson plan

A lesson plan was developed to incorporate the Ridge to Reef concept into the international school curriculum. It has received positive feedback, and a teacher from Canadian International School promised to try the lesson plan next semester. It is expected to reach out to about 100 students when implemented.

2019 Intern Projects

Students developed a mini scientific research project to study how activities on the ridge impact the condition of the reef through a quantitative study of water quality along a river system in Hong Kong.

Students conducted desktop and textbook research on the water parameters in the Tung Chung River. During two field trips to the Tung Chung River, students measured water parameters such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and pH, which were analyzed at four sites along the river from upstream to the estuary. Water samples were taken back to the International School Foundation’s laboratory for bacteria culture and study. 

Two students are taking scientific samples of stream water.
Students doing field work As part of the HKJC education program, students test water in Hong Kong's streams. © Joe Cheung/TNC

Are you an educator that would like to incorporate environmental conservation and/or Ridge to Reef ideas to your students? The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has developed resources and activities for primary and secondary teachers, of any subject, that love nature. These resources range from field trips (COVID-19 restrictions allowing) for student to actively engage with Hong Kong’s ecosystems to lesson plans and newsletters for teachers.

Teachers enrolled in the educator network will have priority to participate in field trips and outdoor visits, to explore wildlife in Hong Kong and new conservation initiatives, as well as having priority to apply for our activities for your students. We welcome secondary and primary school teachers of science subjects, as well as curriculum development officers and interested educators to join.

To join the educator network, contact Conservation Education Manager, Tom Chan, at tom.chan@tnc.org

Sign up for field trips, download our application and send to Conservation Education Manager, Tom Chan, at tom.chan@tnc.org

A group of students building a paper tower.
Students learn about R2R In several schools across Hong Kong, Ridge to Reef is being incorporated into lesson plans. © Tom Chan/TNC

Participating Schools as of January 2021

Canadian International School

Delia Memorial School (Glee Path)

Hong Kong International School

Independent School Foundation Academy

Island School

Kowloon True Light School

Pentecostal Holiness Church Wing Kwong College

Pui Kiu College primary school

South Island School

Learning Hub

Free online R2R resources for educators

  • Pak Nai Field Trip

    Teacher's Manual DOWNLOAD

A stand of mangroves with a small stream running through them.
Mangroves in Pak Nai Mangroves grow at the critical intersection where the land meets the sea. © Lori Cheung/TNC