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, 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.

In March 2021, TNC created Ridge to Reef virtual field trip videos as supplementary materials for school sharing and pre-visit materials while waiting for face-to-face student field trips to resume. The virtual field trip videos use Deep Bay as the case study to illustrate Hong Kong’s biodiversity and the R2R concept. The videos have both long and short versions to fit into the learning and teaching needs of local and international schools.

Ridge to Reef Virtual Field Trip This video uses Hong Kong’s Pak Nai to illustrate the R2R approach and explains why we need to act now. (3:37)

Watch the full-length (16:22) video here.

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 new generation of young conservationists, equip them with relevant knowledge and skills, and take practical actions to conserve Hong Kong's ecosystem. Interested students, teachers or management in the education field are welcomed to contact tom.chan@tnc.org to learn more about the Ridge to Reef program. 

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 (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 LEAD component because interns can serve as ambassadors to promote the Ridge to Reef concept to their peers with student-initiated projects. From 2019 to 2021, TNC worked with eighteen students to provide training and guidance on project development, implementation, and evaluation. The students worked on a total of ten projects.

Designed by students
Ridge to Reef Sticker Designed by students © TNC

2021 Summer Intern Projects

PROMOTE RIDGE TO REEF IN SCHOOL

Students’ idea was to promote the Ridge to Reef concept in school. They first interviewed more than 30 students to understand their knowledge of environmental sustainability, R2R concepts, personal behaviors, and concerns in taking sustainable actions. Surprisingly, not all the students had heard about the R2R concepts and that was why the students designed and produced some R2R stickers, info sheets and then distribute them to their classmates, together with a mass announcement about the Ridge to Reef concept in the morning assembly.

Ridge to Reef Info Sheet
Ridge to Reef Info Sheet Designed by students © TNC
Promotion by students
Promotion by students Students helped promote the Ridge to Reef concept in school. © TNC
Students set up a mini exhibition in school with aquaculture debris and oyster shells from Pak Nai’s field trip and wildlife photo of the mudflat.
Mini-exhibition Students set up a mini exhibition in school with aquaculture debris and oyster shells from Pak Nai’s field trip and wildlife photo of the mudflat. © TNC

MINI-EXHIBITION OF OYSTER REEF AND MUDFLAT ECOLOGY

Students set up a mini-exhibition in school with aquaculture debris and oyster shells from Pak Nai’s field trip and wildlife photo of the mudflat, to showcase the local biodiversity and oyster farming industry in Deep Bay. The students also acted as the ambassadors to introduce this exhibition and R2R message to all the senior forms during their biology classes.

RIDGE TO REEF POSTER

Students designed and created an educational poster to promote R2R concepts and ecosystem services to their peers. The poster was hung in their school biology lab.

Students tested to use oyster shell powder as fertilizer
Fertilizer Students tested to use oyster shell powder as fertilizer © TNC

2020 - 2021 Winter Intern Projects

TESTING OF USING OYSTER SHELL POWDER AS FERTILIZER

Students’ main focus was to investigate the use of oyster shells as fertilizer, as well as repurposing used oyster shells rather than being discarded into landfill sites after use in the F&B industry. The students conducted desktop research which showed that there were many potential benefits of using oyster shells as fertilizer, for example, its ability to neutralize soil acidity as well as providing nutrients because of the high calcium content. After that, they gained permission from their school officer and experimented with crushed up, reused oyster shells on potted plants in their school garden.

Prepared by students to promote oyster reef conservation.
Instagram Post Prepared by students to promote oyster reef conservation. © TNC

OYSTER CONSERVATION LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

Students designed one-week extra curriculum activities for primary school students to promote the importance of oyster reefs and their conservation. Activities included tutorials for water filtration experiments, student trips to Pak Nai, and Kahoot quizzes. Luckily the students had the chance to present their ideas, planning and research work to the School Head of Kowloon Junior School. However, with the school suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students could hardly integrate their plan into the school curriculum and they finally turned their target audiences to the public and put their preparation materials on an Instagram page instead.

2020 Summer 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

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 Summer 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

Students learning about R2R in the classroom.
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 November 2021

  • Primary Schools

    1.     Kau Yan School

    2.     Lok Sin Tong Leung Wong Wai Fong Memorial School

    3.     Lingnan University Alumni Association (Hong Kong) Primary School

    4.     Ma On Shan Methodist Primary School

    5.     Pentecostal Yu Leung Fat Primary School

    6.     Po Leung Kuk Lam Man Chan English Primary School

    7.     Pui Kiu College (Primary School Section)

    8.     Sai Kung Central Lee Siu Yam Memorial School

    9.     Tai Po Old Market Public School (Plover Cove)

    10.   Tin Shui Wai Catholic Primary School

    11.   Yan Tak Catholic Primary School

    12.   Yew Chung International School (Primary Section)

    13.   Yuen Long Government Primary School

  • Secondary Schools

    14. Buddhist Fat Ho Memorial College

    15. Buddhist Tai Hung College

    16. Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School

    17. Carmel Pak U Secondary School

    18. Cheung Chau Government Secondary School

    19. Chiu Chow Association Secondary School

    20. Chong Gene Hang College

    21. Christian Nationals' Evangelism Commission Lau Wing Sang Secondary School

    22. Confucius Hall Secondary School

    23. Cotton Spinners Association Secondary School

    24. De La Salle Secondary School New Territories

    25. Delia Memorial School (Glee Path)

    26. Delia Memorial School (Hip Wo)

    27. Fanling Kau Yan College

    28. Fukien Secondary School (Kwun Tong)

    29. Heep Yunn School

    30. Hong Kong Red Swastika Society Tai Po Secondary School

    31. HKBU Affiliated School Wong Kam Fai Secondary and Primary School

    32. HKSKH Bishop Hall Secondary School

    33. HKUGA College

    34. King Ling College

    35. Kowloon True Light School

    36. Lok Sin Tong Yu Kan Hing Secondary School

    37. Ma Kam Ming Charitable Foundation Ma Ko Pan Memorial School

    38. Maryknoll Convent School

    39. Maryknoll Secondary School

    40. Munsang College (Hong Kong Island)

    41. Pentecostal Holiness Church Wing Kwong College

    42. PLK Ho Yuk Ching (1984) College

    43. PLK Laws Foundation College

    44. PLK Lee Shing Pik College

    45. Pope Paul VI College

    46. Precious Blood Secondary School

    47. Pui Ching Middle School

    48. Sacred Heart Canossian College

    49. Semple Memorial Secondary School

    50. Shatin Tsung Tsin Secondary school

    51. Sha Tin Methodist College

    52. Shau Kei Wan Government Secondary School

    53. SKH Leung Kwai Yee Secondary School

    54. Stewards Pooi Kei College

    55. St. Margaret Co-educational English Primary and Secondary School (Secondary School Section)

    56. St. Peter's Secondary School

    57. The AD & FD of POHL Leung Sing Tak College

    58. The Jockey Club Eduyoung College

    59. The Methodist Church Hong Kong Wesley College

    60. True Light Girls College

    61. Tsang Pik Shan (Sung Lan) Secondary School

    62. Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

    63. Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

    64. Wah Yan College, Kowloon

    65. Ying Wa College

    66. Ying Wa Girls' School

  • International Schools

    67. Canadian International School

    68. Chinese International School

    69. Hong Kong International School

    70. Independent School Foundation ISF Academy (Secondary)

    71. Island School

    72. King George V School

    73. South Island School

Learning Hub

Free online R2R resources for educators

  • Pak Nai “Kon Pak Stream” Field Trip

    Teacher's Manual DOWNLOAD

  • Pak Nai Field Trip

    Teacher's Manual DOWNLOAD

  • Pak Nai ID Chart

    Commonly found wildlife in Hong Kong from Ridge to Reef

    Identification Chart DOWNLOAD

TNC appreciates the valuable support and advice from the scholars, teachers and students during the Ridge to Reef lesson plan development:

Dr. Sally Wan, Brian Chan, Chu Yin Ting, Emily Chan Yan Ling, Henry Tsui, Ho Tin Lai, Ip Cho Kiu, Kwok Hiu Lam, Lam Choi Ying, Leung Shong Tung, Moses Wong, Sam Fan Chun Wing, Steven Mak Ho Wang, Yu Wai Ching

Ridge to Reef Virtual Field Trips

Ridge to Reef Virtual Field Trip This video uses Hong Kong’s Pak Nai to illustrate the R2R approach and explains why we need to act now. (16:22)
Ridge to Reef Virtual Field Trip It's important to protect the quality of our watershed, so let’s think about what we can do to help keep our watershed clean and healthy! (3:37)

Ridge to Reef Animations

Ridge to Reef Animation Part 1 The “Ridge to Reef” (R2R) concept is a holistic approach that takes into consideration all the environments within a watershed — from the top of the mountains down to the ocean — and shows that what happens on land affects what happens in the water.
Ridge to Reef Animation Part 2 Our environment, society, culture and economy are all closely related to the watershed.
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