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  • Volvo Adventure

    10/05/2011

    Programme Overview
    The Volvo Adventure is an educational environmental award programme organized annually by Volvo and is officially endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It seeks to promote environmental innovation and aspirations among young people aged 13 to 16 from around the world. The programme was launched in 2001.

    Out of the hundreds of submissions of environmental projects from around the world, a handful of these are short-listed to participate in the Volvo Adventure final.

    These final projects are presented to a jury that comprises representatives from Volvo, UNEP, WWF, the World Scout Organisation and renowned environmentalists. Three top projects are selected with the first prize of US $10,000 going to the first place winners, while the second and third prize projects receives $6,000 and $4,000, respectively.

    The Volvo Adventure award is for teams of two to five young people working on a practical action project that will improve their school or community environment. It is an award for ongoing environmental projects that have had a positive impact on the environment. If the project just started, Volvo Adventure would also offer resources to help participants to plan and develop their projects based on successful past projects.


    Projects can focus on any environmental subject. Examples of previous projects include:

    • Biodiversity – how young people help animals and plants in their community.
    • Waste – what young people have done to reduce waste, reuse and recycle more.
    • Water – how young people improved the water quality in their community or school.
    • Energy – how young people helped to reduce energy use or make it more sustainable.
    • Transport – how young people campaigned to reduce local traffic congestion.

    The best entries will be asked to join an international conference to present their ideas in Sweden and compete for the final prizes. All of the ideas and action plans will be published and presented to the United Nations Environment Programme. 

    For more information, please visit www.volvoadventure.org.

    This year, a Malaysian Team is one of the finalists

      Name of project:    Every step counts!
        http://www.volvoadventure.org/getFile.aspx?id=19843.
      Project duration:    7 months (Mac 2009 – September 2010)
      Submission of project: Jan 2011.
      School Name: Sek. Men. Keb. Serdang, Serdang, Kedah Darulaman 09800
      Leaders name: Renuka Ramakrishnan (Email: renukaesd@hotmail.com)
      Names of the students: Noorsuraya Kamila Mohd Salleh, Kaviraj Raman, Mohanaraj
        Krishnan, Ang Yue Shuang (age within 15-17 y.o)


    How did this school found out about the programme:

    A teacher who is also the project leader, Ms. Renuka, accidentally found out about this program while she was browsing the internet for current news on environmental issues. She is an active environmentalist who strongly believes that education plays an important role in saving the planet. She always encourages people around her, especially her students to take care of their environment and to contribute positive role in order to heal the world and make it a better place for the entire human race. Hence, this effort came to life. Initially, there were 20 students but most of them left the programme and at the end only 4 remained.

    About the project

    Every Step Counts is an effort by the school team members from SMK Serdang, Kedah, Malaysia in addressing climate change phenomenon. They have conducted 10 simple and practical activities that helps to reduce CO2 emission. The team managed to bring close the whole school, local community and local authority together in solving climate change issues. Besides providing a good knowledge and awareness on climate change, the activities also made them realize that small things that they do locally can lead to big changes globally. Overall, the project enshrines a lifelong commitment and continues in seeking creative solutions for climate change.

    Subject:
    Climate Change is the greatest environmental challenge for the globe currently. Associated impacts include melting of polar ice, increased in extreme weather events such as floods, cyclones and tornadoes. To avoid these devastating effects of climate change, CO2 emissions need to be cut by at least 50% in the coming decades. Therefore combating climate change became everyone’s responsibility. Simple and small actions of every individual will make a big difference for our mother earth. “Every step counts” is an effort at our school level to address climate change.

    Project objectives:
    The general aim of this project is to inculcate knowledge and awareness about co2 emission and its impact towards climate change to our local society. They want our society to realize that every individual has a role to play in reducing CO2 emission. They believe that the knowledge and awareness will lead to a better attitude towards addressing climate change issues.

    They believe that every step taken by our students, school staffs, local community and local authority will help to reduce CO2 emission. As for the students, this project offers “hands on experience” which helps to convert the theoretical knowledge on climate change learned in the classroom to practical solutions. It also helps to promote creativity, innovation, leadership quality, good communication skills, time management and teamwork spirit. The effort by this team is a paradigm shift to change the environmental laws and to bring about new legislation to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This project is also desired to bring close the school, local community and local authority together in solving climate change issues. Ultimately, through this project they wish to infuse the concept of “sustainability towards environment” so that our future generations will have a good and happy environment to live in.

    “Every Step Counts” is mainly an effort to address Climate Change by reducing CO2 emission. “Every Step Counts” means everybody can help the world from their own community.

    In the period of 19 months, the team members had worked closely with teachers and local communities in many activities that could bring awareness to reduce CO2 emission. They also gained support from Local Authority who welcomed their ideas and activities with open arms. All the activities were done after the school hours to avoid the students from missing their classes. Among the activities done including:

    • Banner of support
    • Save energy campaign
    • Tree planting project
    • Recycle campaign
    • Preparing Brochures and Bookmarks
    • Encouraging students to stay at school hostel
    • Traffic Light
    • Green Corner
    • Zero Plastic Day
    • Survey on Co2 Emission Awareness

    What have they achieved? 

    • Banner of Support – Support from the local people as a symbol of promise to reduce CO2 emission.
    • Save Energy Campaign – 12 out of 23 families that we campaigned managed to reduce electricity consumption by 20%.
    • Zero Plastic Bag Day – The school canteen uses 3 kg of plastic bags everyday.  On “Zero Plastic Bag Day” no plastic bags were used. 1kg of plastic bag emits = 6kg of CO2. Therefore they managed to reduce 18kg of CO2.
    • Green Corner – By having a green corner in the classroom, content of oxygen increases in the air thus giving a scenic view.
    • Traffic Light - They wrote to the local authority and get the traffic light fixed.
    • Bookmarks & Brochures - 100 bookmarks in various shapes with tips hand written on each bookmark were produced.
    • Tree Planting Project - Team members distributed neem seedlings planted in a coconut husk for 20 families.
    • Recycle Campaign – Total amount of papers collected from April – July 2010 is 937.5kg. Recycling Recycling 1 tonne of papers = save 17 trees. From the data collected, they have saved 16 big trees on the earth.
    • School hostel – 200 students are staying at the school hostel now.
    • Climate Change Survey – The awareness increased significantly.

    Project gallery:





    The Volvo Adventure is an educational environmental award programme organized annually by Volvo and is officially endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It seeks to promote environmental innovation and aspirations among young people aged 13 to 16 from around the world. The programme was launched in 2001.
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