The children of Guizhou will grow up to be the inheritors of a province that suffers from pollution among the worst in China.
But there is always the hope for a greener tomorrow - and with this in mind a charity in Hong Kong has raised money to provide young students in Guizhou with information on their environment.
More than 1,500 Hong Kong people, mostly students and their parents, attended a charity concert yesterday in support of an environmental education program in Guizhou.
The event, organized by the Conservancy Association, aims to raise funds to produce environmental education teaching kits and posters, which will be distributed to 16,000 primary schools in the province.
The hope is that more than five million teachers and students will benefit from the project.
Lister Cheung, the association's chief executive, said that the land erosion and water pollution problems in Guizhou are among the most serious on the mainland.
Destruction of vegetation cover, flooding and desertification are all human-caused problems in the province. Even worse, serious soil erosion has limited agricultural activities.
Water sources have been polluted by uncontrolled domestic and industrial waste discharges, while invaluable plant and animal species are under serious threat in the province, Cheung said.
"We hope to enrich mainland students' knowledge on the disastrous results of the destruction of vegetation cover and pollution of natural resources," he said.
The teaching kits and posters will be distributed in the province next month.
"We hope that the schools will bring the messages to students in classes," Cheung said.
Although the pollution problem could not be resolved overnight, environmental protection education aims to plant seeds among students to arouse their concern and care for the environment, she said.
Earlier, the association invited local organizations and schools to donate money to produce educational resource kits and posters. So far the association has raised about HK$100,000.
This is the first time that the association has organized a charity concert, themed on Chinese folk songs, to raise funds.
The association invited members from the Music Farm, a music education organization, and folk music bands to perform at the concert.
"Apart from raising money, we have found that the staging of a concert is a good way to enable Hong Kong citizens, who are enthusiastic on environmental protection, to come and work together to promote the matters in the community," Cheung said.
She added that local students will help raise funds in their schools to support the charity.
Similar activities will be organized to raise funds for "green" education projects in Yunnan and Guangxi next year.
(China Daily September 30, 2004)