The city of Hat Yai in Southern Thailand is home to the first Climate Justice Ambassadors in Thailand after teacher Benjamas Nak-long organized a great Plant-for-the-Planet Academy as part of a two-day eco camp, where students slept over at At Hat Yai Wittayalai 2 School and worked on several ecological issues as well as having fun with Thai (and Western) dancing and various games. On the first day, they identified all trees on campus and researched more information about those trees on the internet. Day 2 was dedicated to Plant-for-the-Planet. But the programme went far beyond a “traditional” Plant-for-the-Planet Academy.
Not only 180 foxtail palms were planted around the school grounds, Effective Microorganisms (EM) balls were prepared and thrown into a pond next to the school that had died and will be able to regenerate with the help of the bacteria in the EM balls. Benjamas Nak-long, besides being a science teacher also teaches meditation. And in her work on environmental education that is already going on for several years and earned her several prizes, she uses meditation to strengthen the environmental activists for their difficult mission. Thus, we used some simple meditation techniques during the course of the Academy to get focused and “recharge our batteries”.
The world game turned into a very interesting exercise. At coffee break, the drinks and bread were given out to “Africans”, “Americans”, “Europeans” and “Asians” according to the amount of wealth that those countries have in real life. This resulted in some overconsumption in North America and Europe, while Africans became very sad. At the camp, we had the participation of a group of international volunteers from Canada, the UK, Spain and South Africa who also joined the world game as representatives of their continents. At the end of the game, they started an interesting discussion, where Africa said “you mustn’t blame people for burning coal, if they just want better lives” and Europe asking: “It is easy to redistribute wealth if you can just throw a piece of bread across the room, but how can we do this in real life?” The Asians (Thai) just watched and listened to those discussions, while North America didn’t really perceive what was happening in the rest of the world, they were too busy figuring out what to do with so much food…
Here you can watch a video with pictures from the Academy generated by one of the Ambassadors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYvpe3k0ghs (or you can get angry at copyright enforcement measures that try to ensure that the commercial music industry will continue to earn billions) Here are all the pictures and some more videos: