Four guests from HSBC’s Corporate Sustainability team swapped their desks for freshwater testing kits recently, when they joined a Citizen Science Leader (CSL) training day, led by Earthwatch, in Shanghai.
The guests joined 18 other participants from HSBC on 28th March in the Wusong Paotaiwan Wetland Forest Park. It was the 13th team to be trained in Shanghai to date, and the first to be delivered in English. The new CSLs learnt about local and global freshwater challenges, and gained skills in capturing scientific data from freshwater bodies.
Following the training the new CSLs, many with their families, and the guests, attended an Earth Hour evening event organised by WWF at HSBC's Shanghai Head Office.
After an early buffet supper served in the staff restaurant, WWF organised some activities for the children. The games had an environmental theme and finished with each child writing their wish on leaf-shaped paper, which they stuck to a tree drawn on one wall. One child wanted his father to drive less. One wished for the sky to stay blue.
Sue Alexander, Senior Manager for Environmental Programmes at HSBC was one of the guests on the day. "I was inspired by the words from these young people," said Sue, "and impressed by how aware they are of our natural world, many at such a young age."
HSBC Staff join in family events for Earth Hour, making pledges for the environment. c. SUN Xiaodong / WWF-UK
At 8.30pm the lights at the venue were turned off and lit by small solar lanterns. Together they witnessed the lights being turned off in many commercial and tourist buildings along the Huang Pu River.
The Shanghai freshwater research team are examining the relationship between changes in water quality at the Huangpu River Network over time, and environmental factors such as land use and weather.
The data collected by CSLs will increase the amount of information available about this region’s water and help understand the effectiveness of water quality improvement programmes previously implemented in the area.
The Shangai FreshWater Watch project is led by Dr. Yuchao Zhang and Dr. Hongtao Duan, of the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Science.