The Christian German School Chiang Mai’s CDSC Forest project wins 2nd place in the competition for German schools abroad by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The competition is held for the 8th time this year under the theme “Students build bridges worldwide”. The aim is to honor exceptional projects by German schools abroad in a wide range of areas, such as social issues, technology and sustainability. Of the 135 German schools abroad, 30 have applied to take one of the first three places, which will receive a total of 120,000 euros in prize money.
DIHK President Peter Adrian explained, “German schools abroad open doors in foreign markets and create viable cooperation networks at the global locations of German companies.”
The award ceremony took place on the 9th of May in Berlin at the House of German Business. There, our chairman of the school board David Nescholta and our principal Markus Brandtner together with students received the prize of 40,000 euros from DIHK President Peter Adrian and the Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Mrs. Katja Keul.
The project “CDSC Forest – Trees for the Future” is about offsetting our school community’s CO2 emissions by planting trees every year. Our annual CO2 footprint was calculated to be approximately 258 tCO2 at the beginning of the project in 2019. And until now, students, teachers and parents have planted 2,000 trees in the process, with plans to continue planting 500 new trees each year. This special project, involving the entire school community, is made possible through our collaboration with the Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU) of Chiang Mai University and the Watershed Management Division of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation of the Thai Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
With the donation run, the whole school community has the opportunity to support the CDSC forest by participating in the run or donating. But it wasn’t just trees that were planted to make our school more sustainable. There were, and still are, ideas from within the school community on how we can improve in this regard. Garbage was collected, single-use plastic was avoided, parents made compost, solar panels were installed, and one week the student representatives called for no food waste to be thrown away.
Through these actions, in addition to offsetting the carbon footprint by planting trees, the school community is made aware of sustainability issues. We can learn together to become more environmentally conscious. And it’s not just us who are changing through this project. We have also inspired some other schools so that now four other schools in Chiang Mai are working with FORRU to plant more trees.
Many thanks to all who made this project possible! Special thanks go to the students who planted and took care of the trees, the teachers and staff of the school who were involved in the project inside and outside the classroom, and to the parents who helped organize the activities and actively supported us! Also, a big thank you to our partners Dr. Stephen Elliott and the FORRU team, as well as Mr. Somsak Mangmee and the Watershed Management Division!
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(Photo: DIHK / Nils Hasenau)