22nd April – Earth Day is an annual event celebrated world- wide to generate support for environmental protection. It was first organised in 1970 and millions of Americans took to the streets to demonstrate peacefully for a healthier environment. It is an important day to reflect on the care of our planet and all forms of life that inhabit it.
At SGS we join the celebration with a firm commitment to the environment with our projects:
We participate in the conservation of ‘La Serrania de Minas,’ a nature reserve of about 1,482 acres in south-west Colombia, in the department of Huila. The reserve has an Andean ecosystem with an abundant forest of oak and Colombian pine trees; carpeted by ferns, moss, orchids and bromeliads that turn mountains into luxuriant natural gardens.
Since August 2016, Saint George’s School has been financing an environmental research project into the beauty of the biological landscape of the Andean forest; and at the same time consolidating its involvement in the conservation of the environment in the district of La Argentina and the suitable use of the natural resources available there.
‘La Serrania de Minas’ is home to more than 150 species of birds and 14 recorded species of mammals of which two, the Spectacled Bear and the Puma are the largest mammals in South America. These animals are crucial to the Andean ecosystem because they disperse seeds and keep in check the proliferation of species detrimental to other ecosystems.
The conservation of the ‘Serrania de Minas’ is essential as an incentive to find out more about the vast natural resources of Colombia. Of equal importance is the preservation of the ecosystem services provided in the area of the upper basin of the Magdalena River that are vital to the social and economic dynamics of the country.
Another project is the progression towards eco-friendly technologies, like the installation of 22 solar panels that generate 5% of the energy used in the School and reduce carbon emissions. The students are made fully aware of the relevance of this technology that will become a norm in their future lives.
At present energy is produced by methods that are using up non- renewable natural resources and generate enormous quantities of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Renewable energy sources provide the best alternative for the preservation of nature and its biodiversity and for the improvement of the quality of life of the communities that live in isolated areas. The government is now offering incentives and financial benefits for such projects.
The School will continue to take positive measures and to strengthen the environmental awareness of the whole community.
Let us look after our planet; it is our responsibility!