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Chinese team to participate in 2016 North American Envirothon in Peterborough

Friday, July 22nd 2016 9:35:06am

Team from a Shanxi Normal University-affiliated high school in Xi'an to represent China

(Toronto, ON, July 22, 2016) - As the host of the 2016 North American Envirothon (NAE), Forests Ontario will proudly welcome more than 250 students on 51 teams from Canada and the United States to Trent University in Peterborough from July 24th-29th. This year, the competition will focus on the theme of invasive species, an issue that is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the Canada and the US. The event is the culmination of local Envirothon programs, where students compete while studying the science and sustainability of our natural ecosystems.

This year, Canadian and U.S. students competing in the North American Envirothon will face a Chinese team for the first time. A team from a high school affiliated with Shanxi Normal University in Xi'an won its regional competition and will serve as China’s representative at the 2016 North America Envirothon. The Chinese team members are Jinyang Wan, Xinhao Liu, Liming Xiao, Shuhao Liang, and Zisen Li, and hail from Xi'an, China.

The Chinese team is coming to Canada to learn more about the Envirothon program, with hopes of growing the program in China. The team will participate in the competition with the teams from Canada and U.S., but are not eligible to receive prize money.

For over 30 years, the Envirothon has engaged high school students across North America. Every year more than 60,000 students, teachers and volunteers take part in this program, venturing to natural areas to work together and alongside mentors to address local environmental challenges by applying skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

2016 NAE Quick Facts:

· 260 students
· 150 visitors and advisors
· 52 provinces and states
· 7 provinces, 45 states
· Prizes: $30,000 USD [$15,000 for top team ($3,000 each), $10,000 2nd team ($2,000 each) and $5,000 3rd place ($1,000 each)]

During the NAE students will be led through workshops that focus on the science and sustainable management of soils, wildlife, forests, and aquatic ecosystems. Following workshops, students complete a series of challenges testing their skills in addressing environmental problems. Testing integrates exercises like soil and water analysis, habitat restoration, forest management, and wildlife tracking.

“The students joining us at Trent University have proven their skills and knowledge at the local level. The NAE is the chance for the best and brightest to challenge and learn from one another,” says Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. “Throughout the Envirothon program, from the local level up to the NAE, students are building a sense of community and empowerment, learning how their actions can shape the future and how they can work together to have a positive impact on our environment.”

“The challenges of climate change, pollution, and invasive species transcend borders. By participating in the Envirothon program both countries are working together to teach our youth the value of managing our natural resources. Through this program, students start by learning in their home towns to understand the challenges facing international ecosystems and apply their knowledge to make a positive impact,” says Rich Duesterhaus of the National Conservation Foundation (NCF) based in Washington, D.C. and the coordinating organization of Envirothon across North America. “Our international program creates a rewarding and engaging experience that connects students to our environment from a young age. We’re inspiring them to continue this movement by becoming future leaders, innovators, and champions of our natural environment.”

Creating connections between students and mentors also builds student awareness of the wealth of careers in the field. The competition structure of the program allows students to be rewarded for learning about the natural environment and to engage with fellow environmental enthusiasts from different regions and backgrounds.


Media Contact
Jeannette Holder, Communications Manager, Forests Ontario
E: jholder@forestsontario.ca Ph: 416-646-1193 ext.257

About Forests Ontario
Forests Ontario is the voice for our forests. Working to promote a future of healthy forests sustaining healthy people, Forests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas, as well as the renewal and stewardship of Ontario’s forests through restoration, education and awareness. Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow @Forests_Ontario.

About NCF-Envirothon
NCF-Envirothon is a hands-on, environmental problem-solving, leadership development program that includes a competition involving high school students annually throughout North America. Participating teams complete training and testing in five natural resource categories: soils/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife and current environmental issues. The program combines in-class curriculum and hands-on field experiences to provide a natural resources encounter for students.

For more information on this exciting program visit www.envirothon.org