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International volunteers help protect China's environment
20 February 2006

Beijing, China: Serving as a consultant to the Beijing Olympic Committee, the Global Village of Beijing (GVB) is trying to raise public awareness about environmental problems in China.

GVB has around 1,000 volunteers in GVB. Their work varies from constant interaction with international organizations to environmental protection projects.

Japanese volunteer Ikeda Takeshi said he loves the GVB work. "I always wanted to work in the field of environmentl protection. I was originally working in a Japanese company in Beijing, but I wasn't interested in the work at all. Then one day I went to participate in a community activity organized by GVB, and this is how I got to know the people in the organization," Takeshi said, adding, "One month later, I quit the job and joined GVB last year. Having this great opportunity to work on the environment has been fantastic."

Takeshi is currently working on a project called 'The Dragon Recycling Project', which aims to raise public awareness of the negative impact on the environment caused by irresponsible disposal of waste ink cartridges and computer hardware, and encourages the public to participate in the recycling process.

"What we do is tell people in the communities, schools, companies or on the streets how great an impact the waste computer hardware and ink cartriges have on the environment. We then place a 'recycling bin' in their office and tell them to bring the waste cartridges and drop them into the bin," Takeshi said, adding, "Through the project, we came to realize the great damage "e-waste" (waste electronic and electrical equipment) is causing both to human and the environment, especially in China, which receives 70 percent of the e-waste from all over the world."

Another volunteer, Benjamin Combes from France, said that he was recruited a few months ago to help implement an eco-tourism project in China. He said, "My job is basically to find technical aid from overseas and help local communities and agencies develop sustainable tourism here, which is very new for China NGOs," adding, "That makes me feel I am not just a GVB member, but also a global awareness movement member".