Annual Report - Activities in 2015
HomelandGreen was established on 17 June 2013, the World Day to Combat Desertification and was incorporated in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 32 of the Laws of Hong Kong) on 5 August 2013 as a Hong Kong based non-profitmaking association of volunteers established to enhance public awareness of the threat posed by desertification and land degradation to the world’s sustainable development. We put our motto ‘Be just to the earth, for the good of all beings’ 《善待土地・惠澤眾生》 into practice through collaborating with Hong Kong and overseas institutions and organisations with similar mission; working with local farmers on regenerative soil improvement projects; supporting civilian tree planting projects in China to combat desertification; organising talks and workshops to disseminate the relevant knowledge and skills to the public and sharing our studies and research findings through our website.
Since our inception, the activities we have conducted can be classified into 6 categories:
- Liaison work
- Field visits
- Voluntary tree planting activities
- Educational services in the form of talks and workshops for the public and sponsorship of study trips for voluntary project leaders
- Research projects - Soil improvement project
- Production of teaching materials, videos and writings for sharing purposes
Our major source of income is private and public subscriptions and fund raising. Our major activities are voluntary tree planting, educational services and researches.
- Chairman of HomelandGreen visited SFI Aus in Lismore, Australia in September 2015 and managed to secure the support of Chris Ellery, CEO of SFI Aus, to become a professional partner of HomelandGreen.
- HomelandGreen subscribed to Gold+ membership of Farming Secrets, Australia from which training materials in the form of videos recording of on-site expert talks on the various aspects of land rehabilitation and regenerative farming were procured. These materials are useful for preparing teaching materials for local public consumption through talks, workshops etc. The professional relationship thus built helps facilitate exchanges on good practices among international counterparts.
- HomelandGreen subscribes to Grower and Participating membership of Bionutrient Food Association of USA from which training materials in the form of videos and articles were procured. These materials are also useful for preparing teaching materials for local public consumption through talks, workshops, etc. The professional relationship thus built helps facilitate exchanges on good practices among international counterparts.
For the year 2015, visits were paid mainly to local organic farms to obtain baseline information regarding soil structure, soil biology and compaction level as preparatory work for collaborative research study on the application of regenerative farming principles to improve soil and plant health and nutrition. Major practical and experimental work was done in Blessing Farm 築福農場 for thermal compost making and soil improvement through principle of plant succession.
- On 17-20 July 2015, a member of HomelandGreen sponsored 8 university students from China for another voluntary tree planting trip in Duolun.
- On 14 March 2015, HomelandGreen was invited to share with students of CW Chu College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, its mission and its various experiences of voluntary tree planting to combat desertification in Inner Mongolia under the title ‘Healing a tiny part of our planet – how one can really make a difference’.
- HomelandGreen delivered a talk on ‘Soil and Life’ at 香土學社 on 3 May 2015 to a group of 30+ young farmers and people concerned about sustainable farming.
- HomelandGreen sponsored a voluntary farmer of a charitable farm 築福農場and obtained sponsorship for another three young organic farmers for a training program on Biodynamic Farming in Weizhou.
- HomelandGreen submitted her response to the Government’s consultation Paper on Sustainable agriculture in HK and attended the consultation session.
- HomelandGreen sponsored a young organic farmer of 鄉土學社for two training SFI workshops in Lismore, Australia, one on compost and composting on 1-3 Sept and another one on microscopy on 7-11 Sept 2015.
- Three talks entitled ‘Soil and Life’, ‘Organic? Inorganic?’ and ‘Food Security and Food Safety’ were given to some forty concerned people from the public in the community centre of Wo Che Estate on 29 Sept, 13 and 27 Oct and received very positive feedback. Workshops on thermal composting and Bocashi making were run as follow ups for participants interested in getting hands on experiences.
- HomelandGreen began regular visits to築福農場 from October 2015 on Sundays and shared with the volunteers knowledge about soil tests, thermal composting, soil biology, land rehabilitation and regenerative farming, etc. You Tubes of such sharing were made and disseminate to other practitioners through social network of the volunteers.
- Beginning 26 Oct 2015, HomelandGreen run a study group which met monthly with local young organic farmers to share with them update scientific knowledge about soil health and rehabilitation and offered on site advice to their farms.
- HomelandGreen submitted an application for the Funding Scheme for Youth Exchange in the Mainland 2016-2017(青年內地交流資助計劃) with the objective of getting subsidize for secondary school students from Hong Kong to go voluntary tree planting in Inner Mongolia, to learn more of the problem of desertification in China and the various rehabilitation strategies, thus raising awareness of environmental issues among local young people.
One objective of HomelandGreen is to conduct research project in regenerative farming and share results and findings with local practitioners how to produce environmental friendly, cost effective nutritional farm products through putting into practice the latest scientific knowledge on the subject while at the same time appeal to the public to support regenerative or carbon farming as a way of soil rehabilitation so as to play our role in addressing global warming issues.
The following progress has been made.
- Visits and soil tests were done in seven local organic farms between 8 August 2014 and March 2015.
- Since June 2015, HomelandGreen has paid visit to six local small organic farms to collect baseline data on the condition of their soil and is in the process of working out data collection and management projects with them to see the improvement in soil and plant quality when principles of regenerative farming are applied.
6.1 Translation work
6.1.1 HomelandGreen helped produce the English version of the NPO GreenLife Annual promotional booklet and its publication twice to facilitate the communication of NPO GreenLife with international friends.
6.1.2 HomelandGreen helped produce the Chinese version of the Time Magazine’s coverage on Madam Yi.
6.1.3 HomelandGreen helped produce the Chinese version of the CNN article on the work of Madam Yi of 14 October 2014 and facilitated the communication between a Korean Educational TV and Madam Yi so that her story of combating desertification can be made known to Korean audience.
6.1.4 HomelandGreen helped produce English subtitles for the mini movie 生死承諾, the movie made on the story of Madam Yi who became world renown because of her work in combating desertification.
6.1.5 HomelandGreen, in response to the appeal of the 5 Dec World Soil Day and the 17 June World Day for Combating Desertification, produced Chinee subtitles for the youtubes The Soil Story, IYS_the Living Kingdom beneath our Feet, Microbes in the Living Soil, Soil Solution to Climate Change for easy reference of the local public.
6.2.1 Upon the invitation of the Editorial Board of the HK ICAC Journal for Moral Education, Chairman of HomelandGreen wrote an article "堅持" in their Fortieth Anniversary Issue to share with the public problems of desertification in China and the efforts made by the forestry workmen in combating desertification and point out the importance of tree planting in combating desertification around the globe
6.2.2 HomelandGreen produced a series of thirteen articles entitled ‘Soil and Life’ to raise public awareness of the importance of beneficial microorganism in soil productivity.
6.2.3 A series of articles on China’s history of combating desertification including advancement in scientific understanding of the issue as well as development in relevant technologies and skills were produced.
6.2.4 One of the plantation sites of NPO GreenLife is located in Duolun, Inner Mongolia. A series of articles covering different dynasties on the history of Duolun from which one can deduce the change in ecology of the area over time is produced. The articles serve the educational purpose of raising awareness of the volunteers who come to Duolun for tree planting that desertification is the result of improper soil management.
6.2.5 A series of articles on combating desertification in countries other than China is produced to raise public awareness of the seriousness of world-wide land degradation problem and the importance of revegetation and practice of restorative farming as one of the stragegies to eleviate the detrimental effect on environment and food security.
6.2.6 HomelandGreen has compiled a reference booklet on combating desertication in China for reference of secondary school teachers and the public who wants to know more about how serious is the problem of desertification in China and what the Chinese Forestry Bureau has done to combat desertification for the past 60 years. As one of the plantation sites of NPO-GreenLife, professional partner of HomelandGreen in mainland China, is located in Duolun, Inner Mongolia, which is the major county responsible for the Beijing and Tianjin area sandstorm source control project, a whole chapter was devoted to the ecological change in Duolun and the nearby county for reference of the participants who go voluntary tree planting in Duolun.
HomelandGreen has produced 11 videos on cases of successful revegetation or rehabilitation of degraded land through agroforestry for public education on the topic. Another 6 videos was produced to illustrate the various skills involved in making backyard thermal composts and microscopy work to monitor the quality of composts for farmers who want to put principles of regenerative farming into practice.
6.4 Teaching materials in the form of Powerpoint
HomelandGreen produced 4 Powerpoint for teaching purposes to be introduced to the public through talks, workshops, etc. to disseminate scientific knowledge about soil health and plant health and regenerative farming
All materials produced by HomelandGreen are open for access for the purpose of public education through the HomelandGreen website.