School Trip to Laos for students from 2nd Ecology and Territory

From 9 to 13 May - School Trip to Laos

From the 9th to the 13th of May,  2019, 26 students from the Seconde Ecology and Territories class, accompanied by their teachers, Mrs I. Chapeau Lebon, Mr R. Moulin and Mr B. Hoareau, went to Laos.

After arriving on site and being welcomed by the director of the Elephant Conservation Center (ECC), they found themselves immersed in an Asian elephant refuge, and were able to live the rhythm of this camp located around a hundred kilometers from Luang Prabang, the capital.

ECC, founded in 2001 by Sébastien Duffillot, from the very beginning blended all the values of sustainable development into its approach. To this end, the center, whose primary objective is to preserve Asian elephants (a species listed in the IUCN Red List), is partly powered by solar energy, is sparing in its use of water, and thus limits its environmental impact. Moreover, the center provides jobs and works closely with the local population.

The program during our stay:

  • Visit to socialization and enrichment areas for elephants;
  • Collection and preparation of meals for residents of the center;
  • Exploration of the reintroduction programs for the species in their natural environment;
  • Hospital and care zone visit, led by a veterinary assistant;
  • Traditional plant fiber weaving;
  • Visit to the capital Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage city.

The students came back at the end of these all too few days of adventure, eyes filled with wonder, with increased sensitivity to environmental issues in general, and more specifically to that of the preservation of Biodiversity.

We especially want to thank our sponsor, Veolia, who supported us from the beginning of the project!

1 April - Presentation to Veolia 

On Monday 1 April, in the late afternoon, students from 2nd Ecology and Territory presented their coming trip to Laos to Mr Pelletier and Mrs Chalet from Veolia, sponsor of their project.

The aim was to explain the objectives of this educational project focused on Sustainable Development as well as to detail the activities they will carry out on site.

The trip will take place from May 9th to 13th, 2019.

In groups of 2 or 3, the students presented some slides first on the preservation of biodiversity, then described the difficulties faced by Asian elephants and finally their situation in Laos. It was an excellent exercise and students managed to make the audience aware of the importance of these topics.

Then Mr Hoareau, who will accompany them during the trip, gave details about the Elephant Conservation Center that will host the students and he exposed the program on site:

The first day will be dedicated to discovering the Center: meeting with veterinarians and biologists in this hospital for elephants, elephant bath and advice on how to behave in contact with an elephant, explanation on the dense forest of Nam Tien and its biodiversity.

On day 2 and day 3, students will do eco-volunteer activities:

  • Cognitive enrichment activities with elephants in the form of games: hidden food or mud bath to stimulate them;
  • Development and maintenance of the socialization zone: clean, cut grass around the electric fence, protect trees, …;
  • Observation and recording of elephant behaviour, taking notes in the 'socialization' zone with the biologists’ team;
  • Collection of dietary supplements (banana, sugar cane and fodder) for feeding elephants;
  • Tree nursery: restoration of plots destroyed by elephant pastures;
  • Creation of paper made from mulberry and elephant dung

The students then answered the questions and warmly thanked representatives of Veolia for their support in this project.

We wish them a good trip, fruitful on all levels and look forward to the story of their trip and photos!