Project Mukdahan shines in cameo showing
on world stage. High school initiative covered
at UN website
Porpot Changyawa Thursday September 5th 2002
An environmental project by high school
students in Mukdahan province was featured by
the Earth Summit on Sustainable Development,
which ended yesterday in Johannesburg, South
The project, aimed at creating a sustainable
hotel business, was showcased at
www.virtualexhibit.net, a joint website of the
UN Development Programme and Business Action for
The site provides a multi-media overview of
development projects around the globe, as well
as highlights of the two-week summit. Under
``Project Mukdahan,'' the country's first
development project to be presented in English,
students were asked to observe the management of
a local hotel and identify changes that could
benefit the environment.
"The 30-minute [telephone] interview
I had with UN staff was barely enough to tell
them about everything we did,'' said Supannee
Ariyamukda, who gave a report on the two-year
The more than 90 students who participated in
the project put forward suggestions on improving
water and electricity consumption, waste
management and hygiene during their seven-day
survey of the hotel. "We bombarded them [the
hotel staff] with negative comments,'' said
Kunchanit Roupdee, one of the students involved.
The students reported their findings to their
colleagues, teachers and staff from EON
Foundation, which co-founded the project, before
revisiting the hotel to check on its progress in
implementing their ideas.
Suggestions adopted by the hotel included
switching to energy-saving light bulbs and
producing fertiliser from organic litter.
Students involved in the project said they
had gained a better understanding of the
challenges facing businesses looking to become
more environmentally friendly.
"It wasn't the hotel we aimed to change, it
was the students,'' said Graham Harper of EON
Foundation. ``They now realise there are three
factors at play in sustainable development -
economic, social and environmental.''