[slideshow] The Island School and The Embassy for the People’s Republic of China celebrated a growing partnership this summer as the Embassy welcomed Bahamian Environmental Steward Scholar alumni (BESS) and Island School alumni Garneisha Pinder (F'10) and Bradley Watson (F'08). Pinder a rising sophomore at The College of The Bahamas and Watson a rising senior at College of Charleston, attended the Training Course on Bio-gas Technology for Developing Countries on May 15th - July 9th. You can hear more about their experiences on our previous blogs about biodigestion, genetic engineering, and making biogas from straw.

The focus of the training was how to effectively create and utilize bio-gas—a process which takes organic wastes like sewage and agricultural runoff and converts them into methane gas, a clean-burning fuel with many applications, such as cooking and heating. This end product is a renewable energy source for both urban and rural areas of China and can be applied anywhere else in the world.

The partnership between the The Embassy for the People’s Republic of China and The the Island School has continued to grow since a visit to campus by the His Excellency Hu Shan last April. During the visit, His Excellency Hu Shan helped open the Cape Eleuthera Institute's Hallig House and toured the school's pilot first-in-The-Bahamas biodigester and biodiesel facilities. The school plans to use both human and pig waste to generate enough energy for cooking food and heating biodiesel. Seeing the work being done at the Island School prompted the Ambassador to offer scholarships to two Bahamian students for the 56-day training course.

The students' aim of the program is to share and implement the renewable energy technologies that they they learned in China in their local communities and throughout The Bahamas. Both Pinder and Watson were exceedingly grateful for the opportunity and experience. "We learned so much about sustainable energy production, with applications for right here in The Bahamas, and I'm excited to put it into practise,  Development in industry, and agriculture should not compromise the environment and I can see biodigestion technology playing a part in reducing the negative impact such development can have on countries like the Bahamas." said Watson.