Students experience Indonesian jungle

Christchurch Boys' High School students during their trip to South East Indonesia.

After hiking through a remote jungle and diving around coral reefs, a group of students have a new-found respect for the environment.

Twelve students from Christchurch Boys’ High School went to south-east Indonesia to take part in a conservation project led by NASA.

Biology teacher Simon Brouwer, who accompanied the students on the trip, said it was an ‘eye-opening’ experience.

“There were certain places you just wouldn’t get to see on a normal holiday unless you were incredibly intrepid,” he said.

“It could be brutal, you meet a few little snakes and things that you need to watch out for.”

The aim of the project, which was hosted by conservation organisation Operation Wallacea, was to measure carbon emissions from trees.

The data collected would be used to identify and assist areas across the world that needed protection.

Mr Brouwer said the boys rose to each mental and physical challenge they encountered.

“It was a completely different world where you’re sleeping in hammocks and have rudimentary toilets . . . but the boys really liked the fact that you’re not getting bogged down by technology. They got to the end of it and didn’t really want to leave.”

One of the students who went on the trip was 17-year-old Danny Schefer.

He said he had always been interested in conservation, so putting his hand up was an easy decision.

But the trip definitely pushed him out of his comfort zone.

“The trekking was tough going, we were out for about five hours each day. And the meals were tough as well, it was just rice with a few accessories to it.”

“As the week went on I got used to the schedule and really got stuck into it all.”

He said he planned on pursuing more conservation expeditions in the future.

“I learned not to take anything for granted, in terms of seeing how the environment can be so easily destroyed. It makes you think about how fragile the world is.”