Saturday, September 19, 2015

MAP staff Joins “Mangrove Conservation Education Consultative Meeting and Study Trip”

Contributed by: 
Ms. Mery Christina Nainggolan
MAP-Asia Volunteer Intern
  On 9-10 September 2015, Jim Enright, Asia Coordinator and Mery Christina Nainggolan, MAP Intern from Indonesia, attended a mangrove conservation consultative meeting and study trip in Bangkok. MAP-Asia was invited by Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for  Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA)  to participate in a consultative meeting and study visit to Khlong Phitthaya Longkorn Primary School and Bangpakong Bovorn Witthayayon Secondary School, as SEAMEO SPAFA has been associated with both schools in their mangrove conservation education by supporting a Mangrove Eco-museum Project and promoting mangrove education teaching materials.   
  SEAMEO SPAFA is an international organization dedicated to promoting co-operation in education, science and culture in Southeast Asia.
Participants are welcomed by Director of Bang Khun Tien District and School Director at Khlong Phitthaya Longkron Primary School
   SEAMEO directors, mangrove environmentalists, educators and practitioners from Khlong Phitthaya Longkorn Primary School and Bangpakong Bovorn Witthayayon Secondary School Thailand joined this event. The objectives of this study visit and consultative meeting was 

   (1)  to discuss possible collaboration in multi-disciplinary project related to mangrove conservation education, as SEAMEO SPAFA aims to promote and expand the school’s best practices in mangrove conservation education to other schools in SEAMEO member countries ; 

   (2) to identify issues of priority for further action; 

   (3) to establish working group to examine the areas of collaboration and collective interest. 

Students learning in the mangrove classroom at Bangpakong Bovorn Witthayayon Secondary School

   The study visit on 9 September 2015 began at Bangpakong Bovorn Witthayayon School, a secondary school which is located in Bang Pakong. The participants walked arround the mangrove study area after a welcome speech by Mr. Sakdetch Jumanee, Director of the school. Bangpakong Bovorn Witthayayon School is situated in a mangrove environment, covering eleven hectares of land and mangroves. 
   Today this school provides education to about eight hundred school children and hires some eighty teachers. SEAMEO SAPAFA began collaboration with this school in 2006 to help develop its Mangrove Eco - Museum project by improving the school curriculum using the mangrove as the nature and cultural learning centre. 
   The assistance includes creating and installing informational signs in Thai and English languages and collaborating with the school in organising a regional workshops in 2007 on making mangrove eco-museum. 
   The outcome of the Mangrove Eco-Museum Project is to infuse environmental subject matter and mangrove conservation issues in the classroom lessons to cultivate students’ awarness and good environmental practices.  The school has made effective use of its natural mangrove as a learning area for students, and also facilitated frequent study visits from other schools and institutions for environmental awareness raising.
Student, Nattason Chunhakantaros showing organic vegetable site to MAP intern, Ms. Mery Christina Nainggolan at Khlong Phitthaya Longkorn Primary School
   After lunch the study visit continued to Khlong Phitthaya Longkorn, a primary school located in Bang Khun Tien District, under the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)It is unique in the fact that it’s the only school in Bangkok with mangroves. As study tour participants arrived at the school they were welcomed by the students performance of traditional music and dancing, followed by the introductory remarks delivered by Director of Bang Khun Thien District.
   After having enjoyed some traditional snacks prepared by the students, participants were guided to visit the mangrove study area, students’ environmental conservation activites booths, and the organic vegetable project site. Khlong Phittaya Longkorn School is set in natural environment that includes mangroves. 
    The school’s effort to conserve, protect and restore the mangrove and environment are based on its curriculum, cultivating awarness of the environment amongst its student through daily activites that sustain conservation practices.  As initial undertakings, SEAMEO SPAFA collaborated with the Khlong Phittaya Longkorn School in publishing a booklet on the school’s mangrove rehabilitation, and in promoting the school as an exemplary model in conservation.   The School in the Mangrove” which can be download as a pdf by clicking this link:
Students on the mangrove walkway at Khlong Phitthaya Longkorn Primary School

 A consultative meeting was held the following day at the Amari Watergate Hotel, Bangkok. The points of discussion are: 
   (A) Areas of collaboration: establishment of sister schools between Thailand and Indonesia;

   (B) Areas of collaboration concerns will be:

  1.  Science teaching; 
  2. Sufficiency economy; 
  3. Conservation and restoration to be sustainable at the community level;
   (C) SEAMEO SPAFA will be in charge of institutionalizing the collaboration between Khlong Phitthaya Longkorn Primary School and Bangpakong Bovorn Witthayayon Secondary School Thailand, partner SEAMEO Centres(i.e. BIOTROP, SEAQIS and SEAMOLEC) and MAP;

   (D) Important to instill values education concerned with environmental protection at a young age to follow them to adult. 

   MAP welcomes this new partnership with SEAMEO SPAFA with the hope MAP’s own Marvelous Mangrove school curriculum can be utilized by selected schools with the mutual goal of increasing mangrove conservation awareness among students in the Southeast Asia Region.

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