BIOTROP agreed to collaborate with three other SEAMEO Centres to undertake a Mangrove Conservation Education Project starting next year. The three SEAMEO Centres are the Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA), Regional Centre for Quality Improvement of Teachers and Education Personnel in Science (SEAQIS) and the Regional Open Learning Centre (SEAMOLEC).
The collaborative project was the result of the mangrove conservation education consultative meeting and study trip organized by SPAFA on 9-10 September 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand as a follow up of the initial discussion during the SEAMEO Centre Directors Meeting in July 2015.
SPAFA has been engaged with Khlong Phitthaya Longkorn Primary School (KPLPS) and Bangpakong Bovorn Witthayayon Secondary School (BBWSS) in their mangrove conservation education by supporting a Mangrove Eco-museum Project that uses the mangrove as nature and cultural learning centre, and promoting mangrove education teaching materials. SEAMEO SPAFA aims to promote and expand the best practices of these schools in mangrove conservation education to other schools in SEAMEO member countries. Indonesia was chosen to be the first country for the expansion of these best practices in mangrove conservation education.
The collaboration will require BIOTROP and SEAQIS to identify sister schools for KPLPS and BBWSS in Indonesia to adopt the mangrove education curriculum and teaching materials. The four SEAMEO Centres are expected to develop the project proposal before the end of this year. SPAFA, as the lead Centre for this project, will be responsible in institutionalizing the partnerships among the schools, SEAMEO Centres, and other partner-institutions to be involved through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is expected to be signed by early next year.
As part of the MoU, BIOTROP will organize a seminar-workshop in May 2016 for officials of schools and SEAMEO Centres involved to discuss the project concept and agree on specific activities to be carried out throughout the 3-year MoU period.
Also present during the consultative meeting and study trip were officials and representatives of KPLPS, BBWSS, and Mangrove Action Project (MAP) Southeast Asia. MAP Southeast Asia is expected to play a facilitator role in linking SEAMEO Centres involved with their experts on mangrove curriculum.