"For the Green of Mangroves" Clubs - Communication Model for Lower Secondary School Students in Thanh Hoa Province

 
Hoi thi RNMHaiLocVietnamNTHuong2012

Mangroves contest, Thanh Hoa province, Viet Nam © MERD, 2012

Objectives

Raising awareness of lower secondary school students on mangrove ecosystem protection in 3 coastal communes of Minh Loc, Hai Loc and Da Loc, in Hau Loc district, Thanh Hoa province in the context of climate change.

Background

More than 30 years ago, mangroves existed in four coastal communes of Xuan Loc, Hai Loc, Hoa Loc and Da Loc. Mangroves grew best in two communes of Xuan Loc and Hoa Loc, followed by Da Loc and Hai Hoa communes. However, most of the mangroves in Xuan Loc, Hoa Loc and Hai Loc were destroyed because of sea-dyke construction, land use conversion from mangroves to rice plantations, and construction of shrimp ponds.

Since 1980, international organizations such as Save the Children UK, the Japanese Red Cross, Action for Mangroves Japan and CARE international supported the rehabilitation of 464 ha of mangroves, of which 224 ha of Kandeliaobovata, 170 ha of Kandelia obovata (newly-planted) and 74 ha of Sonnertiacaseo/ariswere planted.

In 2005, typhoon Damrey caused severe damage to Hau Loc District, Thanh Hoa Province. Of the 5 km sea-dyke forming the perimeter of the district, housing and property was destroyed along the 3.7 km without mangrove habitat, whereas those behind the remaining 1.3 km with intact mangrove habitat were protected.Afterthis event local communities started realizing the importance of mangroves.

From 2010-2015, the Central Viet Nam Calamities Relief Fund invested VND 20 billion for planting 200 ha of mangroves in the three communes of Minh Loc, Hai Loc and Da Loc. This will require continued strong commitment from the communities to conduct post-planting care and protect replanted mangroves to sustain the investment. Environmental education to the young generation as the "Mcitizens of tomorrow" is essential to secure mangrove protection and conservation in these communes.

Based on a feasibility study, MERD proposed to implement the project by focusing on informal education activities on mangroves for students and teachers in three lower secondary schools in these three communes.

Target beneficiaries

- More than 100 students, members of 3 For the Green of Mangroves Clubs from 3 schools.
- 2500 students from 3 schools educated the knowledge on mangroves and climate change via the informal education program. 
- 70 teachers from 3 schools participating in Training of Trainers on use of “Informal education modules on mangrove ecosystem and CC for students”.
- 20,000 people from 3 communes accessing information on mangroves and climate change.

Outputs

  • Establishment of "For the Green of Mangroves" clubs at three lower secondary schools, namely Minh Loc, Hai Loc and Da Loc. 
  • Development of a set of educational materials on mangrove ecosystems and climate change for lower secondary school students and teachers.
  • Organization of a series of awareness and capacity building activities on mangrove ecosystems and climate change for lower secondary school students and teachers, including :
  1. Workshops to disseminate the documents to relevant stakeholders in the province; 
  2. Training of trainers (ToT) for teachers on the guidelines on use of 'Informal education modules on mangrove ecosystem and climate change for students'';
  3. Integrating relevant documents into the school curricula;
  4. Organization of awareness activities on mangrove and climate change for students. 

Accomplishments and challenges

  • Three clubs were established, each of which includes five teachers and thirty students, selected from all classes of the schools. These clubs are chaired by experienced and enthusiastic teachers with relevant technical knowledge. Club regulations were formulated by the club members. These clubs continue to run as part of extra-curricular activities for the school teachers and students.
  • The three clubs meet each month to review the previous month's activities and prepare work plans for the following period. They have organized school events like "Our fatherland's seas and islands", "Mangroves and climate change painting contest'' as well as three mangrove knowledge contests jointly held among three school clubs.
  • There was a change in the knowledge and awareness of the students through their active participation in regular club activities and public campaigns and events such as "Clean up coastline" and "Cleaner world", "World Environment Day", and "Vietnam Seas and Islands week".
  • One of the three schools (Minh Loc school) was selected by the District People's Committee to host the meeting to celebrate World Environment Day (5 June 2012).
  • Two sets of educational materials, one for students and one for teachers, were produced and used as reference materials for club activities and biology, geography and core curriculum classes. This is a significant achievement to incorporate education materials into curricula as this will presumably be sustained by teaching through mainstream education system each year.
  • Teachers were active in sharing knowledge about mangroves in the provincial teaching competition as well as raising awareness on mangroves with local authorities and organizations. One teacher in Da Loc secondary school won the first prize in the province's "Excellent teaching competition" for her lecture on the role of mangrove ecosystems, using teaching materials from the project. 

Contributions to cross-cutting themes

- Communications

- Climate change

Lessons Learned

  • Secondary school students were recognized as a priority target group for awareness raising activities for long-term behavioral change.
  • The project's knowledge products, such as educational materials for students and teachers, on the roles of mangroves and climate change were very useful. Teachers were active in integrating this knowledge into their lessons. This mainstreaming of education in the main school's curriculum means sustainability of education regardless of what happens to the clubs.
  • Students' drawings and product exhibits attracted MG (the SGF project partner of GXCEC) and the enterprise showed interest to utilize these for souvenir production. This showed the potential for cooperation between MG and the schools clubs to sustain the project outcomes.
  • Although the establishment of clubs received support from local commune authorities and schools, sustainability to run the clubs after the project was completed not only needed verbal commitments from schools in continuing the clubs as extra-curricular activities, but also needed commitment to follow-up actions such as expanding to other local communities. Teachers should help raise awareness on the importance of mangroves, share their product exhibits with other schools in neighboring areas and maintain them for the next generation of students to showcase the project's achievements and sustain the results.
  • Club activities depended on the teaching schedules and extra-curricular plans of the schools, resulting in some delay during the implementation. The clubs and schools should have agreed on work plans in organizing activities to avoid overlapping schedules.

Project Facts

Country

Location

Thanh Hoa is a coastal province loacted in the Northen Central region, with the 102km of coastal line. Hau Loc is one of the six coastal districts of Thanh Hoa province.

Topic

Duration

1st Oct 2011 to 31st Mar 2013

MFF Grant Amount

VND482,650,000

Implementing Partner

Ms. Tran Minh Phuong - Project Coordinator

MANGROVE ECOSYSTEM RESEARCH DIVISION (MERD)

Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES)

Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU)

 No.58, Thinh Hao I lane, Ton Duc Thang street, Hanoi, Vietnam

Tel. 84-4-7335625; Fax: 84-4-7335624

E-mail: merd@netnam.vn

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