Pilot Green Club Activities in Southern Lao PDR
Asia/Pacific > Southeast Asia > Lao People's Democratic Republic
The aim of this project is to pilot training of teachers in rural areas on environmental education (EE) activities. The project will be conducted in an area which is located between 2 national protected areas (Xe Pian and Dong Houa Sao) and is therefore a place of high priority for biodiversity conservation.
Project activities will work towards educating teachers on environmental issues, biodiversity, conservation principles and designing a school-based EE programme. EE activities will emphasize the link between local livelihoods and environmental quality, and provide low cost, hands-on methods of presenting EE to students, both practical and relevant to everyday's life.
Lao’s unique biodiversity is now severely threatened by increasing deforestation, illegal wildlife trade, high population growth, and large infrastructure projects.
Loss of biodiversity and natural resources has direct impact on the national economy and, in particular in rural areas, immediate negative impact on the income and well being of the poorest sectors of society who depend on the environment for their livelihoods and subsistence.
To maintain biodiversity and natural resources there is a need for communities to have a better understanding of human impacts on the natural environment and how it affects the resources on which they depend.
The project's goal is to improve the understanding of human impacts on the environment and promote environmental stewardship among children in target villages.
The project will follow the headlines of the subject “the world around us” in primary education curriculum by the Ministry of Education. The aim is to give teachers new tools and ideas for teaching and practical application of the relationship between humans and the environment. The primary education curriculum encourages teachers to implement the new student-centred methods of teaching.
This project will help emphasize and support these teaching methods through EE activities and practice formation of green clubs.
The project will also support the goals set by the national strategy on environmental education and awareness, which defines the strategy for EE in Lao PDR until 2020. The strategy was signed by the Prime Minister in June 2007 and will be distributed in October. It lays out a framework for EE and awareness, and supports continued EE throughout the country.
The theoretical training workshop will build on work done by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the National University of Lao PDR (NUoL), as well as work of the local non-profit association PADTEC who has strong participatory techniques and a training model on the value of wetlands to local communities and schools over the past year. Trainers from NUoL and PADTEC will be used in both the adaptation and technical training workshop.
The project will coordinate with the Science Technology and Environment Agency (STEA), who is currently planning a nationwide EE curriculum for teacher’s training colleges. The project will also build on recommendations from the national biodiversity strategy and action plan.
The proposed activities will be linked with 2 existing WWF projects currently supporting protected area and corridor management in Southern Lao PDR, the Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative (BCCI) and the Xe Pian Ecotourism Project.
Improve the understanding of human impacts on the environment and promote environmental stewardship among children in target villages.
1. Train teachers on environmental issues and methods of hands-on teaching.
2. Improve environmental activities in target schools.
3. Involve students in activities related to environmental awareness promoting stewardship in their communities.
- Teachers from 14 schools trained in environmental as well as pedagogical issues.
- Education officials from Phatoumpone District, Champassak Province, involved in the benefits of EE activities and supporting EE as part of the district curriculum.
- Approximately 300-500 children involved in environmental education activities.
- Increased knowledge about environmental issues within students and their families.
- Improved environmental stewardship in 13 villages.
- A model for EE activities that can be used in other areas of the country.