Children in Sayaboury Learn about Environmental Protection and Climate Change

Fourty primary school children enthusiastically engaged in an environmental education workshop at the Children Development Centre (CDC) in Sayaboury Province on 20-22 Sept, 2013. They learned about the role of forests and climate change through infotainment, an approach that combines factual information with entertainment in songs, role plays and games. This approach fosters children’s curiosity and involvement in the subject matter. The children spent two days in-class learning about environmental protection before they went on a field trip to the Medical Plant Reserve in Houai Nam Sai, Sayaboury Province. The workshop was supported by ProCEEd as part of its efforts to improve knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding climate change adaptation and environmental protection in Laos. CDC developed the workshop concept in cooperation with a German forest expert at the Sayaboury Forestry Inspection Secretariat, which cooperates with the Climate Protection through Avoided Deforestation Program (CliPAD) of GIZ.

 

The first two days of the environmental education workshop comprised group work, games and lectures on the various aspects of climate change and forests with a special focus on Sayaboury Province. Not many people in Laos know about climate change even though its impacts affect the livelihood of everyone. Therefore, the school children in Sayaboury were a crucial audience. The workshop topics ranged from the value of ecosystem services that benefit human well-being – medical plants in a forest, for example – to the causes and effects of climate change and environmental destruction. The children learned about the importance of balanced ecosystems and the interdependencies of all species through presentations and games. Losing a species has great impacts on ecosystems. The children collected various plants and explained what they already know about their usage. They also identified the drivers of deforestation in their home province Sayaboury: shifting cultivation, large-scale infrastructure projects and illegal logging. Experts from the Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office (PAFO) were invited to the workshop to share their knowledge. An officer from the Provincial Office for Forest Inspection (POFI) explained his duties but also the do’s and don’ts related to forests.

 

A study visit to the Medical Plants Reserve enabled the children to get in touch with nature directly, learning first-hand from a knowledgeable villager about the numerous different plant and animal species in the reserve. Based on all the impressions and knowledge gained during the workshop, the children developed a theatre play related to environmental protection. The main message of the play reflects that the involvement in environmental harmful activities does not benefit villagers’ livelihood in the long-term.

 

After the workshop the newly gained knowledge was disseminated at the Na Hai Primary School through the theatre play and games that the children had developed. Hence, the children not only showed their understanding related to climate change and the role of forests but they also practically applied their newly gained communication skills to share this understanding with others. A total of more than 200 children, teachers, villagers, experts and local government officials authorities participated in the process.

 

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ENVIRONMENTAL FILMS



You can now watch 12 professionally produced documentary films broadcast on LNTV in 2017. Three or four episodes of 15 minutes each make up for a mini-series that focuses on a specific topic, e.g. wildlife or forest protection. More films supported by ProCEEd and other GIZ projects are shown as well.

ENVIRONMENTAL RADIO



You can listen in to selected radio programs produced by LNR Khammouane in Thakek and Boualapha as well as by LNR Huaphan in Sam Neua and Houameuang. Some of them have even been translated into Khmu and Hmong language. Three 15-min episodes make up for a mini-series that focuses on a specific topic.

ENVIRONMENTAL TOURS



At the provincial and district level, Environmental Tours with entertaining environmental education activities regularly tour four provinces and Vientiane Capital. A bus and a truck using solar-powered equipment facilitate film, theatre and local learning and discussion initiatives. Don’t miss the tour!