Taking Stock and Planning Ahead - Environmental Tours from 2013 to 2017

More than 20 volunteers from DEQP and PADETC took stock of their achievements and the methods they used during environmental tours to Khammouane, Huaphan and Sayaboury organized by ProCEEd between 2013 to 2015. This inventory of methods and media provided a stable basis for the volunteers and ProCEEd staff who participated in the workshop in Vientiane on 24-28 Aug, 2015 to plan ahead for the 2015-2017 period as well.

 

The workshop first reflected on previous awareness raising activities during the so-called government and village tours. The volunteers regularly engage in environmental education activities in more than 60 villages in the three provinces, and inform representatives of government agencies in provincial and district capitals on environmental topics. The DEQP and PADETC teams discussed in small working groups what they had achieved in terms of the knowledge gained, and the attitudes and practices changed on the part of the villagers and government officials they regularly communicate with. They also presented in plenary how they know they were successful and what kind of changes they observed.

 

DEQP volunteers reported that when they actively exchange ideas with their government audience at the end of a tour program, they witnessed a better understanding of the benefits and livelihood impacts of forest protection. Officials also exchanged their own experiences on a specific environmental topic convincingly during poster presentations and changed their attitude as a reaction to the theatre performances. There was evidence that the audience spread within their own organization the thematic factsheets and other information provided by the team. Over time, non-invited government organizations requested to participate in the government tours.

 

The volunteers from PADETC running the village tours had similar success stories to tell. School children learned about the differences and use value of tree species, the meaning of biodiversity and wildlife conservation, and the cause-effect relation of environmental problems. One of the learning highlights the volunteers shared was about a girl who explained that deforest­a­tion can be the cause for water runoffs that may finally lead to a land­slide. As a comparison, she used a bald and a hairy person: When you wash the head of the bald person water will run off into the person's face while in the case of a hairy person, the hair will absorb most of the water. Teachers used bus tour inputs for their curriculum at school, e.g. songs or games.

 

Adult villagers appreciated the volunteers' recognition of traditional knowledge applied in historical trend or agricultural calendar exercises. PADETC has learned about these and other skills from the wide range of Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) tools. Experiential learning was also used as a basis for other activities, e.g. the Nuts Game, which is about the sustainable use of natural resources in a playful yet convincing way. Villagers realized what kind of impacts their own actions have on the environ­men­t and, as a result, appreciated the significance of forests and wildlife more. Due to the interactive and participatory nature of the volunteers' environmental education the villagers are increasingly willingness to express their own views and ask curious questions, especially in gender- and age-specific focus group discussions. The love for and the loss of nature caused fear and raised a feeling of ownership as a motivation for taking action. Villagers and government officials alike reportedly regard the theatre performance as a tour highlight, attention and laughter guaranteed.

 

The PADETC volunteers observed an increased sharing of information, e.g. between parents and children, village heads and villagers, DoNRE and villages. In Khammouane, where the provincial and district government are piloting a co-management approach of the National Protection Area in Boualapha District, many villagers have become actively involved in forest monitoring as rangers or in village co-manage­ment committees. ProCEEd poster series on forest protection or wildlife conservation can be seen on display at school, village hall etc. Some district governments proposed additional villages to be included in the Environmental Tours.

 

This inventory of media and methods used and achievements made gave the volunteers a chance to learn from tested approaches and come up with improved and more effective activities. With this in mind, the workshop participants next looked into the future: What are the Tour's communication objectives for 2015-2017 in terms of knowledge gains and attitude and practice change? The table below offers an overview:

 

Province

Time

Topic

Theater Play

Posters & FACTS

other

available

Khammouane

April

Co-Management

Co-Management (LNT)

Co-Management

LNR radio program on co-management

Huaphan

May

Forest Protection, Biodiv & Wildlife

Co-Management (LNT)

Wildlife/Biodiversity

Summer Film School film

Sayaboury

June

Forest Protection, Biodiv & Wildlife

School Timber vs Forest Protection (LNT)

Wildlife/Biodiversity

Summer Film School film

Bolikhamxay

July

Waste Management

Recycling (MCU)

Recycling (MCU)

 

planned in 2015

Huaphan

Sept/Oct 2015

Biodiversity

School Timber vs Forest Protection (LNT)

Biodiversity

1-game & song booklet for schools

2-professional, high-resolution photos for posters

 

Sayaboury

Oct/Nov 2015

Biodiversity

Biodiversity & Wildlife

Biodiversity

Khammouane

Nov/Dec 2015

New aspects of co-management

Biodiversity & Wildlife related to co-management

New aspects of co-management

planned in 2016 - 2017

general

2016 - 2017

1-repeat 'Forest Protection'

2-dig deeper into details of some of the 5 major themes

3-FACTS from Know­ledge to Practice: What to do?

theatre perfor­mances by village school kids (trained by LNT)

1-cause-effect/ nega­tive impacts of deforestation etc. for village hall

2-poster series on climate change

3-poster series from Knowledge to Practice: What to do?

1-cartoon (picture stories) booklets based on FACTS

2-photo story/cartoon booklet by village teenagers

 

The teams finally scripted and planned next steps for their Environmental Tours on biodiversity conservation to Houaphan, Sayaboury and Khammouane after the workshop, in late 2015. As the thematic focus of the upcoming tours will be on Biodiversity Conservation, ProCEEd introduced technical and background information on this topic which participants then discussed and analyzed in small working groups. The project will also produce a related poster series on the 10 major facts of biodiversity conservation in Laos and a special theatre play in due time.

 

NEWS

Second Survey on Environmental Awareness in Laos

As a follow-up to the 2012 KAP survey, ProCEEd launched a post-KAP in November 2016. It will compare results from 2012 with the ones from 2016. More...

Comic Book and Illustrations on Wildlife Conservation

ProCEEd published a comic book and a series of illustrations on wildlife conservation used on the 2016 Environmental Tour. More...

Training on Provincial Environmental Radio Programs

ProCEEd trained journalists from radio stations in Khammouane and Houaphan on environmental radio program productions. More...



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!