The Natural Education and Experience Centre (NEEC) is a dream-come-true for the Centre of Biodiversity Conservation and GreenViet, which received the Environment Award 2017. After three months of development (from September 1 to December 25, 2018) with lots of determination and efforts as well as support of the local community, GreenViet on December 28, 2018 opened its NEEC. Deputy Director of GreenViet Lê Thị Trang speaks to the Vietnam Environment Administrative Magazine (VEM) about the natural education centre.
Mrs. Lệ Thị Trang (Deputy Director of the Natural Education and Experience Centre) loves doing research and preserve langurs
Reporter: What was the original idea of the education Centre?
Mrs. Lê Thị Trang: The idea of a natural education and experience centre came into our mind the first time in late 2015. Since then, all preparations had been completed, and with the support of businesses, organizations and inviduals, the project was materialized. In 2018, GreenViet, in co-operation with Đà Nẵng’s Department of Education and Training (DoET) and consultants, designed a number of experience and education activities, which included a survey on 69 students and 15 teachers at Lý Thường Kiệt and Lê Độ lower secondary schools; three officials of the Sơn Trà and Hải Châu Districts’ bureaus of education and training; and one official of the City’s DoET. Besides, the City’s DoET also assigned a 10-member working group to help GreenViet build up its training programme and curriculum.
Based on the survey responses, GreenViet was able to develop the outlines and detailed lessons for the subjects with the help of the DoET’s working group. To do so, GreenViet organised a field trip for the working group, in which they worked together to complete the curriculum with four subject outlines and four detailed lessons. The lessons then were tested on students from grade six to grade nine at the Lý Thường Kiệt and Hải Châu lower secondary schools on January 23 - 25, 2018. A total of 82 students and seven teachers joined the test and gave their feedback to improve the curriculum. The lessons were also used and multiplied in 103 other natural experience programmes conducted on the Sơn Trà Peninsula for nearly 1.000 students and tourists. In May 2018, GreenViet co-operated with the City’s DoET to organise the natural experience programme for 240 handicapped students in the City. The duplication of the natural education has also created opportunities for the City to introduce its natural biodiversity to the community and raise public awareness of environmental protection and preservation.
Reporter: Can you share the details of how the Centre originates its activities and what are the purposes of those activities?
Mrs. Lê Thị Trang: The Centre covers an area of 100 square meters with five major components. The first component is the general section, which gives the introduction and general information about Sơn Trà Peninsula. The second component displays information, features and characteristics of animals and plants living on the peninsula. The third section provides the features, characteristics and behaviors of langurs. The fourth division displays the threats that could destroy the environment of the Sơn Trà Peninsula. And the fifth section shows the solutions about how the local community and authorities can work together to preserve the environment, nature and biodiversity of the Sơn Trà Peninsula. Besides, the Centre is also facilitated with a 200 square metres of plants and playground for children.
The NEEC not only helps strengthen the role of the Sơn Trà Peninsula’s natural conditions towards education but also encourage the local community to become more environmentally friendly and have efforts and contributions to better preservation of the nature and biodiversity on the Peninsula. Those efforts and contributions can be made in the form of many activities such as growing more plants to restore the living conditions for langurs, collecting wastes and trash to keep wild animals against diseases, cutting the number of inappropriate behaviors and actions that could damage the conditions of the peninsula, and preserving the natural ecology under pressure from socio-economic development activities.
Therefore, NEEC is developed to help local people and tourists become environmentally friendly through learning activities, explorations and natural experiences. The Centre is where local people and children learn Son Tar Peninsula’s features of nature and biodiversity, raise their awareness of human impacts on the nature, and build up their environmentally friendly living style. To realize those targets, Green Viet and the local community have built the first natural education and experience Centre at 70 Lee to Ten, Son Tar District, and A Nan - very near the Son Tar Mountain. The Centre is expected to receive 3.000 students from all primary and lower secondary schools in A Nan to learn Son Tar Peninsula’s natural conditions.
Tourists and children visit the first Natural Education and Experience Centre in Đà Nẵng
Reporter: To make the dream come true, Green Viet has surely received support from organizations, businesses and individuals who has the love for nature. Can you reveal the plan to raise resources for the centre in the near future as well as its operation?
Mrs. Lê Thị Trang: Fifty-eight organizations and individuals have donated and invested in the development of the Sơn Trà NEEC with total investment of more than VND 800 million. Among those investors, Hòa Bình Construction Group has made the biggest investment worth VND 600 million and it is followed by AA Interior Design Furniture Corporation with VND 100 million and the Community Fund for Conservation and Development of Sơn Trà Peninsula with VND 30 million. Beside those organizations, more than 100 volunteers have helped the local authorities clean the environment and make it better looking. Those effective efforts prove the local community, business and authorities of Đà Nẵng are very keen on the role of natural education and experience, especially when they see how important the Sơn Trà Natural Reserve is for the sustainable development of Đà Nẵng City. It is considered necessary to make further investment in natural education for new cities such as Đà Nẵng so that those cities are able to create their own highlights and realize long-term sustainable development values.
With the support of the local community, NEEC will become a useful and meaningful learning centre for all students in Đà Nẵng and neighbouring provinces as well as tourists. With appropriate awareness and understanding, environmentally and naturally-friendly actions will be spread and multiplied to make Việt Nam forever green. The Centre plans to organize a lot of activities and events in 2019 such as launching a free-of-charge training programme for 3.000 students with average of 100 students taking part in the programme every week; drawing promotional pictures on animals and plants once a month; growing plants once a year and taking care of plants twice a year; and collecting trash on the Sơn Trà Peninsula every quarter to protect the nature and environment.
Reporter: Thank you!
Nguyễn Thị Hằng (Implemented)
(This article was puplished on the Environment Magazine, Enghish I/2019)