SCDP & Darwin Initiative: Environmental Education and biodiversity in Socotra [Archives:2005/880/Local News]

September 26 2005


Under the patronage of Minister of Water and Environment, the Socotra Conservation and Development Program (SCDP) and Darwin Initiative Project held its Preparatory workshop on Environmental Education promoting biodiversity conservation in Socotra on 17-18 Septmeber at the Shahran Hotel ,Sana'a. The Project's partners includes the SCDP, Ministry of Education,The Environment Protection Authority (E PA)- Socotra Branch, Yemeni Islands Protection and Development Authority, Yemen Wildlife Protection Authority, Roderick Dutton (Durham University), Barrie Cooper (RSPB training trainers)Tony Milroy (Aridland, field project), Miranda Morris, Tony Miller, Richard Porter, Wilfgang Wranki (scientific data), Sue Christie(educational materials) and others.

By way of introduction, Dr.Abdul-Rahman al-Eryani (SCDP) along with Roderic Dutton initiated the workshop and gave an outline introduction to the Darwin Initiative Project which is UK funded. After that Mr. Mohammed Shedewah, head of the EPA, delivered keynote speech of the workshop in which he emphasized on the importance of the Environmental Education and inculcating such values into young learners, which in turn would contribute to the success of the Project. He also referred to the relationship between man and environment, which should be made clear both by educational and environmental means. Strengthening the Environmental Education, he said, is essential for gaining the required results. He added that the importance of the Project lies in including a constellation of scientists from prominent universities.

The agenda of the workshop and the aims of the Project were stated in the first session .According to Mr. Roderic Dutton, the Project aims to ensure thorough Environmental Education that accompanies the school curriculum that future generations of people on Socotra know about and concerned for the sustainable management of their island's unique flora and fauna heritage. The Project will produce classroom and field educational materials. It will then focus on training trainers, who will then train other teachers. The Project will also covert scientific knowledge into stimulating educational materials and approaches.

On the other hand ,Mrs. Umm al-Sa'd Abdul-Hai, a Curriculum Advisor, mentioned the vital role played by the Ministry of Education and the steps to be taken with regard to the Environmental Education. She gave a presentation on the Environmental Education in MoE Programs. She also mentioned the proposed role of MoE in the Project, of which some are:

– Survey curricula for environmental concepts in each subjects;

– Prepare a matrix or a network of concepts found and how it was included;

– Produce an activity book for basic education level including class and out of class activities for pupils to gain environmental livelihood skills ;

– Prepare a teacher guide to help him execute the activities and how to deal with the contents of the curriculum.

Other topics discussed in the workshop focused on the phases of the Project and the suggestions to be taken into consideration .Dr. Abdul-Rahman al-Eryani gave an overall evaluation of the workshop stating that the Project would last for three years .He also thanked all the participants and appreciated their suggestions.