An Overview Of Our Solution
- Population Impacted
- Continent: Asia
PO Box 697 Kimbe
West New Britain Province
Papua New Guinea
1,330,000 hectares Kimbe Bay area which currently contains 100,000 hectares of LMMA?s (Locally Managed Marine Areas) and approx. 17,000 hectares of proposed LMMA?s.
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose
Local threats to resources
Level of sensitivity
Level of adaptive capacity
The solution our organization is offering is youth marine conservation and sustainability education. The organization developed a program and curriculum called the Marine Environment Education Program or MEEP. A manual has been written as its base and developed since 1997 when the course was initiated. The manual is designed for teaching marine conservation and sustainability principals to students from High School down to Primary and Elementary Schools in a PNG context. Mahonia Na Dari has been engaging in a teaching program of selected students (20 students per course because of limited logistical and teaching resources) from three local High Schools in the Kimbe Bay area annually since 1998. Twenty selected students from each of the three High Schools to make an annual total of 60 students attend the course at Mahonia Na Dari Research and Conservation Centre over a 9 Saturday or Wednesday period. This is Intensive MEEP Within that time they receive training in ? Basic Marine Biology ? Basic Marine Ecology ? Marine Management ? Human impact on the marine environment ? Land use impacts on the marine environment This Intensive MEEP involves v Classroom Sessions v Group Work v Library Research v Group Presentations v Practical Sessions v Excursions v Reef Snorkeling v Outreach Awareness A feature of the MEEP manual and program is the flexibility with which it can be used. It is used in the following teaching scenarios ? Intensive MEEP for High Schools ? School Excursions ? School Camps ? School Visits ? BABY MEEP ( Elementary Schools) ? Marine Conservation and Awareness Primary School Teacher Workshops ? Marine Education Outreach ? Community Marine Educator Training The MEEP program and its implementation does strive to address improved food security, student awareness of the environmental sciences and prospective career paths, increased wisdom and environmental awareness for future hazard risk management and more informed choices within their communities, as well as improved decisions relating to their marine (and terrestrial) environmental resources.
Economic Indicators used to measure benefit
Approximate number of Intensive MEEP students graduated since courses commenced in 1997 Number of teachers participating in MEEP Teacher Training on an annual basis and since commencement of program Number of students on Day visits and School Camps to the Centre Number of community members schools and villages participating in community conservation awareness ( eg 8.500 in 2011 and >10,000 in 2012) Number of schools teaching marine conservation subjects incorporated in Dept. of Education Environment Curriculum
Community/Social Indicators used to measure benefit
Total cost to run all programs annually would be around the $US50,000 to $55,000 Operational costs are very high in PNG and not on a comparable scale to other S-E Asian countries where this program could operate much more cheaply if a suitable Centre of operation could be identified.
Difficult to quantify but benefits to local communities of Kimbe Bay, WNB Districts, the West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea as a country and possible International benefits on a world stage Future informed confidence in adoption of selected Climate Change strategies for local Kimbe Bay communities. Potential for introduction into the other 4 Coral Triangle countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Timor Leste, & the Philippines plus South West Pacific countries.
Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit
Continuing reef monitoring programs established on LMMA reefs throughout Kimbe Bay going into the future. Monitoring agencies MND, TNC, CLMA, LMMA groups, JCU. Number of MPA?s no-take zones adopted by communities around Kimbe Bay. MPA?s within LMMA?s to replenish fish stocks to other reefs.
What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?
Mahonia Na Dari has conducted the Intensive MEEP for 15 continuous years with local High Schools in this area. The current core funding needed to complete this program annually is approximately US$13,000-$15,000. Other programs such as School Visits and Primary School Teacher training take additional funding. The programs themselves run smoothly in the hands of an experienced and enthusiastic teacher. Our organization has been fortunate in being able to attract such teachers. It is an area of teaching that appeals to and challenges good teachers. Funding is always a struggle. Annually the same struggle takes much of our organizations time to put in place. Continuity of funding eg US$45,000 over a period of three years for the Intensive MEEP at $15,000/year would help the organization to have energy to develop and innovate further programs etc. The Centre where MND is based has some rental property and can access Bench Fees from time to time. This helps maintain the Centre and assists with supplementing the program costs on occasions. The role of the organizations Program Director and Senior Staff is to address program funding opportunities from donors. Finding funding to run the program is always a challenge to which attention must be paid.
Describe the community-based process used to develop the solution including tools and processes used
? Include any assessments that were completed (e.g. socio-economic, ecological, threat, and/or vulnerability assessments) 1988 Concept Paper produced by Max Benjamin about research and conservation needs for Kimbe Bay. This created discussion and contribution by Cousteau Society. Initial awareness of the special marine environment within Kimbe Bay was identified. 1994 a Rapid Ecological Survey of Kimbe Bay conducted by TNC contracted marine scientists was completed. Statistics of fish populations of over 900 species counted. Scientific recognition that Kimbe Bay was an exceptional area of marine biodiversity was officially established. 1996 TNC established a base at Mahonia Na Dari research and Conservation Centre to promote MPA (Marine Protected Areas) networks in the form of LMMA (Locally Managed Marine Areas) community groups. 1996 James Cook University, Townsville Australia commenced marine research of Kimbe Bay which continues today. Over 30 scientific papers have been published based on this research. 1997-1999 Development of the Marine Environment Education Program first version for High Schools was written by an English Volunteer Biology teacher. TNC helped establish Mahonia as a community marine education facility. Community Awareness Outreach Program commenced with the writing of the MND Puppet Show ?Mangi Dainamait? and ?Leni & Niko, Derris Root Dangers?. This commenced the community outreach awareness program conducted annually by MND even to today and takes marine conservation awareness education to schools in outer districts surrounding Kimbe Bay. In 2012, over 10,000 community members participated in this program on a face to face basis. 2008 Coral survey of Kimbe Bay completed by Professor Charles Veron. This was the most comprehensive hard coral species count completed. It revealed 413 species of hard corals which was in excess of over half the world?s species of hard corals known at the time of 799 species. This established Kimbe Bay as one of the great cores of marine biodiversity on Earth. ? Include information on how the most vulnerable stakeholder groups in the community were included the decision making process. In all Mahonia youth and community marine conservation programs permission is sought to conduct programs by community leaders be they through the office of the Department of Education Administration, the LLG (Local Level Government) leadership, the Headmasters/Mistresses of individual schools. All members of a school or village community are included in the awareness programs. They are often held in open areas. All have access. ? Include partners/organizations who were involved in supporting the solution and their roles. 1994 European Union established the Centre in order to conduct the IREP (Islands Regional Environmental Program) in response to the excessively extractive practices being seen within the logging industry in the PNG Islands regions at that time. The Centre was established on land donated for the project by Walindi Plantation nearby. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) established a base at the Centre 1996. They were responsible for helping set up Mahonia Na Dari Research and Conservation Centre in order to foster marine research and marine education. Mr. Max Benjamin from Walindi Plantation and Mr. Peter Thomas then head of the TNC Kimbe Bay Project collaborated to initiate the youth marine conservation/sustainability education program which became MEEP, Marine Environment Education Program. Mrs. Brenda Senior, Biology teacher and Volunteer teacher Hoskins High School who designed the first High School Intensive MEEP program. Mr. Tim Kennealy, further designed MEEP to Version 1. Ms. Carter Middendorf, private donor from the USA who donated money to commence the MND Library which is heavily used in the training curriculum even today. James Cook University marine scientists placed technical input into the design of the MEEP teaching manual in relation to PNG context and reference. ? Length of implementation. The Intensive MEEP for High Schools has been continually conducted each year since 1997 or currently 16 years. The Community Awareness Marine Conservation Program incorporating MEEP to outlying schools has been conducted since 1998 but for a few years during that time the program was not conducted due to funding constraints. It has recently been conducted over the last 2 years and is scheduled for 2013 also. ? Include current management systems used to support the solution. The Centre employs a teacher with several years of past teaching experience. Her background is in environmental science. She directs and manages all aspects of the MEEP implementation. She is the MND EO or Education Officer. The MEEP and aspects of the program are ongoing throughout the education year in PNG (February to November) The Centre employs a MND CCO Community Conservation Officer. He is currently studying to complete his University Degree in Fisheries this year (Nov.2013) and directs the Community Conservation Awareness Program. This is a very field orientated and directed program. This program of school/community visits is at its peak August- November. James Cook University usually has a PHD student on site at the Centre completing field work for their PHD. They provide technical input to the education programs and contribute some teaching input particularly in the area of fish and marine biology. The Centre has a Logistics Officer who drives outlying students to MEEP activities at the Centre and the conservation awareness field team to sites/communities around the Bay The Centre has a boat driver and operator who is responsible for boat and engine safety and maintenance. During suitable seasons when weather is favorable, the students and teachers go to a nearby island for fieldwork. If weather is unsuitable, reefs for practical work are just off shore. A Centre Site Manager looks after the overall maintenance of the infrastructure at the site. This includes vehicle, boat & building maintenance (school camps, conference and library facilities) An active 7 member Board of Directors meet twice annually to oversee the management of staff, programs and infrastructure. Volunteer services are called on in the areas of financial management. Mahonia has been using the services of VSA New Zealand (Volunteer Services Abroad) Volunteer CPA accountants for the past few years to prepare accounts for auditors, acquit donor funding and on-train staff in the process. Other AVI (Australian Volunteer International), VSA and overseas recruited specialists have delivered input into MEEP program development. The MEEP does not remain static but evolves with changing issues eg Climate Change. Climate Change issues were not so prominent at the time of course initiation in 1997-1999 and an initial land content study is included in the first lessons for MEEP now.
Climate hazard of concern
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the ecosystem affected?
This is a program about the future and future generations. The MEEP program is 15 years down the track in development and implementation. In that period, over 250,000 students and teachers have received some form of marine conservation and awareness information and training. This is a base for the future. The program is aiming at 1. Generational change (long term) 2. Possible choice of profession for those taught to give awareness about environmental science study options for future professions 3. Increased awareness and possible wisdom in decisions at local (village/town), district, country, and even on an international basis involving marine and terrestrial issues (short to long term) 4. Increased awareness and more informed choices/decisions involving environmental conservation/sustainability instilled in participants children (medium to long term) 5. Participants influence on their peers at all stages of their educational development (short term) 6. Engagement as an accepted participant in their local community environmental choices (medium to long term) 7. Instill a lifetime joy of learning and curiosity about the environment in which the participant will live. 8. Students will have a stronger platform on which to understand and base decisions on the future options presented to adapt to Climate Change
How has your solution increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes?
This again is where youth MEEP education will be an important part of whatever adaptation strategies are designed for specific areas of Kimbe Bay in the future. This could help underlie future communities plus Govt. Administration choices and their ability to implement those choices through marine education being received as a strong base or foundation for decisions selected.
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the communities affected?
This again goes back to building a strong, sound base and foundation for marine conservation/sustainability education for youth to carry into the changing and challenges of Climate Change future. It has been demonstrated that healthy reefs have much more resilience to the kinds of stresses likely to be encountered with climate change, for example, they are far more likely to recover from bleaching events. Proper reef conservation and management as the MEEP aims to teach, should help to ensure this resilience.
How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the communities affected?
Communities surrounding Kimbe Bay are still heavily dependent for the bulk of their food on the land farming systems they have used over long periods of time. With changing rainfall patterns of decreases of 30 % predicted from present, yields of traditional carbohydrate sources such as taro (Colocasia species), sweet potato, Xanthasoma taros etc. may drop and come under pressure. The sea and its marine products within LMMA?s will come under pressure to supply this shortfall in land production. The MEEP youth marine conservation/sustainability education program is helping present and future generations to have ?robust flexibility? within decision making. The choices amongst the alternative solutions to be presented in regard to Climate Change they will face will benefit by a flexibility built into these choices provided by the past, present and future MEEP courses.
How has your solution increased the capacity of local communities to adapt to potential climate changes?
The aim of the MEEP was always driven and conceptualized by the underlying factor of protection and maintaining sustainable marine resources within coastal communities and their LMMA?s for Kimbe Bay and the country as a whole. The goal of Mahonia Na Dari Research and Conservation Centre is clearly written on the Centre?s sign board for all to see as ?To understand & conserve the nature of Kimbe Bay & PNG for the benefit of present and future generations?. It is with this motivation that all purpose of the MEEP is directed. This aim which became a goal of the newly established Centre in the mid 1990?s is still as relevant and focused in 2013, even more so with Climate Change and population increases making the work more urgent and relevant today. The MND MEEP program has 15 years development and field experience behind it. We are not starting at the beginning of increasing the capacity of local communities to adapt to Climate Change but being seen as a trusted partner for adaption choices for the future challenges of Climate Change. MEEP is building a grass-roots constituency for conservation/sustainability by raising awareness about the community marine environment of Kimbe Bay and PNG. Hopefully, the message of youth marine conservation awareness education and the advantages of this approach to future Climate Change challenges may net-work to an international level particularly in Coral Triangle countries and those of the Pacific.
Can this solution be replicated elsewhere?
This solution of youth marine conservation education can be replicated elsewhere. All is needed is a Centre be it an educational facility, a research facility, another NGO and the employment of a teacher plus funding to run courses. This particular program being developed within Papua New Guinea for youth of all educational backgrounds is particularly suitable to other Coral Triangle countries of The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Timor Leste, and Solomon Islands, where 75 % of the marine diversity of the planet exists in 2 % of the sea surface. It is relevant to other Pacific countries. This program has been introduced into the Solomon Islands by WWF for almost 12 months now throughout schools, and has recently been adopted by an NGO, OceansWatch to commence in Vanuatu. The solution to implement marine conservation youth education to cover students from High School through to Elementary School by scaling down the one program is innovative. Most marine conservation programs are specifically directed at adults and not totally youth. If changes are to be made into the future, youth will be more adaptable. This manual and contents are directed towards PNG youth. Many teaching manuals are not in the context of the CT countries or those of the SW Pacific. This manual has been developed from its grass roots of West New Britain, PNG. This program has been introduced into the Solomon Islands by WWF for almost 12 months now throughout schools, and has recently been adopted by an NGO, OceansWatch to commence in Vanuatu. The solution to implement marine conservation youth education to cover students from High School through to Elementary School by scaling down the one program is innovative. Most marine conservation programs are specifically directed at adults and not totally youth. If changes are to be made into the future, youth will be more adaptable. This manual and contents are directed towards PNG youth. Many teaching manuals are not in the context of the CT countries or those of the SW Pacific. This manual has been developed from its grass roots of West New Britain, PNG.