'Understanding Mangroves:' A Three Day Teachers Training Workshop held in Goa

26 Jul, 2016

As a kick off to the “International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem” on 26 July, the CMPA Project in Goa supported the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) in organising a three day workshop titled ‘Understanding Mangroves: A high school teachers training on mangroves and their significance’.


The participants at the newly developed mangrove interpretation facility at the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

A total of 45 high school teachers attended this training from the North Goa district, which also included 12 cluster and block resource persons from Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Govt. of Goa. The latter constitute the master trainers in the state, who are mandated with the task of training teachers in specially designated geographical areas of the state (clusters/blocks). This training included a rich diversity of carefully chosen resource persons (12 in total), including researchers, activists, managers from the Forest Department and the Goa State Biodiversity Board.

 

In pictures ( from left) Mr. Ajai Saxena, PCCF Goa Forest Department, Ms.Tallulah D'Silva, Ms. Saltanat Kazi and Professor Pranab Mukhopadhyay addressing the participants.

The focus of each of the three days was as follows:

Day 1 - Understanding

Through the first-hand experience of the resource persons, the participants were introduced to the mangrove ecosystem, that occurs along Goa’s estuaries and backwaters. From understanding the unique adaptations of mangroves to the associated fauna that have coevolved in this unique ecosystem, the participants learnt about the interconnectedness of species within this ecosystem and their links to livelihoods.

In pictures (from left) teacher engages with the torch feature at the interpretation facility. Teachers experiencing the mangroves at the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Day 2 - Experiencing

The group visited the newly developed mangrove interpretation facility at the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary (click for more details) Here the participants gained practical experience of what they had learned in the classroom on the 1st day. Surprisingly, a large majority (over 80%) of the teachers, who attended the workshop, had never visited a mangrove area in their lives. Definitely an eye opener!

In pictures (from left) participants engage in group activity on Day 3 of the training. Certificates were distributed to participants by Mr. Pradip Sarmokadam, Member Secretary, Goa State Biodiversity Board

Day 3 – Internalising

The main focus of the third day was on how to incorporate learnings gained over the previous two days into the school curriculum. Participants were divided into working groups and asked to analyse selected content of science and geography textbooks, and to develop an approach for transferring the learnings to students.

There was a discussion on how teachers can develop action projects relating to mangroves, and associated coastal ecosystems were discussed during the first session on integrating learning into the curriculum.

In line with the above, Mr. Santosh Gaonkar a high school science teacher of Poira high school presented an example of a project undertaken by his students to catalogue fish and crustacean species occurring in the mangroves and khazan lands of Mayem, in the vicinity of Chorao.

Finally, a presentation was made by Mr. Pradip Sarmokadam, Member Secretary of the Goa State Biodiversity Board on the role of teachers in facilitating the creation of the Peoples Biodiversity Register (PBR) focusing on the coastal biodiversity in the state.

Ensuring Sustainability

To ensure sustainability, teachers were requested to develop a calendar of activities pertaining to visiting the mangrove interpretation facility at the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. The Goa Forest Department has agreed to facilitate these visits by providing their staff, who will accompany the teachers.

It was very heartening to learn that one of the schools (Peoples High School), visited the interpretation facility the very next day after the event with a batch of approximately 60 students and three teachers.

The CMPA project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag. The CMPA project is implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of BMUB.