Tuesday, 23 February 2016 00:00

Malang Schools Continue Eco-mapping

Malang, 2015 – Eco-mapping, an experiential learning approach to environmental issues, is being implemented at nine high schools in Malang, East Java province. The action is the result of joint cooperation between GIZ PAKLIM WA3 and Malang City Education Office to provide environmental education and to raise the environmental awareness of local schools.   Eco-mapping provides students with practical skills in dealing with environmental and climate change issues. It consists of five steps, conducted across five school visits over 9-12 months. The steps are Introduction, Environmental Audit, Action Plan Follow-up, Performance Check, and Internal Audit.   The Introduction seminar was kicked off by Mrs Handayani of the Education Office, who emphasized the importance of eco-mapping in supporting the government’s Adiwiyata (Green Schools) program through student participation. Students from nine selected junior high schools (Sekolah Menengah Pertama, SMP) and senior high schools (Sekolah Menengah Atas, SMA/SMK) learned how to tackle environmental problems through out-of-school environment lessons, project work and team-teaching.   The Environmental Audit was held over 12-25 May, equipping the school communities with skills to identify environmental problems and find solutions. This process involved 10 groups of students using tools from the Ecomapping© toolbox to investigate their surroundings. The audit generated a participative action plan, fostering a sense of responsibility toward protecting the environment and dealing with climate change. The young participants identified environmental issues based on the thematic areas of energy, waste, water, land, air pollution, and risk. A peer-to-peer workshop opened up opportunities for insight and collaboration through sharing and evaluating action plans among the schools.   The Action Plan Follow-up on 18 September was in the form of a peer group discussion. It assessed how far each school had developed its action plan and which aspects required revision. Through this event, students learned the importance of measuring milestones and activities, and how to include them in their action plan.   Teachers gained insight into integrating environmental action plans with school subjects, such as Indonesian, English, Art and Biology. The schools are expected to continue the eco-mapping approach until the whole cycle is completed, by which time they should have developed sustainable conservation plans. Ecomapping will then be further disseminated among other schools.