The Youth Development for Natural Resource Preservation (Lam Phra Phloeng Basin) Program
With concern about the imbalance of technological, economic, and environmental development as well as the wasteful resource consumption without planning and replacement of the depleted resources, SCG Foundation strives to build awareness in preserving natural resources and local wisdom among young minds. To that effect, the Foundation in cooperation with community developers, teachers, and the communities, compiled the knowledge into “courses on learning about the communities” that match the lifestyles of people in the process of knowledge management were documented for use as a prototype for other communities.
SCG Foundation provided financial support to the Local Learning Network Work Group, representative teachers from 10 schools and community members around Lam Phra Phloeng Basin in Amphoe Wang Nam Khiew, Nakhon Rachasima to develop the Youth Development for Natural Resource Preservation (Lam Phra Phloeng Basin) Program since 2005. The program was divided into 3 phases as follows: Phase 1 Creating a learning process (2005) This phase was involved with creating a network of collaboration within the community including schools, temples, spiritual leaders, and environmental preservation experts to share ideas, give suggestions, and establish a learning process for children and youths in the community. This was drawn from local wisdom on the efficient use and conservation of natural resources and the environment. The local youths were invited to attend a camp organized periodically. On the other hand, the 10 participating schools were commissioned to prepare courses on learning about the communities based on the knowledge and experience gained from the activity to develop students’ knowledge. Phase 2 Dissemination of knowledge (2006) After the development of courses built on the gathering of local wisdom, these courses were used at the participating schools under a pilot project. It was found that the courses offered the students profound understanding and insights into the community background, roles and relationships between the community and natural resources as well as the proper management of natural resource and the environment, creating awareness in preserving natural resources and local wisdom in the community.
Many other schools were interested in incorporating these courses into their curriculum. In Phase 2, the number of the participating schools increased to 16 with 800 students, 30 community leaders and 30 youth leaders outside the school system involved in the program. Phase 3 Towards sustainability (2007-2008)
To ensure sustainable and systematic transfer of knowledge, SCG Foundation divided its support in this phase into two parts:
1) Providing support for development of youth leaders, who will be responsible for initiating learning processes for other young people as a means to instill awareness in preserving natural resources and the environment and to transfer local wisdom from one generation to another.
2) Funding the publishing of handbooks to promote community learning management on “The Community and Community Forest Management at Ban Tha Wang Sai” and “Conservation of Bulls at Khao Phaeng Ma”. The handbooks will be used as teaching materials for students in the Watershed of Upper Moon River – Lam Phra Phloeng Basin areas. The Foundation also funded the publishing of a nature study handbook on “The Return of the Little Bull of Khao Phaeng Ma Forest”. 2,000 copies of the handbooks were given to the Local Learning Network Work Group for use in the training of primary and high school students. Moreover, all proceeds from of the handbooks also went to the Work Group for establishing a fund dedicated to conserving natural resources and the local wisdom.
Results The Youth Development for Natural Resource Preservation (Lam Phra Phloeng Basin) Program has developed courses to be incorporated into the school curriculum as a means to build awareness about preservation of local wisdom among children and youths in the areas.
Further, the handbook “The Return of the Little Bull of Khao Phaeng Ma Forest” can benefit the general public and environmentally-concerned youths, greatly improving their understanding as concerns the conservation of natural resource and the environment.