Visiting new districts
Visiting the schools in Kota Marudu, Kota Belud and Telupid for the first time was enlightening for the team. Every district in Sabah has its own unique ethnicity and cultural background. Interacting with these students from the Dusun and Bajau tribes was interesting. With their substantial knowledge about the wild animals that exists around them made them more enthusiast to learn further about these species. The team’s approach on wildlife conservation may be different than that of what they have learnt about their wildlife growing up.
Many tribes in Sabah were hunters and some still hunt to sustain their lives apart from farming and fishing activities. The education team hopes that through these activities, the students can be aware of the importance of protecting our wildlife.
BSBCC has been working closely with several organizations for its outreach programmes including HUTAN-Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme (HUTAN-KOCP), Sabah Wildlife Department and the Environment Protection Department (EPD). This year, Reef Guardian, an organization that manages the marine conservation area in the archipelago of Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA) joined our team. Our awareness programme activities has expanded and now includes the protection of our marine wildlife and environment. Visiting schools with a team of passionate people has brought learning about wildlife and the environment more fun, enjoyable and effective for the students.
Outreach programme at SMK Beluran
On the 7th April 2016, BSBCC organized an outreach programme for the first time in the Beluran district. SMK Beluran, one of the middle schools in the district town was very excited to have our team conduct the programme. As the team arrived the school in at 7am, the students were already gathered at the school hall. A few teachers were standing at the front of the hall, welcoming for our arrival.
The organizations that joined us during the programme at this school was the Sabah Wildlife Department and Reef Guardian. The school had their students conduct the opening ceremony of the programme before we began our talks, quizzes and environmental games.
Table 1: List of schools visited for outreach programme in March and April 2016.
Apart from learning about our terrestrial wildlife, many of the audiences were eager to discuss about issues on our marine ecosystem. This may relate to the close proximity of Beluran town along the river and the livelihood of the surrounding community where many were fisherman. Involvement of Reef Guardian and Sabah Wildlife Department were very helpful in the issues discussed.
The team ended the programme at 12pm with a closing ceremony and presentation of souvenirs from the team to the school. The success of the programme can never be achieved without the collaboration from SMK Beluran, Beluran District Education Office and all organizations involved. Many thanks from Bornean Sun Bear