SON TRA NATURE EDUCATION CENTER – A COMMUNITY-BASED PROJECT
2019-04-19 09:28:31 | Admin

PREFACE

Thanks to its diversified microclimates and topography, Da Nang takes pride in its high level of biodiversity. The city has two nature reserves: Son Tra and Ba Na – Nui Chua. Noticeably, Son Tra Nature Reserve has about 1,010 plant species and more than 370 animal species, in which 43 species are listed in Vietnam Red Book and IUCN Red List. Son Tra is especially well-known because of the red-shanked douc langur – a rare leaf monkey species being considered as “Queen of Primates”. It is estimated that the population of red-shanked doucs in Son Tra has more than 1,000 individuals – the only population in the world that is easy to observe in wild. Located only about 10 km away from Da Nang city center, Son Tra is an ideal place for running activities related to visiting, learning, researching and environmental education for visitors, researchers, students and local people.

However, along with many nature reserves and forests in Vietnam, Son Tra’s biodiversity has been facing many threats come from pressures of economic and infrastructure development; illegal hunting and poaching; illegal deforestation and natural resources exploitation; and especially the unsustainable tourism development. In this context, an indispensable trend for sustainable conservation of Son Tra’s biodiversity and the environment in general is to do environmental education. Environmental education provides learners opportunity to study and explore nature, thus inspires love of nature and promotes responsible attitude and behaviors in environmental protection.

Being aware of the essential role of environmental education in conserving Son Tra nature, GreenViet Biodiversity Conservation (GreenViet) – a local NGO in Da Nang has run different educational programs to raise awareness of local people about Son Tra and especially the red-shanked douc langur. Since 2013, GreenViet has brought more than 3,000 people to visit and study in Son Tra Nature Reserve. The NGO also has conducted educational activities such as photo exhibitions and talk shows with the theme of Son Tra’s biodiversity for more than 15,000 students in Da Nang.

Noticeably, in 28th December 2018, GreenViet established the first Nature Education Center (NEC) in Da Nang with huge supports from local communities. NEC was born to meet increasing demands of local people in experiential learning related to nature.

ABOUT GREENVIET

GreenViet Biodiversity Conservation Center (GreenViet) is a NGO working in the field of biodiversity conservation since 2012. Our mission is to help communities understand, respect and adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle through researching, education and disseminating values of biodiversity.

GreenViet staffs in 2017

Since its establishment, GreenViet has played a leading role in the field of conservation research and education in Central Vietnam. GreenViet has been considered as a small but effective NGO, who coordinates both Vietnam’s and international efforts in preserving biodiversity of Son Tra peninsula and also Central Vietnam. A remarkable communication and education program we have been doing is to run the “I love Son Tra Journey” almost every week for more than 6 years. The program has brought more than 3,000 Da Nang citizens to visit Son Tra and learn about its biodiversity, contributing to the awareness raising of local people about the beauty and values of Son Tra.

2016 GreenViet conducted environmental education programs that reached more than 15,000 students in Da Nang.

2017 GreenViet is the only NGO prized the ‘Environmental Excellence Award’ in Vietnam 2017 – the nation’s highest achievement award in the field of environmental protection.

2018 GreenViet established the first nature education center in Da Nang. 

For more information about GreenViet: GreenViet

ABOUT GREENVIET NATURE EDUCATION CENTER

Son Tra Nature Education Center (NEC) belongs to GreenViet, opens to public officially since 28 Dec 2018. It has been considered as a community-based project because of the huge support from communities for the establishment.

Vision

For a future of Vietnam where people live in harmony with nature.

Mission

NEC organizes and runs experiential learning activities for different target groups, focusing on students. In addition, the Center functions as a communal place where local people are involved in activities of environmental protection through sharing, exchanging and contributing efforts, materials and finance. By doing these, NEC contributes to a positive transformation in people’ awareness and attitude towards nature, leading to the formation of eco-lifestyle.

Values

History of NEC’s establishment and construction

From idea to action

The idea of building a nature education center in Da Nang has been conceived by GreenViet’s founding members from the early days of its establishment (2012). After nearly 6 years of developing the idea and actively mobilizing the participation and contribution from communities, by 2018 GreenViet had coordinated resources and stakeholders to successfully establish Son Tra Nature Education Center, the first of its kind in Da Nang. NEC had been built within 4 months from 1st September to 25th December 2018. The building process consists of the frame construction and the interpretation of Son Tra nature inside the building.

Fundraising

NEC was built with supports and contributions of more than 100 individuals and organizations locally and internationally. The total mobilized fund is 899,255,000 VND. Significantly, there are sponsorships from Hoa Binh Construction Group Joint Stock Company with 600 million VND, AA Architecture Construction Joint Stock Company 100 million VND, Son Tra Community Development Fund 30 million VND.

In addition to the financial support, it is worth mentioning the contribution of work from many individuals, such as: the 2 education officers of GreenViet – Tinh Nguyen and Huong Dinh – who designed and developed the content of NEC’s interpretive part; the artist Le Cong Dao, who spent more than a month working to create a relief of the red-shanked douc langur family and three other decorative reliefs and statues at NEC; the artist Nguyen Doanh, who drawn animal paintings outside the building; and more than 100 volunteers who helped plant trees and clean up the surrounding of NEC for the opening day.

There were also many donated materials such as: two televisions from Ha Thang Long family; two iPads from Mr. Le Minh Cuong; many fundraising products from Ms. Huynh Hang; trees from Mr. Du, a local resident of Tho Quang ward; ceramic tiles for paving the yard from Ms. Do Hong Hoa; wooden tables and chairs from Bana people in Ayun, Gia Lai, etc.

The center was under construction on October 1, 2018

The statue of the Red Shanked Douc Langur has just completed, on December 20, 2018
Painter Dao Le Cong (left) who spends more than 30 days supporting covering statues and reliefs at the Center;
Painter Nguyen Doanh (middle) who painted wild animal paintings outside the playground;
Nguyen Huu Tho, GreenViet staff - supervising and executing the project.

 

Volunteers of Da Nang universities, taking care of trees and cleaning around the center before the inauguration day, 22/12/2018

The representative of the Department of Education and Training of Da Nang City, the donors, the community and the Greenviet Center cut the inauguration ribbon on December 28, 2018

List of donors

Click link here: List of donors

Total cost:  897,000,000 VND

 

NEC’s operation and development direction

NEC maintains and develops two main kinds of activity:

  1. Experiential learning activities for different target groups, focusing on students
  2. Community activities: NEC functions as a communal place where communities in and outside of Da Nang can be involved in contributing, supporting and organizing activities related to environmental protection and biodiversity conservation.

Currently, NEC opens to all who want to visit and learn about Son Tra nature at 70 Ly Tu Tan Street, Son Tra with free admission. Opening hours: 8.00 – 17.00, Tuesday - Saturday.

The current NEC is considered as a model for an establishment of a larger scale nature education center in future which is based at Son Tra Nature Reserve. The future one would meet better the increasing need of students and community in learning and understanding more about the nature. The future model would include the environmental interpretation site and experiential learning areas in forest.

Areas at NEC

NEC has 5 main areas telling about Son Tra peninsula. Additionally, there are 200 m2 playing yard for children outside of the center.

Area 1: First glance of Son Tra – Provide general information about Son Tra’s natural conditions, formation history, facts and its role to people.

Area 2: Son Trar’s flora and fauna – Introduction to the biodiversity of flora and fauna in Son Tra peninsula.

Area 3: The red-shanked douc langur – Provide the most common information of the red-shanked douc langur: appearance, distribution, living habitat, social behavior, eating behavior, etc.

Area 4: Son Tra, a fragile treasure – Major impacts and threats to Son Tra’s wildlife and ecosystem.

Area 5: Hope for Son Tra – Information on what GreenViet and local community have acted to protect Son Tra, and suggestions for people to take practical actions.

SonTra Nature Education Center from the outside

Area 1: SonTra Peninsula

 

Area 2: Plant and animal diversity

 

Area 3: Red-shanked douc langur

 

Area 4: SonTra fragile treasure

 

Area 5: Hope for SonTra

 

Other activities

Activity of clean-up the environment along Ly Tu Tan Street (where NEC located) to help children living nearby raise awareness about environmental protection.

 

Activity of beach clean-up at Man Quang by community of people who love Son Tra.

 

HOW TO GET INVOLVED AND SUPPORT US

Get involved

For information and updates on NEC, please follow our:
Website: GreenViet 
Facebook:  GreenViet.facebook

Donation

We appreciate each and every donation.

Funding contact

GreenViet Nature Education Center

Key Contact

 

- THANK YOU -

 


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