Bina Cinta Alam (BCA) Program
Bina Cinta Alam Program is an environmental education program for pupils in local elementary schools around the West Bali National Park. Through the program, we teach importance of conserving nature and how their behavior can affect the environment. Currently, the National Park suffers constant pressure of resource extraction and other human-caused problems such as pollution. We hope our environmental education will enhance the local people’s awareness about environmental conservation and nurture love toward nature in the hearts of children, thereby laying psychological base for sustainability of the national park and the local community.
Environmental Problems around the West Bali National Park
One of challenges to conservation of natural resources of the National Park is how to control the exploitation of resources by local people. Local people have long lived with natural resources of the environment around them, especially forest. Even though much of forested areas are now designated as protected area of the National Park, extraction of firewood, grass for cattle feed, wildlife and other economically valuable resources is common. Around the coast, rich coral reefs in the protected areas are also damaged by illegal fishing with dynamite and cyanide. Such illegal extraction threatens certain economically valuable species and also leads to degradation of ecosystem.
In this program, we teach 5th and 6th graders at nine schools around the West Bali National Park (Seven schools in Pejarakan Village, one in Sumber Kelompok and one in Sumberkima). The program has three components: in-class teaching, participatory activity, and field trip. In the classroom lessons, we introduce the ecosystem of monsoon forest, mangrove forest, coral reef and farms as well as basic knowledge about the global environmental issue. By combining lectures with songs and quizzes, we try to attract pupils’ interest.
Participatory activities include making greeting cards from natural materials, making recycled papers, and planting trees. The aim of these activities is that children will enjoy the activities and become more interested and engaged in environment-friendly activities. At the end of the program, we invite all pupils in the elementary schools to the National Park, where they are exposed to the wilderness and observe the ecosystem that they learned earlier in classes. Although the pupils live in communities around the National Park, most of pupils have never been to the Park, and have never seen forests, mangroves, or coral reef. We hope that this excursion will give them unforgettable fond experience with nature and build a psychological foundation to care for nature in them.