Thrive Conservation is an NGO focused on empowering young Indonesians to develop and lead conservation projects . The Savu Sea National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) was formally established in 2014, but lack of effective management and enforcement has led to continued degradation of its natural resources. The NMCA is of significant conservation importance due to its unique oceanographic features, which allow for high diversity in habitat and species, as well as important habitat and migration routes for large marine mammals. There is an urgent need to increase socialisation and education effort of the NMCA while also increasing local engagement through nature-based and community-based solutions. Through the support of the Professor Nowak Foundation, Thrive Conservation are able to employ a field staff on the island to spearhead an environmental education program for primary schools for 6 months. The program will focus on 3 villages in South-East Rote and will reach approximately 100 students between the age of 6-12. Primary school teachers will also be engaged, and some activities will involve the broader community.
Thrive Conservation has just hired the Rote Education Officer, who will officially begin their contract in December 2021 and spend the first month working with the Thrive team to design the environmental education strategy and develop materials. Activities in the schools on Rote island will then commence in early 2022. Educating the local community – especially the youth – on the important role the marine resources and NMCA play in sustaining local livelihoods is fundamental in stimulating long-term behaviour change that respects the integrity of the natural environment and promotes sustainable use of its resources. We are excited to have this opportunity to work with young children and the local communities to educate and raise awareness on this topic, which contributes to the long term aim to safeguard the important and unique marine ecosystem in Rote Island and empower local communities to manage their own natural resources.