Perhentian Eco Education Project
It is often the people in the local communities who are affected by any environmental issues or practices led by the rapid expansion of the local tourism industry. Therefore, working with local stakeholders for sustainable living and community-led conservation is foremost and vital to make steps in the right direction. With this in mind, Perhentian Eco Education Project (PEEP) – formerly known as the Ecoteer House – was established in early 2010. The project primarily focuses on educating and raising environmental awareness within the local community and on-site tourists through collaborating with other Fuze Ecoteer projects, i.e., the Perhentian Marine Research Station (PMRS) and the Perhentian Turtle Project (PTP).
Impact Stats in 2019
Marine conservation in Perhentian Island lead by a joint effort from the local villagers and stakeholders for the long term benefits of human and nature.
- By 2027, at least 20% of eco club students are involved in conservation project / programme in Perhentian Island.
Find our more detailed information below
About the islands
The Perhentian Island ́s shallow coral reef communities and seagrass beds are subject to a number of anthropogenic impacts, the main driver being the rapid expansion of the local tourism industry. Land-based infrastructure development, solid and liquid waste pollution and inadequate visitor management collectively put considerable pressure on these vulnerable ecosystems.
There is only one school on the islands, Sekolah Kebangsaan Pulau Perhentian (SKPP), which can accommodate children aged 7-12 years old. The island life is their future, hence, many will choose to become boatmen, homestay and resort owners, snorkelling guides and dive masters. Therefore, it is crucial that we educate local children about the importance of healthy ecosystems and marine conservation so they can practice sustainable ecotourism in the future.
What we do
Eco School Club
Our main focus this year is ECO-Club (Junior & Senior). All students who participate in our weekly class session undertake water-based activities, such as coral watch and kayak patrols. Our class session helps us to introduce the topic, i.e., what are corals? why are they important? how to identify them? while practical sessions help the students to learn from experience – the acquired knowledge on corals will be used to collect data on the health of coral reefs around the islands. Similarly, doing kayak patrols helps our students to improve their coral identification skills while collecting marine debris floating around the sea.
Currently, our students are in the learning phase. We hope to gradually introduce systematic data collection, identifying data trends and patterns, critical thinking, and hopefully presenting to volunteer groups and the local community.
We organise weekly English classes for SKPP students to help improve their speaking and comprehension skills. This is conducted by a teaching intern and our volunteers. We also offer tuition classes to students in Maths, Science, Bahasa Melayu using a formal school syllabus.
In the past, we ran weekly Roots & Shoots classes (find out more about Roots and Shoots here) with the local children for community-based solutions to grand challenges per Dr Jane Goodall’s vision and legacy. Last year, the students chose ‘Rubbish in the Village’ as their topic, and we prepared lesson plans accordingly. Additionally, we held a month-long recycling competition as the finale for the Roots & Shoots programme. This year, we chose to introduce a weekly Dikir Barat class, a traditional form of musical practice which involves singing in groups, with or without musical instruments.
Recycling & Waste Management
Beach clean-ups are a never-ending activity and we frequently conduct them to reduce as much litter as possible from our beaches. This is especially required after the monsoon season when high amounts of rubbish are deposited on the shores. PEEP collaborates with PTP and PMRS to organise a joint beach cleanup once a week.
Also, we work closely with the recycling and waste management team at PMRS to introduce and implement effective plastics and waste management initiatives around the islands. We focus our efforts on the local village while PMRS focuses on dive shops and resorts.
This year, we introduced wire mesh bins with clear signs for separating plastics, aluminum cans and general waste on both islands. In the village, the locals are gradually developing the habit of separating their waste. We also introduced a Jumbo Bag system, where all collected plastics are sorted in jumbo bags and stored in the local school. This will either be sent for recycling in the mainland or will be used for the Precious Plastics Machine.
Plastic Free Perhentian
In collaboration with the Perhentian Marine Research Station, PEEP is aiming to reduce the amount of plastic on the Perhentian Islands by collecting and sending the plastic for recycling on the mainland and any type 2 and type 5 plastic being recycled on island utilising the Precious Plastics machine. PEEP along with the other FE projects are campaigning for single use plastics to be banned from the islands.
The projects have initiated:
- providing mesh bins and jumbo bags to local dive shops and resorts for collecting plastics, which will be sent to a recycling facility in the mainland.
- Provide jumbo bags with plastics at the local school to be used for upcycling with the Precious Plastic Machine.
- Set up a weekly Conservation Education Station booth at the Panorama Divers to brief snorkelers and divers on eco-friendly practices along with educating the public.
- Organise weekly beach cleanups in collaboration with other FE projects
- Conduct micro-plastic surveys with Portsmouth University.
Along the southern coast of Java, you will find the Special Region of Yogyakarta, affectionately referred to as ‘Jogja’. Just to confuse you, the region’s historic capital is also called Yogyakarta. The whole region is nature’s paradise; here you can breathe fresh air and connect with nature.