Students’ Awareness to Save Batagur borneoensis Increased After Campaign

We have implemented a campaign to increase students’ awareness of Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis). A critically endangered species listed as one of twenty five freshwater turtles endangered at a global level. More than six hundred students in Sub-district Seruway, Aceh Tamiang, Indonesia, have been educated. Students’ awareness increased after a campaign that indicated that 94,44 percent of respondents answered correctly to the status of the Painted Terrapin as critically endangered. Compared to pre-campaign survey on July where only 57,7 percent of respondents knew the status.

In the project, that started in April last year, more than of six hundred students have been educated and received the module (guide book) on how to save Painted Terrapin and their habitat. The campaign for the schools was implemented for six months in the field from August 2011 until March 2012. In this period, team of Lembaga SatuCita visited schools to educate students.

Three schools were targeted: two Junior High Schools (Sekolah Menengah Pertama) and one Senior High School (Sekolah Menengah Atas). A pre and post-campaign survey was also carried out to investigate the change of awareness. These schools were targeted due to the fact that students that study there live around of habitat of Painted Terrapin.

Before producing the module we conducted a Focussed Group Discussion (FGD) among stakeholders such as teachers, student representatives, government officers, local fishermen, in formulating the contents of the books.

student asking a question to facilitators

This project has achieved its objectives. 1) 94,44 percent of respondents answered correctly to the status Painted Terrapin as critically endangered. Compared to pre-campaign survey on July 2011 only 57,7 percent of respondents knew the status. 2) 91,11 percent of respondents answered correctly that exploitation of Painted Terrapin is managed by national law. Compared to pre-campaign survey only 14,44 percent answered that the species is managed by national law.

3) 56,67 percent of respondents answered correctly the identification of Painted Terrapin, compared to pre-campaign survey only 7,8 percent of respondents answered correctly. 4) to the question what will student do if they find their neighbor eating or selling the eggs, 84,44 percent of respondents answered that they will try to give warning to their neighbour to not eat the eggs; 37,78 percent of respondents also answer will report to non-governmental organization whose concern to conservation; 11,11 percent of respondents also will report to government authority; 1,11 percent of students answered will join to eat the eggs. These are an increasing compared to pre-campaign survey: only 56,7 percent answered that they will try to give advice (warning) to their neighbor; 23,3 percent will report to conservation organization; 5,5 percent will report it to government office; 8,9 percent will participate to eat the eggs; 27,8 percent will not do anything.

Fifth, to the question what will student do if they find Painted Terrapin captured by fishermen, 76,67 percent of students say that they will report to conservation organization; 23,33 percent say they will report to government authority; 18,89 answered they will try to release it; only 1,11 percent answered that they will not do anything. These are also increasing compared to pre-campaign survey. In our pre-campaign survey only 10 percent or 9 respondents say that they will report to conservation organization; 7.78 percent or 7 respondents say they will report to government authority; 12,22 percent or 11 respondents answered they will release it; 84,44 percent or 76 respondent answered that they will not do anything.

situation of post-campaign survey. Students must answer the questionnaire in the class and supervised, so they will answer by their own knowledge, not cheating.

Sixth, 83,56 students now know that Painted Terrapin lives in Sub-district of Seruway or only 16,44 are still not know. This is decreasing compared to pre-campaign survey that 34,4 percent of respondents answered that they did not know that Painted Terrapin inhabit in mangrove forest in Sub-district of Seruway.

But, according to Joko Guntoro, executive director of SatuCita that also acting as Project director, the results was achieved is necessary but not sufficient. “It is something new for the students although they live very close to Painted Terrapin. That is why, i think, needed to continue the campaign such as establishing student conservation group in each school. By this way, the conservation issues, particularly for Painted Terrapin, will become public discourse, not only for students, but also for teacher, their parents”, joko said.

Lembaga SatuCita would like to thank Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF) for supporting this campaign.

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