Community Education and Awareness on
Bat and Cave Conservation
This project is to be implemented.
The Project aims to raise the awareness of local communities, the general public and policy makers in Davao Region on the importance of protecting bats and conserving their habitat.
1. To adopt innovative methods in educating local communities and the general public about the environmental and economic importance of bats in Davao Region;
2. To strengthen partnership with and strongly involve the education sector in bat conservation efforts in the Davao Region; and
3. To utilize the internet, social media and multimedia to advocate for bat education and conservation.
METHODS USED AND MAIN ACTIVITIES
The Project conducts education campaigns, community outreach and advocacy efforts to raise public awareness on bat conservation in Davao Region. Since 2011, Annual School Hopping activities were conducted in 26 Public Elementary Schools in partnership with the Samal Island Division of City Schools to promote bat education among students even in the remotest public elementary school in the island.
To reach more students and implement more activities on bat education, the Project has partnered with five environmental organizations based in colleges and universities around Davao Region. The Project has partnership with the local governments of Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur, and relevant Government Agencies to expand its area of operation. Capacity building of local communities in Samal Island is sustained to strengthen and empower local officials to take actions on bat conservation within their jurisdictions.
To give a higher profile and promote broad recognition of the role of bats in the Region, the Project conducts annual Bat Festival. The Project conducts focus group discussions (FGD) to evaluate the current state of bat and cave conservation in local communities. Community needs in bat conservation efforts are identified in these FGDs to help the Project adopt more creative and effective approaches in educating and empowering communities in the conservation of bat species and their natural habitat.
The Project has created and maintains the official website of PBCI as a platform to share information on bat conservation among wider and more diverse audience. It convenes local press conferences as an effective means to promote bat and cave conservation efforts in the Region. The Project plans to produce a Documentary Film to showcase the importance of bats and the conservation efforts conducted in the Davao Region. Initial contacts have been established with acclaimed authors of children’s books for a plan to produce a book on bat conservation for children.
The Monfort Bat Cave & Conservation Foundation Inc. works hand-in-hand with the Philippine Bat Conservation Inc. (PBCI) in all the educational projects undertaken since 2007. PBCI has recently been integrated into the Monfort Foundation to sustain its work. Both organizations have closely worked with the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte and the Department of Tourism Region XI.
The Project has worked with the district office of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Samal Island in its education outreach among elementary school children and in conducting teachers’ workshops to integrate bat conservation in the school curriculum.
Local partners supporting the project are: Rotary Club of South Davao, Acquisition, Association of Durian Grower Members, and Bat Conservation International, Inc. Texas USA.
Financial support is needed for the following project activities in the next 12 months:
1. Strengthening partnership with schools: will involve school hopping activities and working with more local- and school-based environmental organizations and groups
2. Expansion of area of project operations: will involve networking with more local government units in Davao Region, capacity building of village officials in Samal Island and organizing a Bat Festival
3. Adoption of innovative approaches in awareness raising and education campaigns: focus group discussions in communities, production of popular materials on conservation of bats and their habitat, and the use of the internet, social media and local events will be tapped.