Training and Community Engagement
The training and community engagement tracks provide venues for the students to develop and become advocates for biodiversity conservation as well as for the sustainable use and management of marine resources. As a training and extension facility that promotes and sustains societal change, the SHORE Center maintains the following community extension programs:
In March 2008, the Shields Marine Station, in cooperation with the Maximo T. Kalaw Institute for Sustainable Development1 (MTKI), Marilin’s Free School2 (MFS) and the Matuod Homeowners’ Association initiated the Talim Bay Sea Scouts Program, which is now the DLSU Coastal Scouts Program (CSP). The CSP has sought to develop, introduce and implement a supplemental curriculum for the MFS. Activities that are held annually are designed to accomplish the goals of the different phases—basic, intermediate, and advance, of the program, with courses in reef, mangrove, sea grass, and turtle and incorporate a reward and evaluation system, scholarships, and lectures on first aid, life-saving techniques, camping skills, and public speaking.The CSP, which is now under the SHORE Center’s CBSU, endeavors to provide relevant, structured, experiential learning to the youth from coastal communities aged 7 to 18 years with the aim of deepening their appreciation and broadening their knowledge about their marine environment. It intends to provide a basis for intervention that will reorient their families and neighbors, and make Coastal Scouts capable of helping themselves and their respective immediate communities. The CSP offers an education option that is skills-based, ladderized, community development-focused, and conservation-oriented. It prepares the Coastal Scouts to serve as guides, masters and facilitators for beach camps and field trips; assistants and assistant instructors to students undertaking field work; assistants to research and thesis students; assistants to the research and monitoring, and habitat protection and restoration programs; and facilitators in the coastal resource management and disaster preparedness programs.Envisioned to expand to other coastal areas in the Philippines through collaboration with other schools, organizations and institutions, the SSP was brought to Negros Occidental. This was made possible with the initiative of SHORE Center Director Dr. Wilfredo Y. Licuanan and DLSU-Integrated School Associate Principal Dr. Maricar S. Samson who collaborated with the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos (UNO-R), making Bacolod City the first ever recipient of the program in the Visayas Region. Nineteen students, aged 10 to 16 years and from four Bacolod City schools, participated.
This organization is envisioned to complement the DLSU CSP by educating young residents of non-coastal communities on the importance of the coastal and marine environments. It also aims to train them to become stewards of the sea. CSA Organization members are taught about the following: the interconnectedness of the land and the sea; the uniqueness of the coastal and marine environments; the different coastal habitats; and the role of CSAs in the protection, conservation, and rehabilitation of the coastal ecosystem.The CSAs are required to work in partnership with the nearest coastal community Coastal Scouts in the management of coastal resources, particularly in: the promotion of practices that will help protect, conserve and rehabilitate the country’s coast and marine ecosystems; coastal resource management initiatives; and supporting research and development geared towards improving the condition of coastal and marine environments.
The CSA organization is school-based such that all its activities are authorized and recognized by the participating academic institution. The first CSA Organization was formed in March 2013 at the DLSU-Integrated School with Grades 8 and 9 students as members.
This program, which was started in 2012, is undertaken by the SHORE Center in partnership with the International School Manila (ISM). The ISM offers a semester-long class called “Changing our World” in collaboration with various non-government organizations in the Philippines with the aim of improving the state of the coastal and marine environments in the country. Every February, ISM brings around 20 Grade 8 students aged 13 to 14 years to the Shields Marine Station for a five-day immersion consisting of lectures, group activities, community interaction, and team-challenges.
Regular Monitoring for Local Governments of Lian and Nasugbu, Batangas and the Tubbataha Reefs Marine Natural Park (TRMNP)
Since 2009, the SHORE Center has been conducting annual monitoring of the state of coral reefs and associated organisms in the Municipalities of Lian and Nasugbu in Batangas, and in the TRMNP in Palawan. It prepares an annual report on the state of reefs and associated organisms and provides a copy of this to the local government units (LGUs) that have jurisdiction over the areas monitored. The reports serve as handy guides for the LGUs in formulating policies and programs to properly manage the reefs in their areas. The monitoring activities also serves as a training and support for the research of graduate students of DLSU and other schools.
1 The Maximo T. Kalaw Institute for Sustainable Development is a non-government organization that focuses on human development through programs that promote equitable and sustainable use of natural resources.
2 The Marilin’s Free School is a weekend free school initiated by Ms. Marilin Matute to provide supplemental learning to children living in nearby coastal sitios of Talim Bay.