Providing Hands-on Learning Experiences for Students at the Southern MPAs within the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System - World Heritage Site
Providing Hands-on Learning Experiences for Students at the Southern MPAs within the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System - World Heritage Site
An important part of SEA’s mission is to create stewardship and improve the management of the three marine protected areas that it co-manages. In order to ensure stewardship and support management activities, SEA must develop a comprehensive understanding amongst stakeholders of all ages about the importance of conservation and the realities of MPA management. Over the years there has been a growing incorporation of environmental education and conservation principles into the yearly curriculum for all elementary and high school students. Teachers are frequently looking to organizations like SEA to offer courses or activities that will further enhance these in class sessions. The previous environmental education programs run by both FoN and TASTE have further illustrated the impact that a simple day spent actually experiencing the coral reefs can provide for young learners. Most students (and adults) return from these experiences motivated to have a more positive impact on the environment.

This project will build on the successes of previous projects and improve the capacity of local teachers, parents and other interested stakeholders to provide crucial hands on learning opportunities at both Laughing Bird Caye, the Sapodilla Cayes and within the local communities themselves. The COMPACT Programme Phase II Site Strategy outlines three specific objectives. Objective 2 of the strategy is: “To promote the protection, conservation and sustainable use of the resources of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System-World Heritage Site by community groups, community based organizations and the general public.” This project seeks to build public awareness not only about the BBRRS-WHS but also about the role that managers play in ensuring the proper protection of the broader reef system. By developing a cadre of trained adult “field directors” who would be empowered to build on the environmental education curriculum already in place in the schools with field sessions, student designed environmental projects and a science fair; this project should directly address this COMPACT Programme Objective. In working with local teachers, parents and students, SEA will offer a ‘hands on’ learning experience that allows students to experience and gain understanding about the beauty and threats to the BBRRS-WHS. These students will then take their classroom and field experiences to develop and implement environmental mini-projects that directly relate to the importance of conserving and protecting the marine environment. This project will make use of the existing environmental education materials developed by TASTE, FoN, the Meso-American Barrier Reef System Project and others, as well as support environmental awareness aspects of projects implemented by WWF and other international partners.

Project Goal: To complement the existing environmental education programs in local schools with hands-on learning experiences

Objective 1: To identify, train and support individual teams of adult field directors who are equipped to develop and implement hands-on learning experiences

Objective 2: To support the implementation of hands-on learning experiences with local students
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Project Snapshot

Southern Environmental Association
Area Of Work:
Operational Phase:
Phase 4
Grant Amount:
US$ 46,845.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 54,229.65
Project Number:
Start Date:
End Date:
Satisfactorily Completed

Grantee Contact

Mr. Lindsay Garbutt


Placencia Point, Placencia, Stann Creek District


SGP Country office contact

Mr. Leonel Requena
(501) 822-2462


UNDP Belize,3rd Floor, Lawrence Nicholas Building Complex ,P.O. Box 53,South Ring Road,
Belmopan, Central America