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Environmental education centres

PanEco supports three environmental education centres (PPLH) on Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi which are run by independent local partner organisations. At these centres, locals and foreign tourists learn about the threatened diversity of the rainforest habitat, the fragile marine ecosystem and traditional Javanese agriculture.

Background

Reintroducing Sumatran orangutans to the wild is the original main activity of PanEco. The reason they are endangered is the destruction of their habitat, however, so today we also strongly advocate protecting the rainforest, educating about the environment and introducing alternative sources of income.

With our partner foundations YEL, YLHS and YLHP we run three environmental education centres on Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi. Bohorok, Seloliman and Puntondo have different areas of focus – but one thing all three environmental education centres have in common is that they educate the local population and also foreign visitors and raise awareness of the importance of the unique tropical ecosystems.

As well as being an inexpensive place to stay at night for associations, schools and companies, all of the environmental education centres also provide an EcoLodge for tourists which, as actual profit centres, cross-finance the environmental education activities with their income. The EcoLodges also promote the development of socially and environmentally acceptable tourism and create jobs for the local population.

Measures– THE THREE ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTRES

PPLH Bohorok on Sumatra

PPLH Bohorok is on the edge of the world-famous Leuser ecosystem and is dedicated to the theme of the rainforest as a habitat and a sustainable lifestyle. The centre’s EcoLodge has traditionally equipped rooms, a large garden complex with indigenous fruit trees and a medicinal plant garden and also offers excursions and trekking in the rainforest with well-trained local guides. The goal is to run the entire facility on a sustainable basis. Constructed wetland, alternative energies and the centre’s own organic vegetable garden are just a few examples. The centre provides environmental education courses on-site, in the villages and at the local schools.

The centre also has an «Eco-Farm» – a thriving small oasis of 1.6 hectares. An aquaponic system and constructed wetland, periphyton-based aquaculture, fish farming and vegetable patches can be found here. Students from various universities in Medan, Aceh and also Switzerland are writing dissertations at the premises. The organic vegetables and the fish are sold to the EcoLodge and also at the local market. And finally, local farmers are taught about organic farming at the «Eco-Farm».

> Website of PPLH Bohorok (ind)

> Website of EcoLodge Bohorok

> Time lapse video of the construction of our bamboo-restaurant in Bohorok

PPLH Seloliman on Java

PPLH Seloliman, the oldest environmental education centre in Indonesia, is primarily dedicated to promoting organic farming. Land is a very scarce commodity on Java, but sustainable use of resources is still not very widespread. The environmental education programme of PPLH Seloliman is therefore basically aimed at farmers and school classes. Interested farmers from the region are taught the basics of organic farming and are given professional support to help them make the switch to organic farming. For school classes, private groups and individual visitors, PPLH Seloliman offers a series of courses, workshops and seminars.

Every Sunday, visitors to PPLH Seloliman are also invited to exchange their experiences and views on various environmental themes. The entire infrastructure of the environmental education centre is open to the public and serves as a display model. The specific features include a display garden, constructed wetland and the various farm animals which are kept there.

> Website of PPLH Seloliman

PPLH Puntondo on Sulawesi

PPLH Puntondo is on the south coast of Sulawesi and is actively involved in conserving and restoring mangrove forests and coral reefs. The extraordinarily flat coastal zone of South Sulawesi requires a great deal of care to ensure preservation of the bases of existence of the local population – fishing and algae farming.

For schools, PPLH Puntondo provides various modules on themes connected with the sea. At the centre, children and teachers are made aware of the significance and the preservation of the important bases of existence in their immediate environment. They pass on the information to their families and therefore support a careful and sustainable relationship with nature. As well as environmental education, PPLH Puntondo is also working specifically on two major projects which concern the sustainable use of coastal zones and the development of green tourism.

> Website of PPLH Puntondo (IND)

Successes

  • Average annual number of visitors to the environmental education centres (including EcoLodges) of 27,000 in Seloliman and Bohorok and 15,000 in Puntondo
  • Publication of the teaching material «Tropical Rainforest» by PPLH Bohorok consisting of a handbook for teachers and an exercise book for pupils. The school authority of Binjai City is testing the textbook in 50 primary schools in the 2014/15 school year. Introduction throughout the country is planned.
  • Establishment of «LeSOS» – one of the first Indonesian organic certification organisations – by PPLH Seloliman

Funding

The environmental education centres are run by our partner foundations YEL (Bohorok), YLHS (Seloliman) and YLHP (Puntondo). PanEco supports the centres financially and also with staff.