From 21 – 25 July 2014 UNESCO Jakarta office in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Provincial Education Authority in NTT, and Undana University are organizing a teacher training with SMK Arts and Tourism Teachers on the Promotion of Nusa Tenggara Timur’s Biodiversity, at Jayakarta Resort Hotel, Labuan Bajo, NTT Indonesia.
In his opening speech, UNESCO Director and Representative Hubert Gijzen emphasised that by raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity, we can contribute towards protecting and preserving our natural systems. He further stressed the important role biodiversity plays in the protection of the environment, our economy, and our social and cultural well being, and expressed a concern that we continue to participate in many activities that overexploit natural resources and harm biodiversity.
Mainstreaming biodiversity into education and learning is an important priority for UNESCO, Dr. Gijzen said. By embedding key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning practices, the aim is to change fundamental attitudes and believes that guide learners’ behavior. To make this change possible, Dr. Gijzen pointed out the unique position teachers hold in informing and supporting students to make responsible decisions, and said: “UNESCO wants to strengthen your capacities to provide relevant and valuable teaching that can promote more sustainable ways of living”.
Dr. Gijzen further encouraged participants to reflect on their role as teachers and how they personally can inspire learners to take action in their everyday lives, and to make sustainable choices a daily habit.
Mr. Marten, Head of Education office of Manggara Barat, thanked UNESCO Director Hubert Gijzen and Undana for organizing the teacher training, and stressed the importance of protecting biodiversity in the region.
The training of SMK Arts and Tourism Teachers follow the opening ceremony, and continues until Friday 25 July, including a field trip to Rinca Island for participants to experience the rich biodiversity of this beautiful region.
Download Mr. Hubert Gizjen's Opening Speech here