Through the years, MAP has never lost sight of the imperative to work with and involve the next generation of decision-makers.
They must have the needed management skills, as well as personal awareness and appreciation for mangroves, so that they may become better stewards of this vital natural resource base for future generations.
MAP has expanded its education program to include aspects both interesting and inspirational for young minds in their attempts to grasp the fuller significance of the mangrove forest community.
In addition to youth-focused programs, MAP targets specific audiences through a variety of educational methods:
MAP’s formal education programs are designed to target groups and individuals such as students, teachers, researchers, policy makers, and extensions officers. Currently there are three formal programs that MAP employs: Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR), Marvelous Mangroves, and Do Your Own Mangrove Action Project. The EMR workshops follow a six-step program to involve local communities in rehabilitating mangroves in an economical and efficient way; these workshops are mostly aimed at NGOs, academics, and community leaders. The Marvelous Mangroves curriculum is designed for primary and junior high school children in tropical and subtropical nations; it is tailored to suit regional needs wherever it is introduced. The Do Your Own Mangrove Action Project is meant as a natural extension of the Marvelous Mangroves curriculum to turn observation in action to resolve specific issues. This curriculum also compliments MAP’s In the Hands of Fishers (IHOF) workshops.
In addition to structured curricula, MAP also engages in non-formal methods of education targeting individuals such as fisherfolk, community leaders, consumers, and children. IHOF and EMR workshops enable experience sharing, networking, and capacity building of local communities and encourage them to take over stewardship of their mangroves. MAP’s ‘Toolkit’ training sessions are another resource offered through informal channels, providing a package of solutions to develop sustainable alternative livelihoods. MAP also works diligently to educate consumers about the impacts of shrimp farming on mangroves as part of its advocacy work, such as in the current Question Your Shrimp campaign. Finally, MAP continues to raise awareness among children and calendar-buffs alike through its yearly Children’s Art Calendar contest, where school children are invited to submit mangrove art to a contest, the winners of which are then published in the calendar and distributed worldwide.