Middleschool students participating in Project on Agrobiodiversity (ABD) and Pesticides Impact Assessment (PIA)
The project “Sustainable Agriculture and the Muong Ethnic Minority People in the Northwest of Vietnam” has been implemented for 9 months (since February 2012). The project activities include training in Agrobiodiversity (ABD) and Pesticides Impacts Assessment (PIA) for farmers, Tu Ne and Thanh Hoi middle school teachers, clinic staffs and students of Hanoi University of Science; research on biodiversity conducted by teachers and students from Hanoi University of Science and CECAD staff members with support from the Muong villagers; Intergrated Pest Management (IPM) training courses organized for farmers so that they would reduce the amount of pesticides used on farmland while maintaining productivity and income from agriculture. In addition, one of the objectives of the project is to explore a new approach to integrate the base of newly gained knowledge into the school programs so that students – the future famers – would be provided with the information about ABD and PIA. Studen-centred learning and creative thinking approaches have been employed and integrated into the project activities. On 16th September 2012, 60 students of Thanh Hoi and Tu Ne middle schools participated in carrying out a survey on ABD. They were divided into groups. Each collected samples in the different habitats in Buc village (Tu Ne commune) and Nhot village (Thanh Hoi commune) following guidelines and assistance from the teachers and students from Hanoi University of Science and CECAD staff members. Through those extracurricular activities, the students were very excited to learn about the agrobiodiversity on their own fields and to engage in teamwork activities, such as group discussions and presentation. They also received leaflets guiding how to conserve biodiversity through protecting frogs within the project field areas. The students themselves will become messengers who pass the importance of biodiversity conservation and bad impacts of pesticides on health on to their parents. It is hoped that the base of knowledge obtained from the project activities will be useful for them when they become farmers in the future.