Category Archives: Education

Congratulations Miguel Conceição

REGUA’s Young ranger Miguel Conceição has successfully completed his guide training course with honours.   The course was administrated by the State organisation, INEA and Três Picos State Park with the aim to qualify and prepare youths as professional guides in the region’s parks.

The course  focuses on youngsters who like nature and Miguel was selected after showing a real aptitude for nature in our Young Ranger programme.

Miguel Conceição with sister, mother, Prof Carlos and Raquel Locke (© REGUA)

Everyone at REGUA is very proud of his achievement – it just shows that with determination and perseverance one can achieve great things.    Our education officer Professor Carlos is thrilled with his star pupil however,  he is adamant, that all of the youngsters participating in this course have the capability to achieve this type of success.

As Miguel says, “It is my dream to become a biologist”.    His mother is rightly very proud and overjoyed as the course has inspired and instilled many values with the local youngsters, and says REGUA has been the best thing to happen to her family.    Wow!!!

We owe it to people like Miguel who believe in what we are doing and are prepared to take up the opportunities that are offered their life.    Thank you also to INEA for offering the chance to change this young man’s life.

Water Erosion Education

REGUA’s Prof. Carlos held a workshop with students

Professor Carlos with the students (© Sue Healey)

ts from a Cachoeiras de Macacu Secondary School.   They were here to find out about the importance of trees to the provision of reliable clean water.

After a short talk, they watched a practical demonstration by Prof. Carlos, showing how when the land is devoid of trees, often compacted, eroded and maybe built upon, the rain runs straight off into the nearby river courses.   When the rain is heavy this can lead to flooding, but in any event it takes with it silt and any residual chemicals previously used on the land.

On the other side of our model valley there are trees.   Their roots bind the soil, reducing erosion and allowing the surface of the land to accept the rain, filtering it and slowing down the risk of any flooding.   After watching as water was poured over both sides of the valley, highlighting the differences, the students went off to see the reforested areas around the wetlands.

An excited group (© Sue Healey)

 

Guide Training – part of REGUA’s Education work

Rio’s State Environmental Institute (INEA) organized a summer training course called “Trail Guiding” whose target audience were participants from the local areas of Cachoeiras de Macacu and Guapimirim. Thirty people enrolled in this course including REGUA’s young ranger Miguel – just shows how inspiring REGUA can be!

The course participants with REGUA staff (©REGUA)

The aim is to prepare local guides to help visitors at the Três Picos Park and Natural Park at Macacu. The guides love nature and need to gain experience, knowledge and confidence to show visitors all the beauty and diversity of the Atlantic Forest.

Part of the course covers Bird guiding, and as Regua’s guides have become well known for their skill and knowledge, we were happy to host the birdwatching event around our restored wetlands.   Adilei de Carvalho and Cirilo Vieira, Regua’s bird guides, were in charge of the training, giving a talk on what birding is about and showed them some of the most representative lowland species in the wetlands.

Great success for Miguel

Miguel Ferreira de Conceição is a young lad from the local community of Matumbo who has a passion for nature.

He comes from a humble background and is now 21 years old, but since joining the Young Ranger programme seven years ago, he found his desire for the future – wanting to work in tourism.

Professor Carlos with Miguel
Professor Carlos with Miguel (© Nicholas Locke)

REGUA’s resident teacher Professor Carlos has always been supportive and encouraged him, and a month ago Miguel participated in a test that offered opportunities for a professional “Park visitor guide” course organized by the State Government Institute (INEA).

We were all thrilled that of the 50 applicants, Miguel took third place; a testimony to the value and contribution of REGUA’s Young Ranger programme.

Miguel has started the course and is rightly proud of his achievements.   It is rewarding and very satisfying for us to see direct life-changing benefits that can reach deep into other people lives.

Miguel loves dragonflies and as a reward we presented REGUA publication  A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Serra dos Orgaos so Miguel can brush up his knowledge of these special creatures and guide future guests wanting to see them.

Young Ranger Programme

REGUA’s Young Rangers programme has been very successful this year with a huge participation by local adolescents.

REGUA’S teacher, locally known as ‘Professor Carlos’ has divided the entire group of 30 children into two age groups helping to keep them focused on the subjects he believes important.

Young Rangers
Young Rangers (© Gustavo Pedro)

This year marked its 11th anniversary and the results could not be more positive.

The aim of the programme is to remind the children that not only do they live in a precious environment but they are responsible for its care. The weekly visits to REGUA provide opportunities for lessons in the environment, social development punctuated with walks and visits, activities in the local community, lectures by resident researchers and excursions. The Young Rangers love it and every year increasingly more children want to join the programme.

Young rangers learn about palms

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Sara talks about Palms at REGUA (© REGUA)

Our Young Ranger project covers many aspects of the REGUA project and the biodiversity of the Atlantic Forest. Sara Colmenares, a Colombian lady undertaking her doctorate degree at REGUA, is studying palm diversity along the altitudinal gradient at REGUA and within the Serra dos Órgãos National Park. Sara recently gave an excellent talk to the Young Rangers about palms and we’d like to say thank you to Sara for a most interesting talk.

Tom Locke

Centro de Estudos Valladares School visit REGUA

Continuing REGUA’s education programme, we were happy to welcome “Centro de Estudos Valladares” school from Cachoeiras de Macacu which recently held it’s annual Education seminar at REGUA’s conservation Centre.   Eighty secondary school children came to REGUA to share the event accompanied by 15 teachers.

Nicholas takes a class
Nicholas takes a class (© REGUA)

The essence of the series of activities within the Seminar is to stimulate citizenship,  by creating responsibility and encouraging the school children to understand that one day they will be members of society. The classroom activities included interactive discussions on history of the municipality; Atlantic rainforest biodiversity and quality of life.   The outdoor activities included walks using cameras as a means of perception.  All these activities are wrapped around environmental themes, ending in a panel of photos of nature and debates.

The children loved their visit and behaved very well. The event was a success and everyone had a great time promising to return to REGUA at the end of the year. The teachers also really enjoyed it and worked on presenting to the children the history of REGUA by researching the website. The results were amazing and left us very happy to see that what the project is doing is generating an understanding of our mission and their approval.

Nicholas with some of the teachers
Nicholas with some of the teachers (© REGUA)

Jacutinga at Funchal School

Jacutinga model
Jacutinga model

Funchal school recently organised a Science Day in which the Black-Fronted-Piping Guan (Aburria jacutinga) was the star of the day.

 

The reintroduction project of this species at REGUA will soon take place and Livia Dias, the biologist in charge of monitoring them was present with her young son, Artur.

 

With models of the bird and information on the re-introduction process,  and the part that these arboreal birds play in the overall biodiversity of the forest, the day was a great success.   Both Raquel Locke and Prof. Carlos from REGUA were delighted to attend.

Livia Dias, Raquel Locke and Staff at Funchal School
Livia Dias, Raquel Locke and Staff at Funchal School (©REGUA)

 

Meeting with local members of the community and especially education in local schools is a vital part of the re-introduction project and also fits well with REGUA’s mission to further environmental education work in the area.

 

Congratulations to the headmaster, teachers, pupils and staff for this wonderful event.

Tom Locke

Elias Faraht school 

Elias Faraht school in Cachoeiras Municipality has visited Regua in the previous two years and developed a regular visitation programme.    This third seminar was (as previously) drawing on their interest in our restored wetlands.   Using them as a base for interdisciplinary studies on hydrology, soil diversity, fauna and tree composition.

The teachers organised the seminar which consisted of students aged 13-15 presenting their work to an audience of parents and school staff.

The Seminar opened with REGUA`s slide presentation and ended with the REGUA GGV Project restoration video.

Special thanks to Professor Denecir, Elias Faraht´s Headmaster and Teachers for the support and recognition given to the project and the wonderful opportunity to promote REGUA´s Conservation and Environmental Education work in the municipality.

Black-fronted Piping-Guan

One of the most important aspects of any reintroduction programme is the education of the local community.    Part of the Black-fronted Piping-guan re-introduction project comprises a series of Teacher Training Courses for local schools.

Alecsandra Tassoni from SAVE Brasil (BirdLife International branch) recently held the first of a series of these courses at REGUA.    The event was attended by 15 teachers from three neighbouring schools in Guapiaçu, Matumbo and Funchal.

Alecsandra Tassoni (5th from right back row) with Raquel Locke (centre front) and local Teachers. (© REGUA)

The aim of these courses is to introduce this charismatic bird to local school teachers, and explain the background to the re-introduction, with details of its conservation status, its ecological role and the need to protect existing forests to guarantee the perpetuation of this and all species.

The teachers were keen to know abut the project and the importance of this bird to the biodiversity of the forest, and were delighted to have the educational material to support them back in the classroom.

The day was a great success and everyone learned much about the Black-fronted Piping-guan and its future release at REGUA.