Educating about the importance of preserving nature, including the local wildlife is critically important as the basis to creating a culture of care. SY has engaged with all the schools across multiple campaign areas since 2013, reaching thousands of students and hundreds of teachers and the responses have been immensely encouraging. If the new generation is to continue to learn about the importance of nature it is crucial that schools become platforms for nurturing environmentally-caring people, and that this knowledge exchange is maintained at an institutional level. In collaboration with education partners, a province-wide conservation curriculum including provincial school syllabus and education materials is being developed, lobbying local education departments for the uptake of syllabus and training of teachers in the area.
In addition to the curriculum, working closely with academic partner University of Sam Ratulangi (UNSRAT) in Manado, SY has established a University network for students and volunteers to coordinate and promote biodiversity and conservation research. The centre promotes opportunities for students for scholarships, study abroad and local conservation and research opportunities, as well as the means to build their capacity and publish their work.
Outreach is crucial to ensure that as wide an audience as possible in reached. In addition to featuring on radio and TV talk-shows, printing branded merchandise, plus numerous magazine and news articles, SY organises yaki exhibitions, information stands and actively raises awareness through informative billboards featuring inspiring local role models and key messages. By using national and international (social) media channels and celebrities as yaki ambassadors (for example the famous Indonesian band SLANK) the message is spread that conservation is fun, encouraging everyone to join!
The capacity for positive attitudes and empathy towards nature within local communities in the region is well-recognised. SY uses a variety of approaches based on understanding in the behaviour change sciences. This includes aspects of community based social marketing, promoting intrinsic and relational values and positive frame and nature protection identities with environmental citizenship. Well-connected and supported awareness campaigns promote the macaques as a socially popular icon, fostering progressive new social norms and developing a deeper sense of recognition and pride in the local flora and fauna.