Zoox Educational Program
During our Hinagdanan cave exploration on Bohol (more info coming soon – we are busy writing reports!) we met one evening with our friends from the Zoox Educational Programme who are now on Panglao and Moalboal to carry out Green Fins assessments with local dive schools and to work on their personal assignment.
Volunteers of the Zoox Experience Program are actively pursuing a career in marine conservation. This eight week program helps them in acquiring the necessary skills and experience. The first two weeks took place in the arboretum where Marine Conservation Philippines has its base. Our volunteers and staff had the opportunity to sit in on most of the modules and learn more about subject such as sea grass monitoring, marine conservation, important players in the field of marine conservation (prospective employers!), the Green Fins program, Shark conservation and much more. The idea of the Green Fins program is to help commercial dive centers improve on their environmental profile and reduce any negative impact of dive tourism on fragile environments, through regular assessments carried out by the ZEP students, who are trained to become Green Fins assessors during the first two weeks with the Zoox educators at Marine Conservation Philippines.
For MCP volunteers and staff is was a fun two weeks of learning more about marine conservation seen in the perspective of professional career development. The ZEP participants had to work really hard to prepare several presentations and take in tons of additional information to better prepare for their personal assignment. The Zoox educators did a marvelous job, and the Zoox program is very much recommended by us! In the evenings it was time to share good moments and war stories from the trenches of marine conservation. With more than twenty people on base that turned into a lot of brain picking fun. The last night we all celebrated the completion of the first two academic weeks for the ZEP participants, with a typical big Philipino party that lasted until the early morning.
When we had to say goodbye it suddenly felt very quiet. The ZEP volunteers are by now halfway through their placements and Green Fins program – and judging from their success on Panglao, they’re doing a sterling job! We look very much forward to the next program which will be conducted at our base in the end of September.