An Introduction to Environmental Interpretation
An introduction to Environmental Interpretation
1st October 2015, 9am - 12.30pm
Conference Room, CEMACS
By: Annette Jaya Ram
The field of ecotourism is gaining importance in developing nations, especially in a country as ours which is rich in biodiversity. Ecotourism enables tourists, and citizens alike, to appreciate and understand nature on a deeper level. Besides this, it improves understanding of the impact of human culture on the environment. Therefore, it is an important factor for the governing bodies which are involved in ecotourism to be able to disseminate information to the general public with precision, though in a less complicated manner. The ability to interpret technical and scientific terms concerning the environment into simpler lingo is quite an important skill to possess.
Recently the some of us at CEMACS were treated to a sharing session by Dr. Nurul Salmi (School of Biological Sciences, USM) and Masthurah Abdullah (Science Officer, CEMACS), who attended the Introduction to Environmental Interpretation Course (Kursus Pengenalan Interpretasi Persekitaran) organized by the Forest Research Institute Malaysia. The course was conducted from the 10th - 14th August 2015 at Ismah Beach Resort, Melaka. Dr. Nurul and Masthurah brought back a treasure trove of knowledge in regards to environmental interpretation and gave us, the participants a taste of what they gained from the course.
Dr. Nurul Salmi gave us her presentations encompassing the objectives of the course, which was to understand the principles and basic techniques of environmental interpretation, to hone the skills of effective technical information presentation, and to highlight the importance of awareness of nature conservation. She related to us the importance of communicating with the public clearly and revealed the techniques of verbal and non-verbal methods of interaction. The sharing session was further strengthened with two activities conducted by Masthurah. The activities brought about a lot of laughter and smiles, even nervous stutters as we struggled to describe every-day items drawn out from a bag and make it sound as interesting and captivating as possible. It’s no easy task, trust me. Overall, the sharing session was thought-provoking and reflection-inducing. Thanks and appreciation goes out to Dr. Nurul and Masthurah for taking the time to introduce us to the skills and techniques for effective environmental interpretation.