Enhancing Conservation Education Using Nature-Based Films Shows to Local Schools and Communities Living Adjacent to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy

9 Feb 2015 Laikipia, Kenya, Africa Communities | Education

Joshua Wambugu

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The project aims to enhance conservation education towards increasing conservation knowhow amongst the young learners and local communities through capacity building in awareness creation to the young learners and local people about wildlife and conservation; and how to work together by improving the communities’ participation linkages.

Wall mural at Njoguini Pry School.

Wall mural at Njoguini Pry School.

Conservation is about nature and people. Conservation efforts must involve people, in particular the local communities who have to be informed and aware of the conservation issues in their society. The project seeks to promote conservation education to young learners, in schools and local communities by increasing conservation knowhow, better understanding of wildlife and its conservation efforts using nature-based films to deliver diverse conservation messages.

Further, project aims at bridging gaps on conservation education amongst the locals living adjacent to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy by triggering their eagerness to appreciate and care for nature. As the Conservancy is famous for its unique modern conservation model that is sustainable with benefits focused to community development, the project create a platform to address and discuss the local environmental issues experienced with overall effort to improve local participation linkages. The project targets an estimate audience of 50,000 school children and over 10,000 community dwellers by reaching out to 200 schools and 50 villages.

Whilst most local people and school children living adjacent to the protected area have not had chances to visit wildlife conservancies or seeing actual wildlife, the multimedia films show will offer a better visual experience. Educational materials such as posters and newsletters shall be produced during the course of the project to be used in awareness campaigns. In addition, engage the young learners design their own posters to include in newsletters. The project will support existing environmental education resource centre, strengthen wildlife clubs and club’s patron network. Tree planting and establishment of birdfeeders will be other activities and will act more as a reminder to the participants of the importance of caring for nature. Further, nurtured student conservation leaders selected from themed competition will be offered opportunity for an experiential learning to a selected conservancy or environmental education facilities.

Finally, the expected outcome seeks to nurture a generation passionate and with empathy and beliefs to foster ethics of environmental responsibility. Moreover, increased awareness and knowledge about wildlife conservation and environmental issues will help re-link the existing disconnects between local audiences and wildlife conservation. The nurtured conservation leaders will help in addressing the local conservation challenges by being goodwill ambassadors on decision making and problem solving.

This project therefore shall be vital in reaching out to the unprivileged local audiences in effort to promoting change in conservation awareness and know-how among the young learners, local youths and communities at large.

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