|Town/Region||Taï National Park|
|Date||19 Dec 2007|
Conservation education has been identified as a priority action for the conservation of chimpanzees and other wildlife in West Africa (Kormos & Boesch 2003). Awareness raising campaigns of the WCF in the past have conveyed the need to conserve chimpanzees through interactive theatres, discussion rounds, films and newsletters. This has happened both at a local scale around Taï NP and internationally. These campaigns are often targeted at adults whereas long-term approaches oriented towards the next generation, have only rarely been employed thus far. This project will expand the education activities of the WCF with the goal of teaching school children basic knowledge on environmental issues in order to promote care and awareness towards nature conservation and its significance. We hope that in this way we can reduce the likelihood that the current generation of schoolchildren will impact their environments, such as a reduction in the consumption and trade of bushmeat.
We aim to establish a nature club (Club P.A.N.) as an extra-curricular activity with monthly conservation education sessions in 10 selected schools around the Taï NP. The education sessions will be led by an education team consisting of Ivorian teachers experienced in environmental education (CPE, Cellule des Projets Environnementaux, Soubre), helped by volunteers. The education team will first organize a workshop for 10 Ivorian teachers in October 2007, and then work intensively with the local teachers and assistants throughout the rest of the school year on the conservation education project (October 2007 to June 2008). The workshop aims to introduce and provide information to the teachers about Club P.A.N.’s conservation education project and to plan the teaching schedule around the existing curriculum.
The classes will teach about aspects of ecosystems, tropical forest, biodiversity, protected species, human-animal conflicts, role of animals, Tai National Park, conservation etc. To enable younger and older children to learn efficiently, classes use basic games and work (e.g. puppet shows, mask construction) and more direct conservation lessons through an education book that is prepared for Club PAN. The education team will actively participate in the unfolding of each lesson, through lively discussion and interactive experiments. The impact of the project will be assessed through compilation of evaluation sheets filled by the teachers and the children before and after the on-start of the project.
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