Research has shown that children are the greatest users of natural areas and that childhood experiences strongly shape adults’ environmental values. This project was designed to ascertain children’s environmental uses and perceptions in two rural villages in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, utilising children’s use of the environment for play and their sense of place as key focus areas. Several factors influenced children’s environmental use, including safety fears, increased consumption of western media and environmental restrictions imposed by the state, revealing how South Africa’s high level of violence against women and children contributes to gendered environmental use and knowledge, and bringing about concern for children’s cultural identity in an increasingly westernised world.
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Alexander, J., Cocks, M.L. & Shackleton, C. The Landscape of Childhood: Play and Place as Tools to Understanding Children’s Enviromental Use and Perceptions. Hum Ecol 43, 467–480 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-015-9755-z