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Education as a Tool to Live in Harmony with Nature

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Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD,volume 243)

Abstract

Environmental education (EE) can be an effective tool for developing meaningful conservation awareness and action. EE empowers people to explore environmental issues and engage in problem solving and actions to improve their environment. The Tanzanian government mandates that EE in primary and secondary schools be integrated into a range of subjects. In practice, lack of appropriate materials and teacher training limit EE implementation in Tanzania, and textbooks written in the U.S. or Europe may be less effective teaching aids in the Tanzanian context. We discuss the importance of effective communication and the importance of evaluating the impacts of environmental education interventions on knowledge and attitudes. We describe three innovative, culturally relevant, locally designed EE programs being implemented in schools in the Tarangire Ecosystem that fulfil the Tanzanian government’s mandate while building community support for conservation efforts. We provide examples of media efforts for conservation on television and radio. Finally, we profile three case studies in the Tarangire Ecosystem that measured the impacts of: (1) a classroom education program; (2) a program that brings youth to Tarangire National Park; and (3) a conservation-themed gospel song played on the radio, and the lessons learned from the evaluations of each intervention.

Keywords

  • Environmental education
  • Impact evaluation
  • Communication
  • Tarangire Ecosystem

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Fig. 16.1

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Acknowledgements

Wild Nature Institute’s Celebrating Africa’s Giants program was supported by The Living Desert, Sacramento Zoo, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Tulsa Zoo, Tierpark Berlin and Zoo Berlin, Zoo Miami, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, GreaterGood.org, and the Anne Innis Dagg Foundation. Lise Levy developed the Celebrating Africa’s Giants lesson plans and trained teachers. Funding for Tanzania People & Wildlife’s Youth Environmental Education Program was provided by National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative and the Disney Conservation Fund. PAMS Foundation’s Living in Harmony with your Natural Surroundings program was funded by Upendo and Woodchester Trust. The Living Desert’s Juma the Giraffe education project was funded by the Anderson Children’s Foundation. Each organization also thanks the many private donors who support these education programs.

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Correspondence to Monica L. Bond .

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Bond, M.L. et al. (2022). Education as a Tool to Live in Harmony with Nature. In: Kiffner, C., Bond, M.L., Lee, D.E. (eds) Tarangire: Human-Wildlife Coexistence in a Fragmented Ecosystem. Ecological Studies, vol 243. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-93604-4_16

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