Environmental education is vital to Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)’s mission by working with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education, and land use to benefit all species, including people.
As a member organization of Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO), CCF plays an integral role in providing the much needed services to conservancies in central Namibia’s Greater Waterberg Plateau landscape, by working with communities and communal farmers to address both wildlife and human needs.
In order to reach the widest audience possible, CCF educates farmers, teachers, and the public about methods to conserve biodiversity. Special emphasis is placed on the role of the cheetah and other predators in healthy ecosystems.
On 17 February, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and EduVentures Africa hosted a five day workshop at Okatjikona Environmental Educational Centre where CCF’s Community Officer, Veisy Kasaona facilitated a session on Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM). One conservancy committee member from the Ozonahi Conservancy and twenty Agriculture Teachers from different schools in the Otjozondjupa region participated.
The aim of the workshop was to train teachers on how they can integrate Environmental Education in the school curriculum, especially in Agriculture and to share information on CBNRM in order to widen the teacher’s knowledge on conservancies and natural resource management. The teachers were also advised on how they can start and sustain environmental clubs at their schools to encourage learners to participate in environmental activities.
Training teachers on these topics is important as they are better positioned and equipped to spread information throughout the education system by sharing with schools and other stakeholders where environmental educators might find difficult to reach. Through this type of training, CCF is able to reach more learners using fewer resources.
Participants showed interest in conservancies and the management of natural resources because they could relate to the subject based on how it is done in their communities. With the help of the trainers and facilitators, the teachers came up with ideas on how to incorporate environmental topics in the subject syllabus and presented these topics to other workshop participants. When visiting schools, CCF’s education and outreach also emphasizes on the importance of establishing functional and sustainable environmental clubs.
At the end of the workshop, teachers demonstrated a clear understanding of CBNRM and how they could include it in their school curriculum.