Lewa’s Conservation Education Program (CEP) in 2011 seeks to increase the awareness of students about human activities such as indiscriminate killing, poaching and environmental degradation that damage and endanger northern Kenya’s habitats and wildlife. Through the CEP, students:
• Learn the importance of wildlife and environmental conservation
• Link the impact of unsustainable human activities to the environment
• Develop a personal and societal commitment to conservation
• Promote environmental sustainability through changes in their action and attitudes
To achieve this, the CEP promotes conservation through guided game drives as well as interactive exhibits, on-site demonstrations, and presentations at the Conservation Education Centre. Throughout these interactions, the CEP communicates issues around wildlife conservation, environmental degradation, water conservation, waste
management, and energy conservation as well as ways children and their communities can adopt environmentally-sound practices.
Students demonstrate the programme’s impact by launching Conservation Clubs in their schools where they share what they have learned with other students, and initiate activities related to environmental conservation.
1. Sponsor and host 15 school groups from northern Kenya with 50 participants each to spend two nights at Lewa CEP Dormitory to learn about conservation challenges facing lions and their habitats. The students will have a guided game drive to track prides of lions, observe lion behaviour at close range, learn opportunities of coexistence, ways of reducing human-lion conflicts, and how to offer lions the space to range freely. The interactive exhibits at the Conservation Education Centre (that includes a mountain lion) will offer a valuable learning resource.
2. We will deliver an outreach programme to 30 schools that surround Lewa to deliver conservation lessons that reinforce the students’ appreciation of lions in the environment and how humans and lions can co-exist in their community.
3. In addition, we will develop posters and other resources that highlight the challenges facing lions, their role in the environment, and how to co-exist with humans. These materials will be distributed to schools that visit Lewa as well as during the outreach programme. To provide context, from 2016-2017, Lewa hosted 187 school groups with 7,703 students from northern Kenya. Such a large and diverse group of organised students present an audience to actively engage with messages about conservation and co-existence with wildlife. To further reach out to more schools groups in northern Kenya, Lewa aims to increase the number of students and schools in northern Kenya that participate in the CEP as well as facilitate the initiation of environmental projects in schools such as conservation of wildlife and their habitat.
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