Club P.A.N.-Environmental education promotes chimpanzee conservation

WCF/Club P.A.N
Published: 15 November 2015
Last edited: 06 December 2017
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Summary

Education is a long-term priority for the conservation of chimpanzees and other wildlife. In 2007, the MPI conservation group, and the WCF, created Club P.A.N for schools in West Africa. The project’s aim is to discourage children living near wild chimpanzee habitats from consuming bush-meat and to enable them to be pro-active in biodiversity conservation. Club P.A.N. is active in schools around the Taï National Park in Côte d’Ivoire and schools in Guinea from around the newly approved Moyen-Bafing National Park.

Classifications

Region
West and Central Africa
Ecosystem
Forest ecosystems
Temperate evergreen forest
Theme
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Health and human wellbeing
Indigenous people
Outreach & communications
Species management
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Local
Subnational

Location

Taï National Park, Guiglo, Moyen-Cavally, Côte d'Ivoire | Moyen-Bafing National Park in Guinea

Challenges

loss of habitat and over hunting The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists chimpanzees as endangered. They have disappeared in 3 West African countries: The main threats are habitat loss and hunting for bush-meat. Tropical forests were once widespread but continue to decline. We have first-hand experience working in Taï NP, and were concerned by the level of hunting and environmental degradation. This motivated us to create Club P.A.N.

Beneficiaries

School children, teachers and principles and parents and villagers.

How do the building blocks interact?

Club P.A.N.’s success depends on all five building blocks coming together to form a strong educational programme with multiple ways in transmitting and encouraging conservation education. First we needed to find our local partners that get the authorization and implement the program. Our key partner is the CPE, with direct connections to the Ministies of Education and Environment and to the Office Ivoirien des Parcs et Réserves. They maintained the authorization of the program and they implement the program since its inception. Together with the WCF and the Conservation Group they conduct the teacher training workshops each year (building block 2), they implement the program around the school curriculum, find new schools, conduct the Club P.A.N. lesson plans, and evaluations (building block 3), organize Parents Days to involve adults (building block 4) and carry out the school micro-projects (building block 5).

Impacts

Evaluation results from past school-years found that participation in Club P.A.N. significantly increased environmental knowledge and positively influenced attitudes towards nature (Borchers et al. 2013). Micro-projects were successfully established in Club P.A.N. schools to teach children farming techniques of domesticated animals (fish, snails, goats, chicken) as alternative protein sources compared to bush-meat hunting. Only if we can present and teach alternatives to bush-meat hunting will the children find a way to live in harmony with nature in the future.

Story

Our local Club P.A.N. coordinator (since the start of the program in 2007), Hilaire Guilahoux from CPE/WCF has received the Charles Southwick Conservation Education Commitment Award 2014 from the International Primatological Society for his great work in West Africa. Hilaire not only implemented the program in his home country year after year, but also bought the program to Guinea where he trained the teachers and principals there and helped to establish the program. Hilaire has always placed emphasis on local children having realized that they are the answer to the future of the preservation of the local wildlife. He keeps on saying “learn for nature – act for nature”. He is creating green spaces and waste systems in all schools where he is working. Hilaire is an outstanding African conservationist with the potential to become a key figure in integrating environmental education at a national level in the school curriculum in Côte d’Ivoire. Hilarire is a local conservation hero and an inspiration to Ivorians who see his success and passion for the environment, wildlife, as well as his people. Teachers like Hilaire are the key to the success of Club P.A.N, great conservationists that understand the value of their rich local flora and fauna and want to motivate new conservationists in the next generation.

Contributed by

Ammie Kalan

Club P.A.N

Contributors

Club P.A.N
Wild Chimpanzee Foundation