Guardians of the Future

Endangered Wildlife Trust
Published: 06 November 2020
Last edited: 06 November 2020
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Summary

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) aims to reconnect people, particularly those in urban areas, to their natural environment and foster awareness of the link between environmental health and human wellbeing. We have found that developing environmentally responsible behaviour benefits our natural environment and biodiversity, and can also empower communities to address broader social and economic issues, such as food security and job creation. Education underpins effective conservation management through the development of responsible leaders and active citizens who recognise the need to play their part.

Through the Guardians of the Future Programme (GOTF) we work with educators to develop and implement interactive resources (curriculum ‘boosters’) on topics in Natural Science and Life Skills. The boosters are closely aligned to the curriculum and designed to engage learners and reinforce lessons previously presented in class. We also promote and facilitate the professional development of educators.

Classifications

Region
East and South Africa
Scale of implementation
National
Subnational
Ecosystem
Area-wide development
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Theme
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Cities and infrastructure
Disaster risk reduction
Health and human wellbeing
Outreach & communications
Poaching and environmental crime
Sustainable livelihoods
Waste management
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
Resilience and disaster risk management
Sustainable urban infrastructure and services
Urban poverty and housing
Challenges
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Ecosystem loss
Poaching
Pollution (incl. eutrophication and litter)
Unsustainable harvesting incl. Overfishing
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Social conflict and civil unrest
Lack of food security
Unemployment / poverty
Sustainable development goals
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
SDG 4 – Quality education
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
SDG 13 – Climate action
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 4: Sustainable production and consumption
Target 8: Pollution reduced
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge

Location

Hammanskraal, Gauteng, South Africa

Impacts

The EWT piloted a curriculum booster, entitled "The importance of wetlands" in Grade 6 classes in six schools in Hammanskraal, reaching approximately 1,200 learners and 12 educators. The learners responded enthusiastically to the booster with positive reviews and a discernible improvement in learners' knowledge following the assessments. The educators were extremely positive about the booster implemented and expressed enthusiasm for us to develop additional boosters for, and with, them. On an evaluation form, a teacher observed: "The lesson plan was well structured, and even the learners were actively involved". The EWT booster facilitators also learned more about what the educators experience in the classroom, and developed skills that will contribute to the continued development and implementation of high quality and original curriculum boosters.

In 2020, it was not possible to visit schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, we developed online educational resources and streamlined the booster development framework to make it easier to develop standardised boosters that fulfil all curriculum and learning requirements. We will also be prioritising professional educator development and engagement going forward, as we have identified that as an area where we can make the most difference.

Contributed by

Emily Taylor Endangered Wildlife Trust