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Increasing Awareness Through Environmental Education

Environmental education helps to increase protection of natural environments

Environmental education is an important tool in promoting nature conservation. It helps to increase the public’s knowledge of environmental issues, and increases citizens’ overall care and protection of the surrounding natural environment. Despite its importance, environmental education programs are completely absent in most parts of northern Peru. Although this region contains enormous biodiversity with many endemic species, most environmental research and conservation efforts have been directed toward southern Peru, leaving the north largely unexplored and unprotected. As a result, habitat destruction is occurring at alarming rates in most parts of the northern region. Environmental education work with local populations is an urgent need in order to secure the survival of the region’s habitats and their unique flora and fauna.

NCI is assisting the Friends of the Environment Club, or Club Amigos de la Naturaleza (CANATURA), to carry out field-based environmental education programs in northern Peru. So far, CANATURA has established active chapters in Iquitos, Moyobamba and Chiclayo with a host of volunteers that carry out field nature courses for school children and adults and organize regional Festivals for Amazonian Biodiversity.

The program initially focuses on introducing the public to the outdoors. This is one of the best ways to teach people about nature - in the field, where they can see and feel the environment, where the learning experience is not only intellectual but also emotional. The Club then conducts guided circuits for schools and "Meeting Biodiversity” courses that last 10 months with 20 programmed outings. In every outing the students learn about a different theme in regards to the local biodiversity. CANATURA also conducts Nature Festivals for the public that include a number of activities including outdoor experiences, bird watching, seminars, environmental competitions, parades, photo expositions and more.




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