School gardens are a good way to teach children about Nature. Working the ground, sowing seeds, weeding, harvesting vegetables, fruits and herbs and afterwards cooking and eating them bring children in direct contact with their environment. It helps them to understand the fragility of the Amazon rainforest.
The goal of the project is to promote practical Nature education for primary schools in the Amazon region.
Why does Amazon Fund support nature and environmental education
The Amazon rainforest and its indigenous people are threatened by illegal logging, forest fires, pollution, oil and gas exploitation, mining, road construction, large-scale plantations and small-scale farming by recent invaders.
Amazon Fund is concerned about the future of the Amazon rainforest & all rainforests. The forests play an integral role in the fight against global warming by their ability to store carbon. Furthermore, rainforests possess an enormous richness of medicinal plants & other species, provide food and water for their indigenous people and are a paradise for Nature lovers. The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest on earth.
Amazon Fund believes that practical Nature education is the best way to make the inhabitants of Amazonia aware of the need to protect and preserve their rainforest.
In 2013, upon request by the indigenous population and the local Municipality, Amazon Fund started facilitating a Nature education project for primary schools in Rurrenabaque, in the Bolivian Amazon.
Practical Nature education proved to be successful. In our experience this education outside the school building makes young people more aware of the value of Nature and makes them see the need to protect the nearby rainforest. In 2014, the pilot project was continued successfully.
In 2013, a total of 310 schoolchildren from 14 primary school classes, participated in our school garden program at Rurrenabaque, Bolivia; in 2014 more than 420 schoolchildren from 21 classes. In addition 88 teachers participated in theoretical and practical workshops, together with parents of 80 families. The enthusiasm was contagious. The harvest was used for school meals and some schools saw a chance to market part of their harvest. The project also became a success thanks to our Bolivian partner, Alerta Verde.
Current locations of projects: Rurrenabaque Bolivia, Puerto Maldonado Peru.
The future of the project
For 2018-2020, Amazon Fund is preparing teaching materials about school gardens for the internet and in printed form. The teaching materials will consist of a short introductionary brochure, a manual and worksheets. The manual will provide information about incorporating school gardens into the curriculum, starting a school garden program and will provide technical information for the creation and maintenance of a school garden in the Amazon region. Eventually, the manual will be available throughout Amazonia.
Who is participating
The new project was started by organizations in Bolivia, supported by experts from Amazon Fund and Agromisa, a Dutch NGO affiliated with the University of Wageningen. The project will raise awareness of the need for protecting the rainforest environment and its indigenous people via sustainable use of local natural resources.
The incorporation of Nature and environmental education into the regular educational program will bring students, their parents and their communities together.