Environment & Conservation Education
The Nepal Himalaya represents the highest terrestrial ecosystem on earth. Its share of the world’s terrestrial area is just over 0.1%, but it can claim over 2.2% of the global wealth of flowering plants, 4.2% of mammals, 8.5% of birds, 1.4% of reptiles and amphibians, and 2.2% of fresh water fish species, which is a proof for richness in biodiversity.
In current days, environment is degrading rapidly in Nepal. Environmental degradation is in many ways due to poor management of the environment and the lack of incentives for increasing the value of environmental resources. It is surprising to note that the nature and natural lives has been the most neglected subject in Nepal. The saddening fact lies on the massive deforestation activities in Nepal, which results in just 29% share in total land area of the country.
Environment is one of the major subjects taught in formal schooling in Nepal. A university courses up to master’s degree are also available here. But only the formal education doesn’t ensure the environmental awareness and practicability. So VIN is dedicated to bring the attitudinal and behavioral changes regarding the wrong practices with the existing environment.
Environment Education and Conservation Programme aims at promoting sustainable rural livelihoods through improved understanding about use of, and access to local resources with particular emphasis on sustainable and equitable use of natural resources, while minimizing damage to the natural resource base on which those livelihoods crucially depend on. The main aim of this programme is to ensure that the communities are aware of the resources available to them, and make them able to manage these resources in a sustainable way.
VIN works directly with deprived communities and groups to help them gain access to the resources and services available to them so that they can receive ongoing technical and financial support to enhance their livelihoods in the long term. It works for the enhancement of the people’ understanding and skills towards conservation, and empower them to promote more efficient, equitable, and sustainable resource use in their schools and communities. Typical community-based activities focus on the promotion of kitchen gardening, waste management and sanitation.
Students, youths, community people of rural areas are the main target where there is a real need of carrying out nature conservation related projects for sustainable development of a particular community. The role that volunteers and students of Children’s Clubs played as developmental catalysts proved to be enormous. Working with students, out of school youth, women groups, local NGOs and other local services, they were able to make substantial progress in minimizing local environmental and developmental problems in the programme areas.
VIN currently has started a campaign of making the working area, jitpur neat, clean and green with plantation and forestation in which VIN planted a plant species of medicinal, economic and cultural values, involving students, youths, local dwellers and others. It has also started a campaign of making it plastic free village.
VIN interns under this programme work directly with deprived communities and groups, including women’s groups and out-of-school youth groups, Children’s Clubs to improve their environmental understanding, their current practices, and to help them gain access to the resources and services available to them to enhance their livelihoods in the long term. An integral component of this community work involves working closely with local health and environment services to increase their profile and demand amongst community people / rural young people.
They also teach a non-formal environment courses in rural government schools, supplemented by wide varieties of activities through Children’s Clubs, which empower students with the knowledge and skills to protect their health, environment and livelihoods, and promote environment friendly behaviors and sustainable rural living amongst their schools, out-of-school peers and communities.
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