Global  Vision  International  Amazon              

Monthly  Achievement  Report     June  2012  
Ecuador  -­‐  Amazon  Hub   Case  study:    Youth  Environmental  Education  

           

                                 

 

 

As  part  of  our  on-­‐going    strive  towards  raising  environmental  awareness  and  increasing  environmental   education  within  surrounding  communities,  we  at  Global  Vision  International    extended  an  invitation  to   the  Agua  Santa  Primary  School  to  visit  us  at  our  Amazon  Expedition  Basecamp  in  early  June.  We   received  a  reply  almost  immediately,  and  in  a  few  days  the  excited  squeals  of  children  could  be  heard   approaching  camp.     In  their  impromptu  classroom  the  children  were  given  a  basic  course  in  forest  ecology  and  when  asked,   eagerly  obliged  in  identifying  their  favourite  animals,  preferred  habitats,  and  perceived  threats  to  their   rainforest.  For  its  size  Ecuador  is  the  most  biodiverse  country  in  the  World,  and  it  is  home  to  a   staggering  16%  of  the  Earth’s  bird  species  and  the  largest  variety  of  amphibians  to  be  found  anywhere   on  the  planet.  Such  statistics  certainly  justify  an  organization  of  GVI’s  repute  being  in  country  from  a   scientific  perspective  and  highlight  the  importance  of  our  research  in  the  region  from  a  conservation   standpoint.  Yet  it  is  through  school  trips  and  community  projects  that  staff  and  volunteers  alike  are   provided  the  opportunity  to  bare  witness  to  that  other  and  equally  important  portion  of  our  mandate  –   education.  We  see  first  hand  exactly  how  powerful  the  human  element  of  our  involvement  can  be,  and   the  extent  it  means  to  those  who  reside  in  the  forest  and  who  therefore  stand  to  be  most  affected  by   environmentally  degenerative  actions.   Two  of  the  most  “hands  on”  and  visually  stimulating  multi-­‐taxa  survey  methods  employed  by  GVI  at  the   Yachana  Reserve  are  mist  netting  and  butterfly  trapping.  Both  are  ideal  “spectator  sports”  and  allow   children  the  opportunity  to  easily  and  safely  handle  captured  organisms.  With  this  in  mind,  and  in  an   effort  to  allow  visiting  children  to  play  a  role  in  field  research  we  allow  school  groups  to  assist  with   recording  data,  and  encourage  their  involvement  in  such  surveys  as  much  as  possible.  

Global  Vision  International  Amazon                “I  didn’t  think  it  possible  for  a  child’s  smile  which  appeared  to  be  already  stretching  from  ear  to  ear  to   expand  still  further”  staff  member  Ryan  Chenery  was  overheard  saying  as  a  Blue  Morpho  (Morpho   helenor)  butterfly  was  placed  on  the  outstretched  palm  of  one  of  the  seven  year  old  kids.   In  an  attempt  to  maximise  school  involvement  in  our  environmental  education  program,  GVI  Amazon,   as  of  June  30th  2012,  has  been  host  to  more  than  600  children  from  nearby  communities  over  the  past  6   months.  This  Agua  Santa  visit  alone  represented  an  entire  age  group  at  the  school  (6-­‐12  year  olds).   If  only  smile  width  could  somehow  be  used  as  a  predictor  of  the  future  environmental  well  being  of  our   planet,  then  surely  every  supporter  of  the  conservation  movement  would  have  breathed  a  collective   sigh  of  relief  had  they  seen  young  Lisa’s  face  that  day  in  mid-­‐June  when  an  electric  blue  giant  Morpho   (Morpho  helenor)    suddenly  took  flight  from  her  tiny  fingertips.  

For  more  information  on  volunteering  with  GVI,  check  out:  http://www.gvi.co.uk  
     

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