International Educational Campaign for kids launched in Romania
The population of wolves, bears and lynx are recovering all over Europe. The Environmental Education Centres from Germany and Romania are dealing with the role of large carnivores in Europe. A delegation of 30 experts from both countries is coming together in Râșnov these days for expert exchange, mutual interdisciplinary learning and networking. Several partners from Romania and Germany are working together to develop educational material in German, English and Romanian, that will be used for projects in schools from September onwards.
In our cultural landscapes, the presence and the return of large carnivores lead to a field of tension in social, ecological and economic dimensions. Discussions about large carnivores, livestock loss and possible attacks on humans are often charged with emotions. With the increasing occurrence of large carnivores in Europe, there is also a growing need for objective information to raise awareness and to find constructive solutions. Non-sustainable regional development and intensive land-use may lead to increasing territorial conflicts between humans and wildlife.
The educational project “EDU-Wildlife” addresses the above-described conflicts. The objective of the project is to generate knowledge by analysing different communication strategies dealing with large carnivores in Europe and developing innovative and transferable educational materials on conservation, awareness and acceptance. It runs from August 2017 until January 2020 in both Germany and Romania.
Utilising education for sustainable development (ESD), the project aims at raising young people’s awareness for a coexistence with large carnivores and deepening the ESD understanding and ESD in practice of several European actors, resulting in the development of effective educational tools.
As future decision-makers, pupils need to be empowered to reflect the different aspects behind divergent perspectives and to acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. Frank Corleis, Director of the SCHUBZ Environmental Education Centre in Germany states: „With the educational initiative we meet the highly topical, societal challenges entirely impartial. We expect a much more objective dialogue from the young people that stands out clearly from the emotionally charged discourse held by grown-ups at the moment.”
Besides the educational offers for schools, the project also provides an internet platform (a massive open online course, MOOC) to enable educators to participate in the project using interactive tools for learning and implement them in their field of work. There is also a certification available for the online course.
Due to limited practice with large carnivores in Germany and significantly different experience in other European regions, one of the most valuable aspects of the project lies within the international and interdisciplinary exchange.
The project culminates in an international conference of education and communication in autumn 2019 where young people will participate, sharing and comparing their experience with other people across Europe.
Dr. Nadin Hermann
Umweltbildungszentrum SCHUBZ der Hansestadt Lüneburg
Wichernstr. 34, 21335 Lüneburg
Telefon: 04131-30979-64 (Durchwahl), 04131-30979-70 (Sekretariat)
Telefax: 04131-30979-79, e-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org