Experts from Sebakwe Conservation and Education Centre (SCEC) and the Kariba REDD+ Project in Zimbabwe came together for a PACE training at SCEC the 19th – 21st August. It was designed and facilitated by SCEC Manager and PACE Champion, Palloma Pachiti. Palloma has been supporting Kariba REDD+ in their Conservation Education for more than a year and both sides were keen to train up a resource person on the Kariba staff.
Charles Khumalo, pictured right, heads a team of rangers in the Kariba area, he was introduced to PACE in 2017 and has already done great work starting tree nurseries and tree planting projects with schools and communities, but he’s keen that he and his team do much more. This training focused on equipping him with the insights and skills to use conservation education to help achieve his project’s goals – to mitigate and reduce deforestation in the Kariba area.
- During the training they discussed different principles, approaches and the objectives of Environment and Conservation Education.
- They explored active learning methods, and making continuous re-evaluation of the methods and results of initiatives.
- They explored the PACE objectives, how PACE is solution oriented and how the PACE pack can be used in various contexts to achieve sustainability and wise use of natural resources.
- They discussed how the various PACE materials have been used as a tool in both schools and communities.
- They discussed “lessons SCEC has learnt over the years from giving both schools and communities incentives, and how this can motivate participation, but is also a risk to sustainability of projects, a risk that can be mitigated by environmental education.”
Charles explained that in their tree planting projects which gave tree seedlings to schools there was minimum interaction between the school community and themselves. Palloma reports that “We discussed how we would use different teaching and learning methods, to engage both the teachers and learners in the process of tree planting so that they become inclined to take action against deforestation as a self-initiative. We further explored how the PACE Action Sheets can be used as a tool by both the learners and the teachers.”
To gain more understanding of SCECs local work they toured the area including visiting a school orchard project (right).
They developed a working framework, to use as a guide for short and long term plans, produced an Action plan and selected activities for an upcoming workshop for teachers. “Constant re-evaluation, questioning of our practise and how we can do things in a better way was one of my aims of this training, and I am happy CK got some appreciation of that.”
This training really modelled the techniques and approaches of Environment and Conservation Education. When learners see their teachers using the techniques being recommended, and feel the benefits, then we start to see change.
We’re so pleased that such talented and well placed conservation educators are choosing PACE.