Conservation Education in Communities
Several community group sessions per week are facilitated by our 4 Community Conservation Educators (CCEs) in a range of community groups such as Community Resource Boards, Village Action Groups, church groups, farming co-operatives, women’s clubs, business associations, village elders and youth groups. The CCEs form focus groups to engage the community group members in discussions and offered practical advice on how to address issues such as sustainable livelihoods, women and the environment, human-wildlife conflict, alternative forms of energy and natural resource management.
Chipembele partners with Conservation South Luangwa (CSL), the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP), Wildlife Crime Prevention (WCP) and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to run a weekly local radio programme called The Conservation Hour. Our Community Conservation Educators (CCEs) take it in turns to present a conservation topic and answer questions from local community members during live phone-ins. The programme has proved to be very popular. Topics covered by our CCEs included Fisheries Management, Agricultural expansion, Major threats to biodiversity, Overexploitation of wildlife, Overexploitation of plants, Habitat loss, Climate change, Pollution, Smart farming, Wildlife and the Kunda people, Why conserve our planet and Sustainable fishing management.
Training workshops with community leaders
Our Conservation Education Team rolled out a series of workshops for community leaders across Mambwe District, including Ndunas (Chief’s advisers) and members of the Community Resource Boards. This innovative programme trained local leaders in how to teach about key conservation issues to groups within their community. In addition to the day and a half long workshop, the community leaders received a handbook in English or Chinyanja (their choice) including several lesson plans. This ‘cascade training’ will have a significant positive impact on community-based conservation in the years ahead.
Annual environmental campaign
We hold an annual environmental campaign which is run by the students but spreads the message to the whole community, with exposure to the topic in the run up to the main event through radio ads, themed-songs played on the radio, posters, community talks and action days (eg litter picking) etc and then the community are invited to a one-day event with a parade and including a speech by the Chief about conservation and filled with themed dance, plays, songs, poems written and performed by the students. Past topics have included stopping plastic litter, anti-snaring and protecting the Luangwa river.