The Formation of Young Conservationists at the Guapi-Assu Conservation Centre, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



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The Formation of Young Conservationists at the Guapi-Assu Conservation Centre,

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
This document is the final report on the project “The Formation of Young Conservationists” at the Guapi-Assu Conservation Centre, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that was implemented by the Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu with the support of the Rufford Foundation during 2006. This paper is organized in tree parts: Part 1 presents a general overview about all the environmental-education activities developed at the Reserva Ecologica de Guapiaçu as from 2001 with special attention to two specific programmes: “Young Rangers” and “School Visits”. Part 2 presents the report on the project The Formation of Young Conservationists at the Guapi-Assu Conservation Centre which is the main objective of this document. In Part 3 you will find photographs of most activities.

PART 1



Context

The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the most diverse and threatened ecosystems in the world. Originally more than 1.4 million km2 of unbroken tropical and subtropical rainforest, it is now reduced to a mere 7%, and consists mostly of fragmented patches in mountainous regions. Wetlands with lowland and swamp forest once abundant on the coastal plains and home to a variety of wildlife such as the Golden Lion Tamarind, Woolly Spider Monkey, the Broad-snouted caiman and the Brazilian tapir are almost none existent today, drained, cut and turned in to pasture, with only some patches still remaining at the feet of mountain ranges in Rio de Janeiro Estate, like in the Municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu, where is situated the Reserva Ecológica de Guapi Assu (REGUA).


The Reserva Ecológica de Guapi Assu (REGUA) is a local grassroot organization with the aim to conserve Atlantic Forest and currently responsible for the protection of 7500 ha of prime rainforest. It has recently acquired the Fazenda São José with the objective to establish the Guapi Assu Conservation and Education Centre as the base for research, education and tourism activities.
Education activities started in 1999 with several visits by the local primary school to the Reserva Ecologica de Guapi-Assu. From these visits it became clear that there was a significant lack of awareness and understanding about biodiversity and the importance of its conservation among teachers and pupils. As a result REGUA started working with 5 schools located near the Reserve.
Nowadays REGUA and its partners are occupied with three education and awareness programmes and one project since 2001, see Tables 1 and 2. Today’s Teachers Capacity Building Programme is implemented together with partners such as Tereviva e Bioatlantica Institute and will finalize in 2007. The Agenda 21 Programme has the support of the Ministry of Environment and the Municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu and will be handed over to the Municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu in 2007. The School Visit and Young Rangers Programmes are funded by The Rufford Foundation and will be concluded this year. BART, The Brazilian Atlantic Forest Trust an UK based organization has played a fundamental role to support most core costs of all REGUA’s programmes since 2001.

Table 1 – Implementation of the Education Programmes


Consolidated Programmes

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

School Visit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers Capacity Building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young Rangers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agenda 21 Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Table 2 – Partner participation during the implementation of the Education Programmes


Formal Partnerships

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

BART

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rufford Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ministry of Environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Lion Association & CI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tereviva & CI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bioatlantica Institute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Overview of the School Visit Programme
The objective of this programme is to raise awareness about the importance of Mata Atlantica conservation to primary and secondary students of the Municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu.
This programme started with visits of many classes of the Guapi Assu School to the Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu in 2001. REGUA provided transportation and guided visits to the forest. The School Visit Programme evolved into a partnership between REGUA and the Municipality Education Secretary where REGUA provided guided tours and the Education Secretary transportation and meals. The growth of the programme trough time is presented in Figure 1 and 2.

Figure 1 – Levels of involvement within the School Visit Programme



Figure 2 – The scope of School Visit Programme in four years of implementation



There are 76 primary and secondary schools in the Municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu with a total of 870 teachers and 12.580 students. So far, the School Visit Programme has reached 19,7% of the schools, 6.5% of the students and 1,5% of teachers of the Municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu.




Overview on the Young Rangers Programme

The aim of this programme is to involve youngsters that live in the high catchments of the Guapi Assu River to achieve knowledge, values and practices for the conservation of Mata Atlantica, to stimulate further study and create positive attitudes towards their communities. Picture 4 and Table 4 show the development of 3 years of Young Rangers Programme.


Picture 4 – Levels of involvement within the Young Rangers Programme




Table 4 – Curriculum implemented within tree years of Young Rangers Programme





Curriculum

 

2004

2005

2006

REGUA Institutional

1

 

 

 

Brazilian Ecosystems

2

 

 

 

Mata Atlantica

3

 

 

 

Environmental Law

4

 

 

 

Environmentalist Movement

5

 

 

 

Conservation Units

6

 

 

 

Nursery

7

 

 

 

Fauna Introduction

8

 

 

 

Flora introduction

9

 

 

 

Birds

10

 

 

 

Reptiles

11

 

 

 

Fishes

12

 

 

 

Cachoeiras de Macacu aspects

13

 

 

 

Brazil aspects

14

 

 

 

Field Trip

15

 

 

 

Introduction to Internet

16

 

 

 

Presentation Techniques

17

 

 

 

Sexual Education

18

 

 

 

Theatre

19










TOTAL

19

12

11

10

The Young Rangers Programme started in 2004 formally supported by Conservation International and Golden Lion Tamarind Association. In 2005 the programme was implemented without a budget and financial support of partners. Today this programme has formal support of The Rufford Foundation. Table 5 shows the institutions involved in the programme’ implementation.


Table 5 – Partners that support activities during the last tree years of Young Rangers Programme





Partners

2004

2005

2006

1

BART

 

 

 

2

Golden Lion Association

 

 

 

3

Primatology Centre

 

 

 

4

Municipality of Cachoeiras de Macacu

 

 

 

5

Serra dos Orgãos Faculty

 

 

 

6

The Rufford Foundation

 

 

 

7

Coopercrama

 

 

 

8

Sitio Chão de Estrelas

 

 

 

9

Equitação Desempenho

 

 

 

10

Serra dos Orgãos National Park

 

 

 

11

Tereviva

 

 

 

12

Bioatlantica Institute

 

 

 

13

State University of Rio de Janeiro

 

 

 

14

State University of Sao Paulo













TOTAL

4

7

7



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