Educating local children and adults
ALTA partner, Phoenix Fund, implements a comprehensive education programme in the Amur leopard and tiger’s ranges. The goals of the programme are to reduce poaching and human-induced fires and increase the willingness of villagers to report poaching, wildlife trade and people that start fires to the anti-poaching teams.
We focus our efforts on people that live, work or hunt in SW Primorye, targeting local villagers (both adults and children), hunters and border guards serving in the border zone. However, we also reach a wider audience through our work with journalists and with television broadcasts on local channels.
A social survey was carried out in 2004 among the most important target group – local villagers in the Amur leopard’s range- in order to increase our understanding of their knowledge and opinions concerning Amur leopards and their conservation. A second survey was conducted in 2007 and the results show that we made considerable progress in raising awareness of the importance of conserving the Amur leopard.
Has the project worked so far?
1.The percentage of respondents that consider fires to be one of the most serious problems in their district increased from 54% to 80% and the percentage of respondents with a very negative opinion of people that start fires increased from 40% to 61%.
2.The percentage of local villagers that know that leopards occur in their district increased from 61% to 74%.
3.The percentage of respondents that consider conservation of leopards and tigers by NGOs “very important” increased from 17% to 43%.
What education projects are planned for the future?
We are seeking financial support for the following educational activities:
1.Production of a movie about Amur leopard conservation.
2.Presentations with use of videos and slide shows in schools. Through games and quizzes children can test their knowledge of Amur leopards and win attractive prizes.
3.Co-operation with a journalist club. The journalists visit the leopard area and produce articles, radio and television broadcasts on Amur leopard and tiger related topics. We also finance journalist awards for leopard and tiger related work.
4.Production of promotional materials with an Amur leopard conservation emblem (mugs, magnets, stickers, T-shirts, posters, flags, etc.) for free distribution during education events.
5.Placement of 10 large banners (approximately 6 by 6 meters) with an Amur leopard image on the walls of school buildings. The banners will be made of durable, weather-resistant material. Each banner will show a different leopard picture made with a camera-trap, preferably of a leopard that lives nearby, with a call upon local people to take care of “their” leopard.