Environmental education is an important component to biosphere reserves because the understanding of conserving biodiversity and sustainable development is key to achieving them. Environmental education is thus a practical way to grow understanding and awareness.
Ways that environmental education specifically bring benefits are;
1. Environmental education connects us to the world around us, teaching us about both natural and built environments.
2. It raises awareness of issues impacting the environment upon which we all depend, as well as actions we can take to improve and sustain it.
3. Environmental education helps students understand how their decisions and actions affect the environment, and skills necessary to address complex environmental issues.
4. It promotes action from the youth, educators, schools, and communities to keep our environment healthy and sustainable for the future.
5. Environmental education offer opportunities for experiential learning outside of the classroom, it enables students to make connections and apply their learning in the real world.
6. It helps learners see the interconnectedness of social, ecological, economic, cultural, and even political issues.
7. It promotes active learning, and student leadership through empowering youth to share their voice and make a difference at their school and in their communities.
The Waterberg Biosphere and partner organisations have long regarded environmental education as critical and therefore environmental education has a long history in the area.
The natural unspoilt quality of the area also helps to provide an enriched setting for environmental education which is why we are lucky to have four dedicated environmental education centres. In addition to these there are a number of other organisations that provide support or focused programmes for environmental education.
The Waterberg Environmental Education Forum (WEEF) was started in 2017 to connect the various organisations to help combine efforts and resources and share experiences. The ultimate aim is to deliver more environmental education impact within the Waterberg and to educate and inspire everyone to protect the environment that we live in and depend upon, as well as improving everyone’s quality of life and providing hope.
Environmental Education Centres
Lapalala Wilderness School
Marakele National Park – Thutong Environmental Education Centre
The Waterberg Living Museum
Organisations supporting environmental education
Waterberg Environmental Education Forum (WEEF)
Waterberg Biosphere Reserve (WBR)
Save the Waterberg Rhino (STWR)
Waterberg Nature Conservancy (WNC)
Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT)
Waterberg Welfare Society (WWS)
Limpopo Economic Development Environment and Tourism (LEDET)
Department of Water Affairs (DWA)
Department of Education (DOE)