|Goal||To develop a strategic region wide approach to the provision of nature education both within and outside of the school system|
|Islands||Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten|
The park management and other conservation organisations of the Dutch Caribbean have long recognised nature education as a critical component of their work, however insufficient funds and resources, and many other pressing needs have left little attention for nature education at the regional level.
DCNA took on nature education as project theme in 2010 in order to develop nature education capacity on the islands through strategic planning and sharing of resources. Since then annual workshops dedicated to nature education have taken place on one of the six Dutch Caribbean islands along with education officer exchanges and the first ever youth program exchange where four Junior Rangers of Bonaire traveled to Aruba to lead field activities such as: My Park Pass, an introduction to the island’s protected areas and Ready…Set…Nest, a sea turtle nesting lesson and race.
One major challenge for the islands’ nature education program is the lack of access to high quality materials. DCNA is now sharing materials developed on the islands and the best materials found in the region. DCNA is also working with partners such as IVN and Vogelbescherming Nederlands to produce new materials such as classroom educational boxes and nature-themed educational lesson books.
On most of the Dutch Caribbean islands, the protected area management bodies run out-of-school nature education programs after school and during the summer. In 2010 the parks and conservation organisations came together to build a regional framework for out-of-school nature education. Subsequently Wild4Life was launched in 2011 as fun, cool, feel-good, dynamic and active program of learning. It provides school children with opportunities for skills development, all connected to real nature conservation on our islands. Wild4Life offers real personal experiences that will help shape positive environmental values and attitudes and encourage responsible behavior.