Conservation Education and primates twenty-first century challenges and opportunities.код для вставкиСкачать
American Journal of Primatology 72:420–424 (2010) COMMENTARY Conservation Education and Primates: Twenty-First Century Challenges and Opportunities HOGAN M. SHERROW Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ohio University, Bentley Annex, Athens, Ohio Conservation Education has gone through a transformation since it was originally introduced. Numerous primatologists, working in all regions of the world where primates are endemic, have been extremely proactive in the application of Conservation Education (CE) and CE principles in their work. Here, I discuss the ongoing threats to primate populations around the world. Finally, I introduce a framework that can guide primatologists, as we move forward and face the challenges of the twentyfirst century. Am. J. Primatol. 72:420–424, 2010. r 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Key words: Conservation Education; primates; community involvement; framework; new direction INTRODUCTION ‘‘If you want one year of prosperity, plant corn. If you want ten years of prosperity, plant trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity, educate people.’’ — Chinese Proverb This proverb captures the basic philosophy and approach taken by conservationists, educators, and researchers who have attempted to integrate conservation education in their efforts to protect natural habitats. The term ‘‘conservation education’’ (CE) was first used during the Dust Bowl in the United States in the 1930s, when the US population was being urged to learn to conserve important soil and water resources. Tree planting, wildlife habitat improvement, and new agricultural practices helped hold soil and restore ecosystems, improving crop yields [Funderburk, 1948]. As a result, efforts were made to educate the public about conserving habitats and natural resources. Over the past 75 years, the context and definition of CE have shifted, and today the term is used to refer to multiple types of environmental education. Specifically, CE is most commonly used to describe the process by which individuals or groups are educated regarding ways to appreciate and protect natural environments. CE is now implemented in school curricula around the world, with the goal of teaching children on how to conserve natural environments. Though the term CE is occasionally used synonymously with environmental education, and both can trace their roots to the 1975 Belgrade Charter (UNEP—‘‘The Belgrade Charter: A Global Framework for Environmental Education’’), the distinction is a significant one. Environmental education focuses on teaching about the natural world without an explicitly r 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. conservationist approach and has been utilized by organizations ranging from environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club 19 (www.sierraclub.org/ education/) to multinational energy corporations, such as Exxon/Mobil (www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/ community_ed_greenteam.aspx). Suffice to say, the contents of the environmental education programs of those two groups are very different, yet they are afforded the same name. CE, on the other hand, is much more direct, providing a clear signal of its philosophical foundation: to teach students how to conserve the natural world [Jacobson, 1995]. CE and primatology share a long, sometimes tenuous, but overall committed relationship. Beginning in the 1960s, many researchers realized that the primates and ecologies they were working so hard to understand were under fire and in danger of being wiped out. They began writing about and acting on conservation efforts in the regions they worked in. For most, this included an educational component, targeting local populations, with the explicit goal of teaching how to best conserve local ecologies. From the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) in Africa, to the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE) in Madagascar, to Conservation International (CI) in Asia, to the Golden Lion Tamarin Contract grant sponsors: L. S. B. Leakey Foundation; The American Society of Primatologists; The Sigma Xi Foundation; The John F. Enders Foundation; Yale University. Correspondence to: Hogan M. Sherrow, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ohio University, 103 Bentley Annex, Athens, OH 45701. E-mail: email@example.com Received 3 July 2009; revised 22 November 2009; revision accepted 28 November 2009 DOI 10.1002/ajp.20788 Published online 28 December 2009 in Wiley InterScience (www. interscience.wiley.com). Conservation Education and Primates / 421 Conservation Project (GLTCP) in South America, projects from around the world have incorporated CE into their wider conservation efforts. Although it appears that many of these programs have had an enormous impact on the survival of primate populations around the world, one of the criticisms of CE is that conservationists have not employed enough objective measures of the programs they have implemented. Although there are exceptions to this generality, it still presents a challenge for primatologists who wish to integrate CE into their work. Ours is a quantitatively driven profession, and objective measures are important for both the assessment of the success of programs and the potential for duplication of those programs. Furthermore, as funding for primate studies continues to be more and more difficult to secure, objective measures provide an opportunity to demonstrate to funding organizations the effectiveness of such programs. Notwithstanding the lack of quantitative data regarding the success of many CE programs, most researchers continue to adhere to the logic of the importance of education for the survival of primate populations. It is often difficult to quantify changes in attitudes and perspectives, and the true impacts of education programs can take generations to realize [e.g. Bettinger et al., 2010]. As a result, although objective measures are important, they do not provide a complete picture of the utility of CE programs in relation to primate populations. Instead, an integrated approach is necessary to understand the impact of CE on the long-term survivability of primate populations. The purposes of this article are to (1) review the threats facing wild primate populations and their ecologies, and (2) provide a framework for beginning to meet the challenges of CE in the twenty-first century, especially in relation to primate populations and ecologies. Despite the long-standing efforts of primatologists, educators, and conservationists, and their commitments to CE, we are still losing the conservation battle [Wrangham, 2006]. From Asia to Africa to the Neotropics, habitat destruction, bushmeat and pet trades, and human-introduced diseases have decimated primate populations. Every year, humans destroy approximately 10.5 million hectares or an area the size of Cuba of tropical forest worldwide [www.fao.org/forestry/fra2005]. Most of the deforestation occurs to provide new land for agriculture and to meet demand for wood products. The impact on primate populations is multifaceted, as the loss of habitat decreases food availability and increases population density and competition over resources. Simultaneously, the opening up of forests to vehicles and machinery provides unprecedented access for hunters to interior areas. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently lists 243 primate species as threatened or endangered, accounting for nearly 55% of all primate species around the world [www.iucn redlist.org]. In West Africa, chimpanzee and gorilla populations have declined by as much as 90% in some areas, primarily owing to hunting and disease [Campbell et al., 2008; Walsh et al., 2003]. Even at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda, where the chimpanzee community is in the middle of the park and is relatively buffered from human encroachment, the impact of hunting is readily apparent among community members. From 2000 to 2004, 23.8% of the adult and adolescent males in the community had at least one snare injury [unpublished data], ranging from twisted fingers to missing hands (Fig. 1). In the Neotropics and Madagascar, primate populations face similar threats. For example, muriqui (Brachyteles spp.) in Brazil’s Atlantic forest are critically endangered from both habitat loss and hunting pressure [Cunha et al., 2009], whereas the Lemurids of Madagascar face severe habitat loss. At least four of the 25 most endangered primate species are lemurs: greater bamboo lemur, Prolemur simus; white-collared lemur, Eulemur albocollaris; Perrier’s sifaka, Propithecus perrieri; and silky sifaka, P. candidus [Mittermeier et al., 2007]. Despite these dire statistics, primates in Africa, the Neotropics, and Madagascar are not the most threatened populations of wild primates. That distinction goes to the primates endemic to Asia. Approximately, 71% of Asia’s primate species are threatened or endangered [www.iucnredlist.org], the highest percentage of any of the regions home to wild primates. Furthermore, 11 of the 25 most endangered primate species are found only in Asia [Mittermeier et al., 2007]. One species, Hainon gibbon (Nomascus hainanus), reportedly has 17 members left [Mittermeier et al., 2007]. For many of these populations, the threat of habitat loss is compounded by the practice of hunting for bushmeat. Fig. 1. Adolescent male chimpanzee with left hand missing from snare injury. Photo by H. Sherrow. Am. J. Primatol. 422 / Sherrow Bushmeat is traditionally defined as animals or animal products that are harvested from forest areas around the world (www.bushmeat.org). It is estimated that in equatorial Africa alone, approximately 1 million metric tons of bushmeat are harvested each year [www.wcs.org], much of that from primate species. There are probably at least another 1 million metric tons harvested in the Neotropics and Asia each year. In one study conducted in Peru in 2002, over 40 metric tons of bushmeat were consumed in logging camps along the Las Piedras River in one month [http://www.ippl.org/2003-south-americanbushmeat.php]. In East Kalimantan, Indonesia, Marshall et al.  found that hunting was such a strong threat that it outweighed the influence of logging on orangutan populations. All told, conservative estimates put the total global bushmeat harvest rate at over 3 million metric tons per year, a figure that has been called unsustainable by groups ranging from the Jane Goodall Institute, to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States of America, to the United Nations. These data are, at a minimum, alarming and in many cases daunting. As primatologists we are facing the potential collapse of populations of our study subjects the world over. As humans, we are facing the possible eradication of the animals on the planet we share the most in common with. The tragedy is that humans are the primary reason for the dire situation faced by our ‘‘Order-mates.’’ Threats to primate populations around the world can be linked to one pervasive problem, poverty. Extreme poverty (individuals surviving on less than $1 US per day) impacts over one billion people worldwide, with most living in the tropics [Sachs, 2005]. These individuals live on the very edge of existence; therefore, the need to take every opportunity to secure their survival. Although the causes of extreme poverty and the responsibility for eradicating it are debated [Sachs, 2005], the byproducts are clear. Extreme poverty places people in a position where they have no choice but to exploit their environments in ways that are typically unsustainable [Duraiappah, 1998]. The results of which are widespread environmental degradation, and increasing threats to primate populations and the ecologies they rely on. The circumstances that have led to the current conditions of primate populations around the world call for drastic measures. Primatologists can no longer afford to simply collect data for the sake of science. If we are to fulfill our moral obligations to the species we study, the ecosystems they rely on, and the people who share those ecosystems with them, we have to act. As a community of scientists, we must decide to make conservation a priority in all research. We must realize that research without conservation is fruitless, and while legislation and enforcement are crucial for the protection of wild Am. J. Primatol. primate populations, they are inadequate without education. We have to understand that it is only through the education of local people that the ecosystems primates rely on have an opportunity to persist. Further, it is only through the persistence of those ecosystems that primates will survive. Our two largest professional societies, the American Society of Primatologists and the International Primatological Society, have both adopted official positions encouraging the incorporation of conservation efforts into fieldwork on wild primate populations [www.asp.org/conservation/index.html; www.internationalprimatologicalsociety.org/Improving PrimateConservationThroughCommunityInvolvement. cfm]. Now is the time for primatologists to embrace our convictions in every arena. Although primatologists are limited in their abilities to address multifaceted problems like poverty, there are things that the primatologists can, and must, do. First, we need to recognize and encourage projects that infuse conservation and CE into basic research. There are too few major granting agencies that recognize the intrinsic connection between research and conservation. Second, we should encourage the publication of articles that include conservation in the mainstream primate journals, further encouraging young researchers to incorporate conservation in their work, as they quest for degrees, jobs, and tenure. This special issue of AJP has helped further that cause. Third, we must dedicate ourselves to being conservation educators in every context and in every sense of the word. We must incorporate CE into our teaching at our respective colleges and universities, speak to our local papers and major media outlets about how critical conservation is to the survival of our closest relatives, and we must infuse our research in the field with CE that targets not only youths, but also community members of all ages. To that end, we need to develop partnerships and collaborations with professional educators who can provide the expertise necessary to successfully design culturally relevant and sensitive CE curricula. We also need to develop partnerships and collaborations across typical boundaries, forming alliances with development agencies and projects when possible. We need to realize that all our efforts in research, conservation, and education will be for naught if most of the human communities we are working with continue to be decimated by poverty. Although primatologists have neither the skills nor the time to fully develop projects that address poverty at the local level or beyond, primatologists can work with agencies that focus on this omnipresent issue. Finally, we need to collaborate across study sites, disciplines, and continents to share with each other what works and what does not. Bettinger et al.’s article  that assesses the effectiveness of CE programs in equatorial Africa provides a great example of how to successfully share ideas about Conservation Education and Primates / 423 what works in CE and what does not. Although many of CE measures of success and failure stem from survey data and may not satisfy all critics, they are telling. As the authors point out, changing attitudes and perspectives is a challenging, enduring process, the immediate effects of which are not always apparent. It is vital for primatologists to look beyond the short term and begin to consider transformational change that may take a generation or more. We have to remember that most of the longest-running CE programs, connected to primatological research, have only been up and running for less than 40 years. These programs have barely had time to mature much less bear the fruit they are capable of. Although it is important for us to objectively evaluate our CE programs, we cannot allow ourselves to be too focused on short-term results. We should follow the methods successfully established by Dietz et al. , Jacobson , Kuhar et al. , and Bettinger et al. , by shifting our expectations of success to include measures of changing attitudes and behavior. At the same time, we need to understand that CE programs are not quick fixes, but rather long-term investments. The challenges posed to primates and the primatologists who study and protect them seem overwhelming. However, we are also presented with an opportunity to impact the survival and health of primate populations in a way that no other generation of primatologists before us has. The five principles laid out here are one way for us to fulfill our moral obligations to the species we study, the ecosystems they rely on, and the people who share those ecosystems with them. However, it is important to recognize that the incorporation of these principles into our professional lives will not ensure the survival of primate populations, but instead serve as a component of the work necessary to help conservation efforts succeed. Some of us currently do one or two of the things mentioned here, few of us do all of them on a regular basis. It is our challenge and opportunity to incorporate all five of these principles into our professional ethos, and to infuse our research, our teaching, and our professional lives with the principles and actions of CE. As the proverb states, ‘‘yIf you want one hundred years of prosperity, educate people.’’ ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks to Paul Garber and Francine Dolins for inviting me to contribute to this special issue and to Martha Monroe who provided references for this article. Thanks also to the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda National Council for Science and Technology for permission to conduct research in Kibale National Park, Uganda. I am grateful to Makerere University Biological Field Station and its Directors, Professors Basuta and Kasenene, for their sponsorship and support. Thanks to Professors Mitani and Watts for the opportunity to work at Ngogo; they have been sources of continual support and guidance. I thank Dr. Jeremiah Lwanga, who is not only a good friend but also a great advisor and companion while in the eld. A. Magoba, G. Mbabazi, L. Ndagizi, and A. Tumusiime provided invaluable assistance in the eld. The L. S. B. Leakey Foundation, the American Society of Primatologists, the Sigma Xi Foundation, the John F. Enders Foundation, and Yale University provided support for the research mentioned in the article. 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