Environmental Education in Argentina

Forests provide multiple environmental services, including protection of soils from erosion, habitat for biodiversity, they help regulate the climate, protect against floods and landslides, as well as maintaining nutrient cycles and capturing and storing carbon, among other things. In the north east of Argentina, social and economic growth has led to the destruction and fragmentation of forests, processes which have been accelerating in recent years.

Due to the prevalent destruction of habitats and wildlife in the northeastern Argentina ecoregion, including the culture of sport hunting and wild pet keeping, concerted efforts in environmental education are of utmost importance. As such NPC Argentina works to inform local populations of the importance of conservation by visiting local communities in and around protected areas. These activities include talks and workshops on the biology and ecology of local primate species, whilst also listening to local perspectives on conservation and possible conflicts with wildlife. This is bolstered through explanations of the importance of maintaining remaining forested areas and connection between these patches. Our work often includes additional emphasis on the dangers of disease transmission from wildlife to humans and domestic animals through contact from pet keeping and bushmeat consumption.

We also work in local primary schools, holding workshops and talks where we teach about the importance of monkeys as seed dispersers, indicator species (particularly with regard to diseases). These activities include games such as pretending to be a primatologist, learning about field work, and in particular working with our sniffer dog and with radio telemetry. Some of this work is carried out as part of the global education program of the Jane Goodall Institute’s “Roots and Shoots” initiative.