Nov 10, 2010

A new activity: Teaching conservation in the Kinangop plateau

NOTE BY LUCA. Dominic Kimani is receiving a small fellowship for 2010-2011. His project consists in teaching about conservation and endangered species in the schools of the Kinangop plateau.
Dominic wrote a proposal for his project, which you read here below (click on "Ulteriori Informazioni" please)

Dominic teaching in one of Kinangop primary schools

Teaching conservation in the Kinangop plateau

By Dominic Kimani, P.O Box 1758- 20117, Naivasha, Kenya. Email:

Site of the project: Kinangop Grasslands, Nyandarua District, Kenya Central Province

1) Objectives
  • To raise awareness of environmental problems among school students in the Kinangop plateau. Particular emphasis will be put on the conservation of highland grasslands and of Sharpe’s Longclaw.
  •  To produce a powerpoint presentation suitable for primary schools students. This presentation will eventually become a booklet on the conservation of grassland and its avifauna
 2) Proposed activities
  • Twenty primary and secondary schools in the Kinangop plateau have been selected. These schools will be visited at bimonthly intervals to give lectures to both the students and the teachers
  • Selected classes of each school will be lead to field excursions to natural grassland patches in Kinangop.
  • Environmental films will be displayed in collaboration with the Community Based Conservation Films project (Led by Dr. Harper University of Leicester)
  • Organise environmental debates for schools at FOKP Resource centre (about conservation and related issues
  • Organise participation in national and international environmental days
 3) Expected outputs
  • A PowerPoint presentation on the conservation of highland grasslands and their avifauna will be prepared. This PowerPoint will be used as a teaching aid in the classrooms and will be turned in a printed booklet at the end of the project
  • A summary report outlining the main findings will be produced at three-months intervals (Nov 2010, Feb 2010, May 2011, Aug 2011)
  • Review questionnaires targeted to the students and the teachers will be prepared and administered at the end of the year of activity to verify the results achieved by the project.
 4) List of the schools
  • Primary Schools: 1. Murungaru 2. Ndunyu 3. Mugumo-ini 4. Hanjo 5. Njabini 6. Ndaracaini 7. Engineer township 8. Kirima 9. Rutere 10. Mukungi
  • Secondary Schools: 1. Mukungi 2. Murungaru 3. Njabini 4. Heni 5. Turasha 6. Ndunyu 7. Wheatland 8. Karima 9. Nandarasi 10. Giturui
 5) Topics to cover during the lectures in the class
  • Local community livelihoods - Together with local farmers, FOKP constantly looks into ways of balancing of local livelihoods and rural development with concern on biodiversity conservation. (This will be done in relation to Sharpe’s Longclaw and ongoing project by FOKP)
  • Importance of Sharpe’s Longclaw as a bio-indicator of change in grassland ecosystem- this will involve incorporation of a few powerpoint slides of what has been done so far, in terms of research and the role of individual in habitat restoration and preservation
  • Wetlands and their importance and role in climate regulation-we shall involve the students in exercises concerning water cycle, pollution and conservation measures
  • Climate change and how it will affect people and biodiversity- who is to blame, how to mitigate it. (Meant for high schools, this is a hot topic that need to be tackled in passing)
  • Bridging the gap between science and education and traditional knowledge and education-this will be done by incorporating the indigenous knowledge.
  • FOKP traditional dancers will be a better entrance point. This is to try and understand the role of culture in Sharpe’s Longclaw and grassland conservation.
  • Sustainable agriculture-the practices of agriculture that are friendly to our biodiversity (Agriculture that is compatible to grassland conservation)
  • Nature’s food web- food chains and relationship of ecology.
 6) Example of review questions
These questions will be printed on a questionnaire that will be administered to a sample of the classes at the end of the year, in order to verify the results achieved through this project
  • What is Sharpe’s Longclaw?
  • How did Sharpe’s Longclaw get its name?
  • What does Sharpe’s Longclaw eat? Give examples
  • Where does Sharpe’s Longclaw live and build its nest?
  • What do natural Grasslands provide for us? Give examples
  • Why is this little bird a heritage that belongs to all Kenyans?
  • Why must we preserve the Kinangop Grasslands?
  • As an individual how can we help Sharpe’s Longclaw? Give examples
  • As a wildlife/environmental club what can we do to conserve Sharpe’s Longclaw?
  • What is Friends of Kinangop Plateau?
 7) Workplan September 2010- July 2011.
September 2010- December 2010. (1) Visiting schools in Kinangop and conducting Sharpe’s Longclaw education to both primary and secondary schools (2) Strengthening the local environmental clubs in each school. (3) Identifying the gaps of knowledge and building strong networks with schools administrations. (4) An introductory report will be sent to David Fox, Luca and Charlie’s Website as agreed in the beginning of the project.
January 2011- April 2011. (1) Video shows on environmental films as proposed to be one of the methods of dissemination (2) Will engage pupils and students in simple environmental demonstration (field techniques within the school compound) (3) A report capturing the activities within the three months will be compiled; the report will also include some information about the bird census (4) The definitive version of the PowerPoint presentation will be made available to the 10000birds website by end of April. The presentation will have a format suitable to be turned into a booklet that could be printed and delivered to the schools.
May 2011- July 2011. (1) More practical work with pupils and students (2) Organise bird watching activities near the schools (3) Organise visits to resource centre (for field demonstrations) (4) A review questionnaire will be administered to the students (see list of questions above) (5) A final report will be compiled to include all activities done with the project period.

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