Conservation education

Training for school children and educators

Fifteen teachers from Kanakapura were taken on a two-day exposure trip to observe the dry-land watershed development programme at BIRD-K. This programme integrates water and soil conservation and restoration of native species. This visit convinced teachers on converting barren school grounds into ‘biodiversity gardens’ for imparting hands-on education.

In Bangalore, ATREE conducted an awareness-training programme on environment for 57 children from five slum schools (including dropouts). This was organized by Association of People with Disability (APD) Bangalore and Development Alternatives as part of their Community Lead Environment Action Network (CLEAN) India – an environmental assessment, awareness, action and advocacy programme. Students planted and fenced seedlings using lantana. Then made a trek in the nearby forest and played games that helped increase their understanding of nature.

Corporate training programmes

ATREE, in collaboration with Earthwatch Institute, has begun a one-day local volunteering project for HSBC employees under HSBC’s Climate Partnership Programme. The focus of this project is to create awareness among the corporate sector about biodiversity, the need to conserve native species of plants and animals in their natural environment, and the threats posed by climate change on biodiversity, and in turn on human well-being. These programs have been conducted in Bilikal Reserve Forest (Kanakapura taluk) and in Forest Trails (Anekal taluk) - a privately owned estate adjoining the Bannerghatta National Park

The Local Volunteering Project (LVP) was started in March, 2009. So far, six groups of HSBC employees (from the banking and BPO sectors), each comprising of around 20 volunteers have participated in the project. The employees have been instructed in monitoring and documenting plant and bird diversity. The programme also aims to increase volunteer awareness on distribution of biodiversity, the implications of biodiversity loss, the need for conserving biodiversity, and the services that the natural environment provides to human beings. Participants receive first hand field experience in understanding biodiversity. They actively undertake field studies to document and monitor three groups of organisms: trees, birds, and butterflies. The volunteers share their contribution in mitigating climate change.