http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/298783

Conservation on Wheels - mobile biodiversity education

Posted Oct 11, 2010 by Lee Labuschagne
A mobile project to create better awareness and promote education of biodiversity and its importance especially rural communities and kids has been started in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.
Dr Bandile Mkhize  CEO of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife  and Patrick Vella  CEO of Springbok Atlas at the ha...
Dr Bandile Mkhize, CEO of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, and Patrick Vella, CEO of Springbok Atlas at the handover of a bus for the mobile education programme
Picture: Mediaweb
The province's Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife organisation are teaming up with local Springbok Atlas coach transport company to launch the 'Conservation on Wheels', project.
A bright, eye-catching luxury bus will head out in to the rural communities as a mobile classroom and education centre, bringing the conservation education to the people.
The bus is equipped with DVD player and screens, and can thus be used as a mobile theatre, as well transferring groups of adults and child learners to different ecosystems to gain hands-on learning experience and understand the importance of conservation.
"We specifically chose an eye-catching and fun branding for the vehicle to increase the visibility and awareness and help make the project more memorable," says Craig Drysdale, Springbok Atlas GM Coach Charter.
This 'mobile education' approach, which is often associated with political campaigns and entertainment, has been used successfully already in South Africa for projects such as HIV/AIDS education. The successful implementation of these projects mean that rural areas of the African continent and other parts of the the world can be reached relatively cost-effectively with up-to-date information and technology, thus enhancing understanding relevant of biodiversity, nature conservation, health and other issues.
* Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife manages 99 protected areas and two World Heritage Sites in KwaZulu-Natal. The organisation is also involved in ongoing biodiversity projects, such as People & Parks, Kids & Parks and the Ezemvelo Soccer Cup, all aimed at enhancing the level of awareness and education about biodiversity.