The Namibian Environmental Education Network (NEEN), a network of environmental educators in Namibia, just had their conference over the past weekend (3-6 May 2018) at the Otjikoto Nature Reserve Environmental Education (EE) Centre of B2 Gold Namibia. The theme for this year was ‘Innovative Strategies to develop peaceful co-existence with endangered wildlife’ and brought together school groups and teachers, university lecturers, environmental education NGOs, EE centres, and many more, from all over the country. The conference was sponsored by B2 Gold Namibia and coordinated by the NEEN Coordinator Liina Nantinda.
Presentations and discussions included insights and experiences from the Cheetah Conservation Fund (a tool for co-existence with the cheetah and other predators), St Boniface College (a case study of the Okavango East – Shambyu Village), NARREC (poison, pesticides and health – the effects and how to limit uses), Hochland Highschool (voice of the youth on human-wildlife conflict), Giraffe Conservation Fund (the role of the Khomas Environmental Education Programme in promoting good human-wildlife co-existence), and more. The proceedings of the conference can be found here. The conference was apparently a great medium for enhancing collaboration and networking within the group, and injected a renewed inspiration and motivation of environmental education in Namibia. This is extremely important. As David Orr said in his famous essay, ‘What is education for?‘:
“…all education is environmental education. By what is included or excluded we teach students that they are part of or apart from the natural world. To teach economics, for example, without reference to the laws of thermodynamics or those of ecology is to teach a fundamentally important ecological lesson: that physics and ecology have nothing to do with the economy. That just happens to be dead wrong. The same is true throughout all of the curriculum.“