We are very happy to get insights from our special guest: Dr. Sylvain Rabotovao, researcher and lecturer at Ecole Normale Supérieure Université d’Antananarivo and member of the Centre de Recherche en Education Environnementale (C.R.E.E.) in Madagascar.

Sylvain explains us the 3 main approaches for environmental education in #Madagascar:

  • “Eco-school” based on a Swiss concept : https://ecoschools-ch.org/
  • “Model-school” in collaboration with WWF
  • “Rural school” that promotes “know-how” for a target educative community.

The most suitable approach depends on the context. The major steps are :

  1. Diagnostic of behaviors at the level of communities and students
  2. Capacity building of teachers with the aim to develop materials adapted to local challenges.
  3.  Monitoring and observation
  4.  Evaluation 

Sylvain highlights the importance of working in close collaboration with local NGOs and organizations for effective communication.

Thank you Sylvain for these inspiring insights !


We are exited to develop further collaboration with several PhD students on related topics, from Diversity Turn in Land Use Science” project  and Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia)” – EFForTS project

  • Thio Rosin Fulgence, Department of Zoology and Animal Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Antananarivo, working on “Amphibian and Reptile”.
  • Janna Niens, Department of Didactics of Biology, Göttingen University , working on “Competencies for rural Madagascar”
  • Annemarie Wurz, Department of Agroecology, Göttingen University , working on “Biodiversity and ecosystem services of agro-ecologically optimized cultivation” in Madagascar
  • Finn Matthiesen, Department of Didactics of Biology, Göttingen University, working in the project “Teacher education for society: Making EFForTS knowledge available for Indonesia


Learn more about forthcoming projects of environmental education in Madagascar co-funded by Lecturers Without Borders [Fulgence, Annemarie and Clara, 04/2020]:


Tip to Lecturers (from Janna): Provide a “hand-on” activity that is related to the daily life of children (garden, excursion to forest, etc.), in combination with “mind-on” activities.

The idea of “Conservation Ambassador” (suggestions from Annemarie):

  • Select students for joint excursions based on a drawing contest (e.g. draw your house in the forest, e.g. what is nature for you?, e.g. what animals do you know living around you?)
  • A small proportion of these selected students (any age group) can participate in a long-term program called Conservation Ambassadors. The ambassadors can participate in all 3 types of excursions.
  • The students start first Junior Conservation Ambassadors (blue t-shirt with text), then Senior Conservation Ambassadors (brown t-shirt with text) and lastly Expert Conservation Ambassadors (green t-shirt with text)
  • Junior Conservation Ambassadors go jointly to the garden of Evrard and make a presentation about their experience (what they did, what they saw, what they liked) to their class. They also get to plant a tree (useful native tree, fruit or medicinal) at their school or if place not given, at Evrards garden. At Evrards garden they learn about permaculture (how to crop your own food, what animals and plants live in the garden, how do we benefit from nature if we maintain it.
  • After completing the Junior Ambassadorship (excursion and presentation to school and/or village), the students become Senior Conservation Ambassadors.
  • Senior Conservation Ambassadors go to Maccoline park and learn about the function of the trees and other plants and their use in the society (medicinal, construction, crafting). They can take photos, make drawings, posters or write a story about their experience and present it to their class or/and village and/or family.
  • After completing the Senior Conservation Ambassadorship students can become Expert Conservation Ambassadors.
  • Expert Conservation Ambassadors participate with other students in an excursion to Marojejy National Park for ~3 days. There they learn about the ecosystem functioning of the forest, about the animals and plants which live in the forest, how people benefit from maintaining the forest (concept ecosystem services), what are the threats to the forest and how can we protect the forest. They can make again posters, drawings or writings about their experience and present it to their class or community.
  • After completing the 3 levels of Ambassadorships they can participate in a meeting with e.g. national guide society, an NGO, researchers to inform themselves about future possibilities to stay engaged (apprenticeship to become a guide, volunteer for an NGO or study an environmental subject at University)
  • Groups for excursions can be kept at medium size to facilitate organization, supervision, teaching and to maintain security for students throughout the excursion

Further reading (suggested by Finn):

Thank you all for these insights !






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