We believe that today’s school students are tomorrow’s conservation ambassadors and the future stewards of our planet. By deepening their understanding of the natural world and the conservation challenges that we face in the future, we hope to inspire and engage students in the sustainable development of Galapagos and the wider world through the Discovering Galapagos programme.
The resource consists of two websites – one adapted for the UK audience with easy to use, downloadable curriculum linked resources and one adapted for delivery in the Galapagos Islands and mainland Ecuador. Sitting in between the websites is a bilingual blog – the first time this form of international connection has been attempted between students in the UK, mainland Ecuador and the Islands.
The isolation, iconic wildlife and unique geography of Galapagos have created a natural system with unrivalled subject matter for this kind of resource. The issues faced in the microcosm of Galapagos are of global relevance and the communication of these problems and their potential solutions have undoubted value for other areas of the world.
Discovering Galapagos is a bilingual multimedia educational resource from the Galapagos Conservation Trust and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). With the aim to inspire the next generation of conservation ambassadors globally, the project will be delivered in both the UK and Ecuador.
Project Lead: Galapagos Conservation Trust
The Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) was launched in 1995 at the Royal Society and is a UK registered charity set up to raise funds for, and awareness of, the conservation needs of the Galapagos Islands. In 2011 GCT updated its vision to embrace three primary dimensions of science, education and culture as focal points for its conservation work in Galapagos. This vision promotes the view that the challenges faced by the Galapagos Archipelago are multi-faceted and can best be addressed with a holistic approach. As well as an icon of the conservation movement, Galapagos also represents a socioeconomic system that is at a transition point; the future can be either an on-going degradation of the natural environment or a more sustainable one, where conservation is the mainstay of development. This latter view, of conservation led development, aims to marry the on-going conservation of all that makes Galapagos special with progressive development of the social structures on the Islands. Science, culture and education are brought to best effect in this model through cross-organisational multi-institutional collaboration.
Partner Organisation: Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the UK’s learned society and professional body for geography, founded in 1830. Their key goal is to advance geography and support its practitioners in the UK and across the world. The organisation works to promote, support and enhance geographical research, education, fieldwork and expeditions, public engagement, knowledge transfer to policy, and the professional accreditation of geographers, as well as holding one of the world’s pre-eminent geographical collections that spans over 500 years of discovery and geographical science. The Society has 16,000 members and Fellows. It works on a face-to-face basis with teachers and pupils from more than 50% of English secondary schools and its award winning online educational resources receive 400,000+ ‘user sessions’ annually.
The outreach capabilities and connections of RGS-IBG provide a real asset to the project, especially in the testing of content, writing suitable materials to meet the UK curriculum and also in the marketing and promotion of the finished resource via mailings and events.
Delivery Partner: Book Bus
One in six adults around the world goes through childhood unable to read and write, a situation due mainly to lack of books and opportunity to read. In response to this shocking situation, the Book Bus was founded by publisher Tom Maschler with the aim of supplying books and making them accessible to children. In 2008 the Book Bus began delivering books to schools in Zambia and working with children to inspire them to read. Five years on and they have opened reading schemes in Zambia, Malawi, Ecuador and India where over 5,000 children now have books that are relevant and accessible to read. The Book Bus look forward to continuing their reading schemes with the aim of reaching a further 10,000 children by 2015.
Delivery Partner: Galapagos Travel Center
Established in 1998, the Galapagos Travel Center has grown to be the largest online travel agency focused on the Galapagos Islands and mainland Ecuador, leading the market by selling thousands of cruises, tours, and hotels every year. The Galapagos Travel Center helped develop the Spanish language version of Discovering Galapagos by providing translations for the majority of the resources, helping English and Spanish speakers to discover Galapagos.