Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Students of Shimoni Forest

In November of last year we started out on a process of supporting community-based conservation in Shimoni, aware that it was the only way to protect the globally important biodiversity of the coastal forest here that we have grown to understand and cherish through our research work. The facts and figures that have started coming out of GVI's coastal forest research has had a similar impact on members of the Shimoni community and so 'Friends of Shimoni Forest' was born with the aims of supporting on-going research and monitoring, conserving the forest resources and its biodiversity, and raising awareness amongst the surrounding communities.

Tess and Camille explain how the threatened Angolan black and white colobus is able to coexist with other primates in Shimoni's forest
This morning GVI's expedition members began to pass the conservation message on to the future generation, as 19 students of Shimoni Primary School gave up their Saturday morning for some lessons, educational games, a forest walk and an inspiring video that really brought tropical forest biodiversity to life.

In addition to testing their speed and agility this simple game tested the students on their understanding of forest wildlife

The students learnt about the different animals and ecological strategies that allow them to coexist and then went searching for wildlife in the forest - they were rewarded with views of a female colobus with her juvenile offspring

The gasps and giggles through the video show convinced us all that the students were seeing their forest wildlife in a new and astonishing light, instilling a new appreciation of what they have around them. Importantly, it was an enjoyable morning for the students and also for their teachers and we look forward to doing it all again with more children next Saturday morning.