The Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC's) EASE project (Education Action Supporting Environment Groups) has turned up some very interesting feedback on the educational needs of community environment groups during the last eight months of operation.
In this time an extensive needs analysis and two pilot workshops have been completed. The needs analysis focused on identifying the challenges to delivering messages faced by community groups while the workshops responded to this feedback by focusing on sharing education experiences, building skills and connecting with other groups.
Sydney EASE Gathering challenge solving 2005 - photo by G.Howard
The survey found that many groups face significant obstacles when carrying out strategic campaigns. Generally groups are issues focused. Their audiences and strategies are defined by the actions required to achieve change in the particular issue/s they are challenging and within the time and resource constraints that come with being a volunteer group. The workshops found that focusing on education alone does not meet the groups' current needs. Environmental education needs to be recognised as one approach of many that can lead to environmental change, and support for groups needs to be within this context if it is to be successful.
Since identifying these obstacles EASE has been working with members to collate a database of knowledge and develop tools to better equip groups with ways in which to secure the best environmental outcome for a project.
Further workshops and meetings with environmental groups will be held and an online discussion group is being set up. It will showcase useful tools and member case studies for reference and discussion.
A resource handbook will also be provided to member groups providing valuable information on everything from how to use the media to promote your campaign, to writing web pages and designing educational programs.
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- For information on tools available to your organisation contact: Angela Baker NCC email@example.com