Thank you ASP!
We have just received the excellent news that the American Society of Primatologists (ASP) has awarded CERCOPAN a grant for our Conservation Education Programme. Education is a critical element of our work to conserve Nigeria’s primates and their habitat. The programme is carried out by Abakum and Martina in the State Capital Calabar, and Mike Ekpe is responsible for the implementation of the programme in our partner communities Iko Esai, Agoi Ibami, and Owai.
Since 2012, we have included a newly designed evaluation component into the education programme to show its effectiveness. A pilot implementation of the programme and the evaluation component took place in the last months of 2012, reaching 426 students (aged 9-22 years) in Cross River State. Following our conservation education programme, both knowledge and attitudes towards primates and rainforests had improved significantly. Indeed, the average improvement in number of correctly answered questions was +30.7%. Importantly, the number of students that would like to eat monkey meat and have a pet monkey had reduced drastically.
As environmental education is not part of the State Curriculum, CERCOPAN’s efforts are vital to introduce students to the important topics of primate and rainforest conservation, and give them practical ways to positively contribute. Between July and December 2013, we will expose about 1,000 school children to the new education programme, in part sponsored by ASP. Evaluation of the programme´s impact using questionnaires and focus group discussions will provide a quantitative measure of the impact of the programme, which will be published in a future edition of CERCONEWS.