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Nature Conservation School

In response to the challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity loss, and deforestation, there's a growing recognition of how protected natural areas can provide social and economic benefits. In this context, the Nature Conservation School has been established with the aim of raising awareness, educating, and training students about the crucial role of biodiversity in enhancing the quality of life on our planet and in creating job opportunities and income streams through engagement with protected areas.

Through a variety of activities such as accompanying researchers in the field, hiking trails, landscape observation, workshops, lectures, and debates held during school hours, the initiative emphasizes the significance of Nature Production and the restorative economy. It seeks to foster knowledge, research, practical skills, and actions that not only promote nature conservation but also contribute to personal and territorial development based on preserving nature and local cultural heritage.


Foto: Reginaldo Ferreira ©

About the Project

Established in 2017, the Nature Conservation School is a mobile initiative initially launched in the municipality of Antonina (PR), engaging residents of the Guaricica and Das Águas Private Reserves. Subsequently, young individuals from Guaraqueçaba (PR) and the surroundings of the Salto Morato Reserve also had the opportunity to participate in the project on two occasions.

One of the primary objectives of the Nature Conservation School is to establish a network of stakeholders actively involving the community. This network collaborates with universities, NGOs, local governments, entrepreneurs, and conservation unit managers, utilizing participatory methodologies to contemplate and develop solutions collectively. Reconnecting people with natural spaces, fostering a sense of belonging, and promoting public policies and businesses with socio-environmental impacts.


Why should I support this initiative?

For Caiçaras and other traditional or non-traditional communities, one of the most significant challenges is the separation of families as young people leave in search of opportunities elsewhere. Additionally, the absence of after-school activities and limited awareness about the importance of nature conservation exacerbate social and environmental issues.

The main achievement of the project lies in demonstrating to teenagers and young individuals residing near protected areas the potential for both professional and personal growth through environmental conservation. By providing access to the Nature Conservation School, there is a concerted effort to secure a future within these localities, reducing the necessity for individuals to migrate to urban centers due to a lack of opportunities.

Who can support us?

Government authorities stand to gain numerous benefits from supporting the School's initiatives. This support can foster closer dialogue with the population, enhance the pool of skilled workers in the areas involved, and leverage the knowledge acquired by students and alumni. These individuals are adept at identifying opportunities and view nature conservation and cultural heritage preservation as assets for development.

Moreover, funders and supporters of the project can design effective communication strategies, producing various materials - from brochures to films - and utilizing the results for social and environmental responsibility reports, among other uses. Partner organizations' names will also be prominently featured in visibility initiatives associated with the project. This comprehensive approach represents a competitive advantage and a significant asset for the organization involved.

Are you interested in joining this Project? Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have or to discuss how to initiate partnership proposals. 

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Project Results

The Nature Conservation School has graduated three groups in Antonina and Guaraqueçaba. Around 120 young people, aged 15 to 24, were trained to spot business opportunities in Nature. Some continued their studies in the environment and now work in their hometowns or even in SPVS Private Reserves. Others also created new business opportunities to enhance the local natural heritage or crafted itineraries for visitors to discover the historical, cultural, and natural treasures of their region.

Another significant accomplishment was the development of a document by the Nature Conservation Laboratory (LaCon), offering suggestions for local development plans that honor and preserve the region's biodiversity. Titled "Suggestions for Sustainable Territorial Development and Safeguarding Caiçara Culture," this document was presented to the city councils of Antonina and Guaraqueçaba, as well as to representatives from public, private, research, and non-profit organizations actively involved in environmental initiatives within the Atlantic Forest Great Reserve.

The project's outcomes were also showcased at the premier event for protected areas in Latin America: the Brazilian Conservation Units Congress (CBUC). The methodology of the initiative was detailed in a chapter titled "School of Nature Conservation: An Experience in Education for the Sustainable Development of the Northern Coast of the State of Paraná, Brazil," published by Springer Magazine in 2019. Additionally, the project's experience was shared through an expanded abstract in the official publication of the 10th International Conference on Environmental Education and Sustainability.

Nature Conservation School in the Field

The project's methodology was designed to be easily applicable across various ecosystems and contexts, thereby amplifying the project's impact in the medium and long term. This adaptability was put into practice for the first time in a different ecosystem in 2021, in collaboration with the company JTI. Known as the Nature Conservation School in the Field, this initiative engaged 50 high school students who were children of tobacco farmers associated with JTI. With the aim of furthering the outcomes of ongoing conservation projects on the properties, the students received education on the Atlantic Forest, environmental laws, Nature Production, and entrepreneurship through both theoretical lessons and hands-on activities.



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