Koalas – Agents for Change: A case study from regional Victoria

By Rolf Schlagloth, Barry Golding, Barry Kentish, Gabrielle McGinnis, Ian D. Clark, Tim Cadman, Fred (David) Cahir and Flavia Santamaria

Abstract: We investigated the success of the Koala Conservation and Education Programme conducted in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia from 2000-2009 by interviewing 28 individuals, from various stakeholder groups involved in the project. Transcripts were analysed using grounded theory to identify common themes, keywords and phrases. We conclude that the chosen ‘flagship’ species, the Koala, was crucial for the success of the project which culminated in the adoption of the Koala Plan of Management and habitat overlays into the City of Ballarat’s planning scheme. Local people were concerned about the Koala based on its conservation status nationally and globally rather than because of its local or Victorian status. We conclude that the concept of ‘flagship’ species in the case of the Koala, is more a global than a local construct. 

Continue Reading

Students’ Participation in Tree Planting Activity: Promoting the 21st Century Environmental Education

By Christopher H. Punzalan and Ma. Lyka M. Balanac

Universally, trees have been an important part of urban landscapes for millennia since they offer adequate benefits to humanity. Studies highlighted the positive impacts of biodiversity conservation in the students’ academic performance but there is still lack of literature pertaining to its role on the promotion of environmental education in the Philippines. On this note, this study aimed to analyze the Filipino senior high school students’ perceptions and experiences on participating in a tree planting activity, identify the implications of tree planting activity in studying Earth and Life Sciences, and explore the perceived constraints and opportunities. The study design is descriptive-qualitative in nature. Based on the qualitative data analysis, five themes have emerged such as: (1) simple yet beneficial; (2) opportunities and constraints; (3) practical application of learning; (4) environmental awareness promotion; and (5) mitigating environmental degradation. In conclusion, tree planting activity as a part of the field study program in schools is one of the most effective ways to combat and slow down the effect of global warming while promoting the students’ academic interests. This study also highlighted the positive impact of tree planting by improving the Filipino students’ perceptions of life, community, and environment which is the goal of 21st century education. Lastly, the study recommends the development of extension programs to school communities in the Philippines and worldwide that will arouse the interests and participations of the students to tree planting activity, gardening and ecological tours by partnering with relevant organizations and agencies.

Continue Reading