Community-based environmental education and its participatory process : the case of forest conservation project in Viet Nam
Abstract: Participation and involvement of the local community are playing an important role in the forest conservation. Community-based Environmental Education (CBEE), which is designed to create Environmental education activities and to meet the community interests and involvement in forest conservation projects. The need to have a common understanding about the CBEE model is becoming more and more urgent when the principles of involvement and participation in the model are not broadly understood either by trained environmental educators or natural resource professionals. Therefore, this thesis sets its goal in exploring the Community-based Environmental Education, as applied in a forest conservation project in Viet Nam, which has been listed as one of the ten countries suffering from a “remarkable biodiversity reduction”. Semi-structured interviews, secondary data analysis and SWOT analysis were used to draw the general picture of how participatory processes are carried out in the Community-based environmental Education project in Viet Nam and in forest conservation. The literature related to Community-based Environmental Education has been drawn primarily from a chapter in the book titled “New Tools for Environmental Protection: Education, Information, and Voluntary Measures”. Likewise, participatory process in forest conservation was studied from the research of Lotte Isager, Ida Theilade and Lex Thomson, published in “People’s participation and the role of Governments”. The findings and analysis are presented to emphasise the need for promoting community participation in the context of Viet Nam and to discover the dynamic of participatory process in which Community-based Environmental Education created in the project. The third actors, the NGOs and Institutions who play an active role in designing and implementing are become amazingly discovered. In comparison with Community-based Environmental Education, the participatory process, which is built in forest conservation in the research reported in “People’s participation and the role of Governments”, is being understood as passive participation. The gap in participatory process between two different approaches is the motive or direction of participation. By using SWOT analysis, the advantages of CBEE are revealed why the model can create the active participation. In conclusion, with the key, advanced and ACTIVE participation, which is brought in the Community-based Environmental Education model, not only fulfils people’s needs but also helps connect and empower both local people and community to effectively conserve the forest. Key words: Community, Community-based Environmental Education, participation, participatory process, Forest Conservation, and Empowerment.
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