In 2017 we celebrated 20 years since the creation of Ecofieldtrips. This means we have been taking students to explore places of biological interest around South East Asia since 1997!
But what has changed since then? The 90's were a compelling time for environmental awareness efforts, resulting in more widespread acceptance of the links between human activities and the environment. Evidence of the impending threat of climate change was emerging, notably when the IPCC Second Assessment Report released what is thought of as the first conclusive statement suggesting “a discernible human influence” on the earths climate. The value of biodiversity was established and people were becoming more aware of environmental issues.
Despite this, over the years we have continued to put unprecedented strain on our environment, from over exploited and polluted oceans, snowballing extreme weather cases, shrinking forests and animals on the brink of extinction – the effects of human destruction are undeniable across the globe. So if people are more aware of the issues why has nothing changed?
"In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught." (Baba Dioum, 1968.)
Is education the key to conservation?
In more recent years the benefits of environmental education have been championed, with many children being introduced to conservation principles at a young age through their school curriculum. More establishments are recognizing the significance of promoting a sustainable lifestyle, weaving environmental awareness across subjects and encouraging outdoor learning. Ultimately, if people are provided with the correct knowledge, values and skills to understand the relevance of their environment, they will have confidence to make sustainable decisions that will benefit not only themselves but future generations.
Why we do what we do- Our ethos of Connecting People with the Planet means students are able to make the link between what they learn in the classroom to real world issues. Through interactive and dynamic programmes that utilise our partnerships with humanitarian and environmental NGO's, we help students recognise their place in shaping the future of the planet.
What will the next 20 years look like?
Jessica Lloyd - EFT Biologist