Some programs work better than others when it comes to involving citizens in preserving the environment. After reviewing those that worked, Stanford researchers propose a blueprint for how others can educate people to maximize their impact.
If you like to walk in the woods, raft a river, dig in a garden or look at butterflies, you could become an agent of change.
Science and policy may not be enough to solve complex environmental challenges ranging from species extinction to water pollution, but actively engaged citizens could tip the balance, according to a new Stanford-led study that provides a blueprint for empowering people to turn the tide of environmental destruction. In Biological Conservation, the researchers outline four key facets of programs that have been successful in motivating and training people to have a meaningful impact.
“Effective environmental education moves people to persistent action through engaging with issues in relevant ways,” said study lead author Nicole Ardoin, an associate professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. “Without it, making sustained change on environmental and sustainability issues simply is not possible.”
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