Mongolia has long been a land of abundant wildlife and wild places, but today both are in jeopardy. Conservation education and collaboration at the school and community level are critical component of the nation’s natural heritage. The Nomadic Nature Trunks provide critically needed natural science and conservation education to communities in and around protected areas throughout Mongolia. This travelling classroom in a box is designed to provide a creative learning environment encouraging total community engagement. Each trunk includes activities materials such as puppets, posters, maps, animal tracks, books and games focused on region-specific biodiversity and conservation concerns. The first Nomadic Trunk program was launched in 2007 in the Eastern Steppe region with start-up funding from Wildlife Conservation Society. This traveling trunk program has been well received in rural Mongolia due to:
- A nomadic tradition of traveling information
- The physical distance between communities
- A deep cultural respect for nature, leading to a high level of receptivity for conservation education
- Limited resources of rural schools despite a strong national commitment to education
- Importance of the link between herders’ knowledge of conservation and the ecologic health of their homeland.
Goals and Outcomes
- Create a nationally-supported curriculum addressing conservation issues and biodiversity on a regional basis within Mongolia.
- Incorporate trunk program methodology and content into the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) system being established by Mongolia’s Ministry of Education.
- Supply communities and schools with much needed educational resources and new teaching methodologies.
- Foster greater environmental awareness, respect, and responsibility through total community engagement.
- Realize a decrease in illegal activities that negatively impact wildlife and their habitats.
- Increase the participations in conservation activities
Program Expansion and Support
Our scope is national. The Nomadic Nature Trunk Program began in Mongolia’s three eastern-most provinces, has expanded to Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Dornogobi province and Altai Sayan region and will continue to grow, becoming a national curriculum throughout Mongolia. Join our conservation Movement in Mongolia. Funding is needed for:
- Sustainability – to transport, maintain, and replace materials for existing trunks.
- Expansion – to develop and implement the program in other eco-regions.
- Who am I?
- Animal and Plant flash cards
- Adaptations riddles
- Adaptations dress up
- The “art” of tracking
- Tracking in the field
- Walk this way
- Wildlife Crime Scene
- Watchable Wildlife
- The Balance between Predator and Prey
- Habitat Loss Game
- Evolutionary Events
- Protected Areas
- Mystery Species
- Endangered Species Slogan
- Waste Management
- Water Quality
- Biodiversity Charades
- Puppet Show
- Food web chain
Nomadic Nature Trunk program focuses on the natural history of a particular eco-system and it includes lesson materials such as:
- Field guides
- Animal tracks and scats
Trunk trainings are conducted in each aimag and include at least one environmental science teacher and one representative from each soum (approximately 25-30 participants per training) upon delivering the trunks. The workshops lasts either two or three days, depending on the number of participants and travel circumnstances. All training participants are also to train other teachers and community members after their return.
We have currently developed an evaluation plan that will be implemented in its pilot phase in early 2011. This plan was developed by NNT staff with guidance from Terry Galpin-Plattner, Program Development and Evaluation Consultant from Organizational Options, USA. The consultant will continue to work with staff in order to build their capacity and trouble shoot evaluation for cultural and resource-based concerns.
NNC Evaluation Team will collect data regarding each component of the program’s logic model including outputs and outcomes. Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected from program participants as well as partners and program staff using a variety of techniques including questionnaires, interviews, observation, document analysis, and activity reports. The findings will measure in what ways and to what extent the program has been successful as well as identify areas for improvement in future implementation.