Design competence for sustainable development
We have installed our Centre for ecology education in Ondangwa/Namibia to make an important contribution for the sustainable improvement of counsel and professional training, especially with regard to the establishment and sustainable use of ecosystems and the genetic resources in the project area. The project also helps to dramatically improve the educational possibilities of the rural population in the area. That is the reason why we have deliberately chosen our location in the most populated area.
In our opinion our expertise and engagement have to be used to effectively improve the life and income situation of the concerned population where poverty is worst. This is achieved with a concept that integrates the existing social and economic structures in the ecologically oriented work and considers issues of biodiversity.
The project also encourages the shaping of ecological ideas within the local population. The educational measures pursued by our project need a lot of input: schools, teachers and the educational influence of mass media should promote the necessary attitude shift and convey the awareness of the importance of protecting natural resources.
The Centre for ecology education
Education in sustainable development cannot just have the form of instructional teaching and it does not simply aim at knowledge transfer. We pick up on subjects of ecology and conservation and encourage interdisciplinary knowledge and joined-up thinking, creativity and problem-oriented learning in a unique way. In educational settings or concrete projects farmers, gardeners, students and everybody interested can experience that with phantasy, intelligent knowledge and team spirit people are able to cope with challenges and problems and to contribute to the design of a livable environment. By this, our school concept contributes to the conveyance of design competence for sustainable development.
In the future 10 permanent job training units are planned for about 250 participants in the centre for ecology education. This project is an important contribution to the conservation and recovery of the native tree population typical for the landscape. Setting up and fostering of communal and private orchards and wood lots is financially promoted. The project stabilizes an essential fundament concerning the population`s longterm alimentation situation and their supply with renewable energies.
Enhancement of the village community’s self-organization
The centre for ecology education is an important multiplicator for the support and enhancement of the communities’ self-organization. It helps a lot to sustainably improve the income situation and to create new jobs, which will reduce the rural exodus.
There are only few farmers left who know and practice a sustainable crop rotation today. One of the project’s goals of an adequate education program is to show up solutions and to develop strategies with the participants that are going to be realized and help to permanently and sustainably improve the situation of the population in the project area.
Ecology education lessons for all classes of the population and all stages of age
The centre for ecology education includes multifunctional class rooms and an up-to-date ecology library. The whole unit offers the teachers and course participants many possibilities to design the lessons with ambitious content and to flexibly integrate the needs of the diverse learning groups at the same time. And all that in a learning and experiencing atmosphere in which the participants are carefully but consequently encouraged to get their ideas of class design involved according to their age and level of awareness but also to be aware of the grade of importance of these ideas in the learning context. The concept of the centre includes, among others, ecology educational seminars for all classes of the population and all stages of age.
Competence Centre for ecology education in southern Africa
As a location for congresses the house is also at the disposal of other institutions, associations, organizations, etc. that are active in the field of people – nature – environment. The goal is to promote sustainable action. Therefore we offer regular seminars covering the whole range of subjects on the field of ecology as well as additional seminars on demand whose central criteria are practical relevance and feasibility. The centre for ecology education is also a pool of information for issues on the ecological field and can be used for self-study and further reading of seminar-related contents with its well-equipped library.
High efficiency with little resource input
The main goal of designing the growing station of the tree nursery is to establish a modern and ecological tree nursery technology, that clearly shows the possibilities of a tree nursery adapted to special environmental and local conditions. Highest efficiency at little resource input was the main aspect of the planning. In the future the professional and technical qualification of the course participants will take place here with guided practical work and lessons in the subjects of growing, reproduction, grafting, pruning, botany and ecological gardening. The tree nursery will reach a production capacity of 200.000 trees per year and will reforest on surfaces already secured.