Illustrated workbook for Grade 6 learners designed to educate youth to be forest friends and stewards
Agricultural transformation and green growth in Africa depend heavily on forests, which make up 35% of the continent’s land mass and are relied upon by more than a billion people. African youth can lead efforts and find solutions to preserve and revitalise the continent’s rich natural heritage by learning about forests.
Several Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) programmes promote forest education and motivate children to protect, appreciate and enjoy their environment.
Stewards of forests and environment in South Africa
In South Africa, the FSC and Mondi Rotatrim, Mondi’s premium copy paper brand, have partnered with Pick ’n Pay’s School Club, that reaches more than two million learners and their families every year. Their aim is to encourage learners to become young stewards of both the forest and the environment.
School Club has produced an attractive and informative illustrated workbook for Grade 6 learners on the forest value chain, which is aligned with the South African school syllabus. This initiative is now active in more than 30 junior schools in KwaZulu-Natal where the Mondi paper mills are located. On completion of their workbook, each student is requested to sign the FSC Forest Steward Pledge.
Educating forest stewards in the Congo Basin
Several FSC initiatives in the Congo Basin have focused on inspiring and equipping young people with skills to lead better lives in harmony with nature. They include involving them in conservation and environmental protection efforts. As an example, FSC engaged more than 500 young people across schools in Cameroon during FSC Forest Week in September 2022. Approximately 100 participated in its Young Talent competition in Gabon in the same period.
Apart from educating future stewards in school, FSC certificate holders lead initiatives in and around their certified concessions to facilitate access to education. Rougier Gabon built and equipped a primary school in Mouyabi, a forest village in the province of Ogooue-Ivindo, while Precious Woods donations helped pay teachers’ salaries at a local government school. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, at the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic, Interholco funded the construction of toilets and a water system that provides access to clean water to 13,000 boys and girls at a school in the northern part of the country.
Little forests stewards and a university platform in Eastern Africa
Supporting the creation of youth initiatives and educating young people about environmental and land issues were included as successful strategies for involving youth in a United Nations Convention to combat desertification. In collaboration with Colours & Crayons, Nairobi, FSC Eastern Africa launched the FSC Little Forest Stewards Club. The goal of the children’s initiative is to motivate kids to actively participate in their nation’s efforts to safeguard the forests.
Through a partnership with Tangaza University College, it established a platform to engage and educate youths both on and off campus about responsible forest management. The platform seeks to raise awareness and engage young people in environmental conservation and forest conservation.
Visit our Printables page to see more activity pages for the classroom.
Be A Forest Friend