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Exploring the Value of Education Impact Evaluation for Giraffe and Elephant Conservation in Tanzania With the Wild Nature Institute

By: Dr. James Danoff-Burg, Vice President of Conservation

We at The Living Desert are passionate about wildlife conservation, as you know. A major project of ours for the last 6 years has been to help improve and refine the important conservation work of the Wild Nature Institute in Tanzania. Specifically, we have helped them to improve their education and behavioral change programs that they have been doing with children and adults by evaluating their impact in the conservation of giraffes, elephants, and more recently snakes! 

Education can as a potent instrument for change when it is paired with behavioral change and when it extends beyond traditional classrooms. The great work of the Wild Nature Institute highlight this concept. Through our meticulous evaluation of educational initiatives designed to improve human-wildlife coexistence, Wild Nature Institute has been able to gauge the transformation of local communities’ perspectives, behaviors, and consciousness and improve it! 

Wild Nature Institute’s impactful education programs not only contribute to the preservation of these magnificent mammals (and reptiles) but they also empower communities to assume responsibility for their environment. In essence, the focus is on fostering a harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife.  

The giraffe is the national animal of Tanzania and elephants are crucial components of the many economic benefits provided by ecotourism. As such, helping children and adults appreciate the animals and ensure that they benefit from their presence culturally, economically, and socially is essential to ensure coexistence. 

Our support for the Wild Nature Institute helps to further improve their already comprehensive and effective approach to conservation. Together, we are not only safeguarding wildlife but also fostering a sustainable future wherein both human and animal life can flourish. 

Let’s collectively recognize the importance of The Living Desert’s impact evaluation efforts as a crucial way to ensure that education can be a catalyst for transformative environmental change – in Tanzania to benefit giraffes, elephants, and snakes, but also all over the world! 

Yours in conservation, 
Dr. James 

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