Nurturing nature appreciation
Rekindling conservation awareness and connections with nature
Islands of rainforest amidst monoculture plantations, people living amidst endangered animals and plants – this is Valparai plateau. To conserve this remarkable ecosystem and cultural landscape and foster human –wildlife coexistence, we use education as a tool for nature appreciation, discovery, and conservation.
Education to conserve rainforest wildlife
In 2007, we initiated a conservation education program in the Anamalai hills. The scope of the programme encompasses diverse sections of the population such as schools and colleges, self-help groups, estate workers, plantation managers, forest department officials, visitors, and the public in general. The programme aims to inform, educate, and generate an abiding and deeper interest in nature and conservation, and to make people feel a part of nature.
We identified specific conservation issues and relevant target groups. Various ways to foster sensitivity to nature and participation in conservation efforts were adopted. We addressed people using slide shows and screening of wildlife documentaries. Students and other target groups were brought to or encouraged to visit our nature discovery centre, EcoQuest. We took school students and others along on nature trails and walks in rainforest fragments and surrounding plantations. We addressed students, tourists, forest department staff, estate workers and general public, with presentations on human-wildlife interactions. Educational materials such as books, posters, games, and other audio-visual material was produced in English and vernacular Tamil. In a wide cross-section of English and Tamil magazines, newspapers, and through blog posts, we reached out to readers with a large number of articles on natural history and conservation issues of this region.
EcoQuest Nature Discovery Centre
EcoQuest Nature Discovery Centre is a unique facility established in 2007 in collaboration with Parry Agro Industries Ltd, an environmentally-conscious plantation company. This centre, located in Iyerpadi near Valparai, has got information on plants and animals of the Valparai plateau and the Anamalai hills landscape. The centre has four themed rooms: habitats, biological diversity (2 rooms), and conservation, with posters containing photographs and educational information in English and Tamil. Seventy posters have been displayed. Various aspects of nature, conservation issues and ecosystem functions, especially on rainforests, are brought to life in the posters and on the walls, through beautiful artwork by a wildlife artist, Maya Ramaswamy. Educational films about nature are maintained and screened for local people and school children. Programmes are conducted for school and college students, estate workers, forest department officials, local people and tourists who visit the centre to create awareness on wildlife and nature conservation and on responsible tourism. Educational posters and books on nature-related aspects have been produced by us and are being sold in the centre or distributed to children in schools during activities. A good library of wildlife films, books, and other materials useful for educational programs is also available at this centre.
- Book2016Thattangal, Usithattangal: arimuga kaiyedu. (A field guide on dragonflies & damselflies in Tamil)Cre-A. Chennai.Pp1-224
தட்டான்கள், ஊசித்தட்டான்கள்: அறிமுகக் கையேடு. க்ரியா வெளியீடு. சென்னை 1-244. Link here
- Popular Article2016தன்னை அறியும் யானைகளின் துயரை அறிவோம். (On threats to Asian elephants)The Hindu Tamil Diwali Malar.
Jeganathan, P. (2016). Thannai Ariyum Yanaigalin Thuyarai Arivom (On threats to Asian elephants). The Hindu Tamil Diwali Malar. The Hindu Magazine-Diwali Special issue–November 2016. Pp.222-230. Link here.
- Popular Article2015வானில் பறக்கும் புள்களைத் தேடி. (On my eBirding Big Year)தி ஹிந்து சித்திரை மலர். The Hindu Sithirai Malar. January 2015
- Popular Article2015இயற்கையை அழித்து வளர்ச்சியா? (Tamil version of‘The long road to growth’by T. R. Shankar Raman.)தி இந்து நாளிதழ், சிந்தனைக் களம், சிறப்புக் கட்டுரை. The Hindu Tamil Op-Ed. 18th April 2015.
Jeganathan, P. (2015). இயற்கையை அழித்து வளர்ச்சியா?- திஇந்துநாளிதழ், சிந்தனைக் களம், சிறப்புக் கட்டுரை. 18thApril 2015. (Tamil version of ‘The long road to growth’ by T. R. Shankar Raman.) Iyarkaiyai azithu valarchiya?The Hindu Tamil Op-Ed. 18th April 2015.
English version by T R Shankar Raman link here).
- Popular Article2015மழையில் நனைந்த மணிப்புறா. (On Spotted Dove)இல்லம் இணைய இதழ். Illam Online monthly Magazine. September 2015.
- Popular Article2015சரியாக நடக்கின்றனவா வனஉயிரின வார விழாக்கள். (Comments on 2015 Tiruppur Wildlife Week celebration)The Hindu Tamil News Daily, Online edition. 9th October 2015.
- Poster2014Living with Leopards-Educational PosterPoster produced in collaboration with Anamalai Tiger Conservation Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society and Mumbaikars for SGNPDownload
PDF, 10.1 MB
Educational poster for people residing in landscapes with leopards highlighting measures one can take and what one must avoid in order to minimize conflict, besides explaining basic leopard behavior and causes of conflicts.
- Poster2014சிறுத்தையும் நாமும்Poster produced in collaboration with Anamalai Tiger Conservation Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society and Mumbaikars for SGNPDownload
PDF, 9.95 MB
சிறுத்தை-மனிதன் எதிர்கொள்ளலைப் பற்றிய விளக்கச் சுவரிதழ்
- Poster2014சிறுத்தையை அறிந்துகொள்வோம்Poster produced in collaboration with Wildlife Conservation Society.Download
PDF, 2.28 MB
சிறுத்தை-மனிதன் எதிர்கொள்ளலைப் பற்றிய விளக்கச் சுவரிதழ்.