To engage communities in actively supporting and protecting biodiversity, Calao provides educational programs for local schools and zoos. The conservation philosophy of all zoos and aquariums internationally should incorporate the principles of environmental education as well as education for sustainability, which are generally encompassed in conservation education.
Calao's project, which was gradually designed within the team, would allow school children to learn about the basics of biology and could be structured around major learning areas/modules. Being an eco-citizen will soon be a challenge for many students in Côte d'Ivoire. This would allow to save many animal species endemic to the region and also to project themselves towards a life without plastic waste.
Our motto 'Education = Conservation' is established in several stages:
- Rehabilitation of the Abidjan Zoo.
Our project was managed from the Abidjan Zoo in Côte d'Ivoire, a country that has been under great pressure due to the civil war that ended in April 2011. The more stable situation in the country allowed us to work with the zoo to improve animal "wellness" and to start an educational project, which is the zoo's goal. A large support group with a good level of expertise is already in place, and we have a very precise actions program to implement.
From 2011 to the end of 2016, Calao worked tirelessly with a team of volunteers to improve the living conditions of the animals. The financing of the projects undertaken by these volunteers was then done through Calao or directly on site through an embassy. Since 2015, the Abidjan Zoo is managed by the local administration under the aegis of the Ministry of Water and Forests.
- Education in schools on the protection of the environment and its biodiversity
Since 2015, Oumar Kanté, our national coordinator in the field of education, has been offering workshops to schools on waste management and biodiversity protection.