Ecology in Local Government
Community Involvement and Education
A main purpose of nature conservation is to ensure that everyone can enjoy an environment rich in wildlife. Information on the natural environment, the provision of places to visit, and facilities to help people enjoy natural areas are all important. But so too is the active participation of local communities in nature conservation. Local Agenda 21 can only fully succeed if local people are involved in shaping and carrying out the type of environmental projects they want to see.
Active involvement gives people a sense of ownership and increased understanding, and a fuller appreciation of local authority activity. While involvement can mean seeking people's views through consultation, more importantly it is about engaging communities in designing urban greenspace, funding community groups to manage local nature areas, and involving voluntary groups in the conservation management of land. Some local authorities are involving local communities right from the start by seeking their views on key local issues before preparing their nature conservation strategies.
Publications, information packs, computer displays, illustrated talks, nature centres, nature trails, guided walks, displays in libraries and museums, and local newspaper stories, all build awareness. School nature areas and nature conservation within the curriculum are of fundamental importance for children, and for the environment for which they are the future custodians.
Document Date: 1996
Last Updated: 31/12/1996