Animated video clips, comics and factsheets can be a powerful tools to visualize complex messages such as on protected area management into an easy-to-understand format. Such visualized messages can be disseminated to a variety of different target audience through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or similar social media available online or through smartphones. Printed handouts could be distributed together with an entry ticket, a ger key or a restaurant menu.
The SPACES project has produced two animated video clips and comics, one presenting funny dos and don’ts for young visitors of protected areas (PA), the other with PA policy and management messages for political decision makers at all government levels. These media can be downloaded for free, and can be used for environmental education purposes of and distributed through social media channels by any party interested in EEC in Mongolia.
The visitor’s guideline is based on a Mongolian adaptation to the internationally very successful Leave no Trace code of conduct. The latter promotes environmentally friendly behavior in PAs such as l Stay on the trail l Respect nature and wildlife l Pack it in, pack it out l Reduce waste l Protect local water systems l Treat human waste, or l Control pets.
The comic and clip on PA policies and management focuses on issues such as l Overgrazing of pastures l Forestation, biodiversity & water protection l Erosion prevention l Climate change or l Ecotourism. The basic message for decision makers is that PAs represent a life support system that safeguards Mongolia’s economy.
In addition to the comics and video clips, the SPACES project has also finalized a number of manuals and guidelines related to environmental education & communication (EEC) in PAs. One of them is a ToolBox full of EEC games, exercises, and other materials that rangers, green schools, eco-clubs or NGOs may use for trainings and events. Two other ones contain project week concepts and nature & adventure trails for youth outdoor EEC activities. There is also a guideline on environmental journalism related to the National EEC Strategy in Mongolia. The strategy will soon be updated on the basis of the PA-related environmental awareness KAP Survey concluded in 2021, and the stakeholders’ capacity needs assessment of 2022.
In April, GIZ will also invite selected participants to training courses on how to use the ToolBox and some of the other EEC media and materials.