Adolescents’ Interaction with Wildlands in Lekki Conservation Centre, Lagos and the Development of Interest towards Conservation
It is no more news that global society‟s long lasting existence on earth depends on the maintenance and protection of ecosystems. Yet, despite this realization, human beings have over-exploited or managed in unsustainable ways, the natural resources in many ecosystems. To correct this, nature centres, wildlands and parks have become potent medium for recreation as well as generating knowledge and awareness about the environment, sustainability and conservation. Thus, visitations to nature centres and parks do encourage and provide for appreciating nature while encouraging young people to become actively involved in nature conservation, exercise responsibilities and make decisions. Nature centres offer outdoor programming to generate respects for wildlands and experience phenomena in a natural context. In this study, adolescents aged 13 between 17 years were purposively selected based on expressed fear of forests and wild lands. Knowledge and attitude of these 20 adolescents to conservation issues, sustainability and environmental protection was examined before and after the field experience of the Lekki nature conservancy centre. Visitation to nature centres and wildlands were found to build a sense of conservation knowledge and competence among adolescents. The study equally revealed that direct experiences in the wildlands is capable cause adolescents to reconsider the beliefs they previously acquired through the media depictions and hearsay about to conservation, sustainability and natural environment issues.
Keywords: Adolescents‟ interaction, wildlands, Lekki conservation centre, Lagos