Youth’s Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices in Wildlife and Environmental Conservation in Maasailand, Kenya
The factors influencing formally and informally educated youth’s knowledge, attitudes and practices pertaining to wildlife and environmental conservation were assessed in southern Kenya. Using a stratified population sample with evenly spread gender, students in lower primary, upper primary and secondary schools were interviewed. Maasai morans – informally educated Maasai – youth were interviewed as well. Youth whose parents were engaged in tourism-related activities were more positive towards wildlife and environmental conservation. Tourism and foreign exchange were seen as the most important benefits of conserving elephants and other wildlife. Generally male respondents had more positive attitudes towards elephant presence within their land. Schooling and participation in extra-curriculum activities through clubs positively influenced the youth’s perceptions of wildlife and environmental conservation. The authors emphasise the role of formal education and environmental clubs in enhancing sustainable environmental and wildlife conservation. Several challenges limit student participation in environmental club activities among most schools. Increased support for education among the youth and improved support for environmental and wildlife clubs can be beneficial to wildlife and environmental conservation.
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