Fall 2000


Interpreting Biodiversity in Viet Nam


Containing the world's richest and most threatened biodiversity, the tropics are a critical area for environmental education. The CBC's Interpreting Biodiversity: A Manual for Environmental Educators in the Tropics was developed to meet the need for educational materials designed for the particular circumstances of educators and resource managers in tropical regions. Already published in English, Spanish, and French editions, a Vietnamese translation has been undertaken by Le Van Lanh, Deputy Director of the Center for Environment, Tourism and Development, and one of the key forces behind the formation of the Conservation Education Network (Read the related story in this issue).

Interpreting Biodiversity incorporates the experiences of CBC staff as well as information from a variety of resources on environmental interpretation. The 186-page manual outlines the design of an environmental interpretation program, covering exhibit design, interpretive presentations, community outreach activities, and evaluation methods.

The manual has served as the basis for workshops linked with CBC field projects. In October 1999, the CBC conducted a training workshop with the Malagasy National Park Service (ANGAP) and US Peace Corps that focused on park interpretive strategies. In March 2000, we partnered with the Center for Biodiversity Conservation of Guatemala in a workshop for environmental educators at the National Museum of Natural History in Guatemala City, using as a case study renovated exhibit areas on which an AMNH team had consulted two years earlier. Participants from museums, zoos, and other conservation organizations exchanged ideas, worked together on program development, and practiced a variety of interpretive techniques.

The CBC is discussing the potential for a participatory training workshop in Viet Nam to promote biodiversity conservation in the broader Vietnamese community. We will explore needs of target audiences with the Conservation Education Network and design training activities using Interpreting Biodiversity to improve participants' skills in conveying messages about biodiversity conservation, and more generally to help them incorporate science into outreach in Viet Nam.

— Meg Domroese

For more information, or to order English, French, or Spanish editions, please contact the:

Outreach Manager,
Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St.,
New York, NY 10024.

The cost per copy is US $25. A reduced price is available for educators in less developed countries; please inquire.


Also in this edition >>>   Turtles in Trouble >> The Conservation Education Network >>
Viet Nam: Filling in the Gaps >> Of Gastropods and Bivalves >>
Interpreting Biodiversity in Viet Nam >> The Beauty of Leeches >>
Leech Prospecting in the Bolivian Andes >>



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