The Conventions CEPA Programme
Text and photos by Chris Wood, Conservation and Education Officer, Xixi National Wetland Park
On seeing the resources that a number of other countries had developed regarding a giant floor version of the Ramsar game we were keen, here in China to jump on the bandwagon. Our purpose was to incorporate the Ramsar game as one of 5 interactive sections of our schools outreach programme pioneered by China's first National Wetland Park Xixi National Wetland Park in Hangzhou eastern China (visit our web site here).
Part of the Xixi schools outreach programme - an animated PowerPoint on wetlands
The programme was to provide a free service of outreach to schools where the team travels to each school in the Hangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou, Ningbo areas to give an interactive presentation explaining what is a wetland, the value of wetlands, wetlands of the world, a little on the wetlands of China, and then to introduce Xixi National Wetland park and finally finish off with the Ramsar game. The games questions are an excellent complement to the preceding sections as the same content pops up in the questions as was in the presentation and is thus a great check to see if the students were listening/understanding the material.
For middle and high schools all the presentation sections add up to about a two and a half hour interactive programme (usually about 45 minutes for the Ramsar game as the final section). A simplified 1 1/2 2 hour version for primary school level has also been attempted but it is admitted that the primary presentation have proved a little more tricky from our perspective.
The presentation is incorporating many fun animated PowerPoints, interactive discussions, quizzes and games. As the programme was developed in English it was tested in international schools with great success as we travelled to many schools in Shanghai as well as Ningbo and Hangzhou. The presentation is now poised to begin its launch as a bilingual presentation into Chinese schools beginning September 2007.
The Xixi Ramsar Wetland Game
Transport, and ease of setup for the game was paramount and thus we developed the game simply printed upon a giant piece of canvas which could be folded easily and carried by one person without difficulty but was resilient enough to withstand the trampling of many feet, bearing in mind it was in use at least once a week on average.
The cards were of course translated to Chinese for use bilingually but the format and content of the game otherwise remained unchanged from the original Ramsar version.
We have had a great response from the games use thus far and commend any other country to develop this for their own use and would be happy to provide a personal contact for more details on how we developed and utilized the game, or any other aspects of the outreach program, in China.
For this please contact Chris Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally a Big thanks to the Ramsar Convention and Secretariat for making this wonderful resource available.