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Activity 01: What is worth of protection?

Protecting what deserves protection?

Objective: Motivating the students to develop solutions in the context of man-environment relationships.
Learning outcomes: Learners are able to analyze and find solutions to problems in the context of man-environment relationships.
Previous knowledge: No previous knowledge required.
Duration:90 min
Materials / Conditions: Introduction
Methods / Techniques: analyzing, development, assessing, creative thinking, group work
Learning subject: Biodiversity / Module 2: Biodiversity and environmental protection / Level: expert learning

Learners will deal with different problems in groups (cf. Resources section). As a support, they may use the following webpage:

1. Discuss pros and cons of the problem presented below in your groups. Search the internet for statements and information related to the problem. You can find tips to support you on:

2. Try to find solutions to the problem described and present your results on a large poster. Hereby, you should comment on the following aspects:
• What is the problem about?
• Which scale level do you have to take into consideration in your analysis?
• Which stakeholders and groups of interest play a role within your problem area?
• What are their individual motives and interest for taking action??
• According to which laws is action taken?
• Which socio-cultural, economic and ecologic factors influence their actions?
• What possibilities for solution are there?

3. Present your results to the other groups and discuss the effects of different solutions for certain stakeholders.

Problem 1: Goats in Cabo Verde
On the Cabo Verde islands, in the west of Africa, the following problem is present: soil and vegetation are permanently affected by extensively grazing goats. The impacts include, for instance, damages from treading animals, resulting in erosion through wind and water or a weakening of the vegetation through continuous eating away at buds. However, goats are important as agricultural cattle for Cabo Verde’s inhabitants.

Problem 2: Birds in Cabo Verde
Cabo Verde is home to a huge variety of domestic animals, such as reptiles, apes, spiders, snakes, birds, fish, tortoises, corals, prawns, lobsters, whales and dolphins.
Many species are threatened by extinction, especially birds whose eggs are nutrition to rats and who are often prey to cats.

Problem 3: Plants in Cabo Verde
Cabe Verde is home to a huge amount of endemic plants, some of which are used as medicinal plants. These plants are not only of a high ecological value, they also prevent soil erosion and serve as nutrition to cattle and as fire wood. Additionally, they are a tourist attraction and important for scientific research. At the same time, those plants are threatened by grazing goats that specifically feed on the plants‘ buds. At the same time they are threatened by clearing for agriculture, tourism, economy and the establishment of new living space and illegal waste disposal. Also, the plants’ use as medicine leads to an unregulated harvest.
(Source: und Leyens T. (2001): Biodiversität des geplanten Schutzgebietes auf der Insel Fogo/ Kap Verde. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH; Eschborn. Portugiesische Ausgabe: Leyens, T. (2001): Biodiversidade da prevista área protegida na Ilha do Fogo, Cabo Verde)
Possible results / Results:
- Coming to a sensible argumentation, such as listing pros and cons. ( Problem 1: Pros: stable food, economic factor, no additional work through fencing, goats don’t need any additional fodder/ cons: decrease in biodiversity, damages from treading, erosion, feeding damages
- Developing solutions, e.g. Problem 1: Let goats walk on fenced areas only, watch soil erosion regularly, let goats graze where there is only a small number of threatened plant species.

Related activities:

Author: Lara Marie Schmidt
Aus dem Deutschen übersetzt von Jana Prokaka

en/learning/courses/subjects/s01/m02/expert-learning/a01.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/11 21:30 by dkanwischer