Nature education and associated trainings have been identified as one of the vital thrust areas of Periyar Foundation. Since from the inception of the India Ecodevelopment project in Periyar tiger Reserve a variety of nature awareness, sensitization, dissemination, outreach, awareness campaigns, celebrations, exposure visits and training programmes are being conducted. Formation of Periyar Foundation in 2004 and a separate division for coordinating nature education and training activities further strengthened such type of activities in Periyar Tiger Reserve. A total of 88 training programmes were conducted by Periyar Foundation for 2419 participants representing different target groups from October 2004 to March 2007.
Nature clubs are formed in EDCs involving the younger generation for biodiversity conservation. Since the younger generation has a key role for protecting the natural resources and their surrounding, they are taken as the target group. Children of the age group between 10 to 18 are the main target group for nature club and these clubs are functioning as per an approved byelaw by the Park Management authorities.
Objectives of the Nature clubs
1.To involve the younger generation for biodiversity conservation
Nature club activities for summer vacation
With the objectives reviving the nature club activities during summer vacation, nature Education Division of Periyar Foundation is organizing various activity oriented training cum awareness programmes for nature club members in regional level since 2005.The activities includes English grammar studies, computer classes, Paper Bag training, vermi compost training, Training for Pencil Drawing and painting, Hand book making training, community music practices, Bird watching, Field techniques, Research Methodology etc.
With the culmination of various activities undertaken at the regional level of EDCs, a two days special summer camp ‘Kilikkoottam’ is being organized for nature club members during summer vacation. The main objectives of this summer camp are:
To make an enjoyable summer vacation through nature clubs;
The Nature Education Officer and the Assistant Nature Education Officer in Periyar Foundation are responsible for carrying out nature education and extension activities in the fringe areas of PTR, conducting counseling classes for school and college students, conducting nature camps involving fringe area school children and organizing year round activity for 50 odd nature clubs in the 72 EDCs of PTR.