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Internship in Nepal: Environment/ Conservation Education

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Project Overview

Project Environment and Conservation Education
Start Dates: 1st and 15th of each month
Language Requirements: English (Basic Nepali is provided)
Food and Accommodation: Nepali standard with host family in the working community, Jitpurphedi.
Key Activities: raising awareness of relevant environmental concerns; promoting preventative measures to address these issues; teaching informal environmental science courses; working in cooperation with local volunteers, community members, children’s clubs, etc.
Beneficiaries: Disadvantaged community members, with an emphasis on women and children.
Working Hours: 4 to 5 hours a day, 6 days a week
Required Qualifications and Skills: No formal training required, prior experience in environmental science is clearly a benefit. A desire to improve the well-being of marginalized community members is required!

 

Overview

Nepal’s Himalayan region represents the highest elevation terrestrial ecosystem on earth. Its share of the world’s terrestrial area is just over 0.1%, but it can claim over 2.2% of the global wealth of flowering plants, 4.2% of mammals, 8.5% of birds, 1.4% of reptiles and amphibians, and 2.2% of fresh water fish species-clearly a diverse ecosystem!

As of late, environmental quality has been degrading rapidly in Nepal. This is in many ways due to poor management of the environment and the lack of incentives for increasing the value of environmental resources. It is surprising to note that the nature and natural lives has been the most neglected subject in Nepal. This saddening fact is a result of the massive deforestation activities in Nepal, in over 29% of the land area within the country.

Environmental science is one of the principle subjects taught in formal schooling in Nepal, with universities offering up to Master’s degrees in the discipline. However, formal education alone doesn’t ensure environmental awareness and practicability, so VIN is dedicated to bring the attitudinal and behavioral changes regarding harmful practices towards the environment.

About the Program

The Environment Education and Conservation program aims to promote envrionmentally-friendly rural livelihoods through improved understanding regarding use of, and access to local resources with a particular emphasis on sustainable and equitable use of natural resources. Additionally, we strive to minimize damage to the natural resource base on which these livelihoods crucially depend.

The main aim of this program is to ensure that the communities are aware of the resources available to them, and make them able to manage these resources in a sustainable way.

As in all of its programs, VIN works directly with underprivileged communities and groups to help them gain access to the resources and services available to them so that they can receive ongoing technical and financial support to enhance their livelihoods in the long term. It works for the enhancement of peoples’ understanding and skills towards conservation, and tries to empower them to promote more efficient, equitable, and sustainable resource use in their schools and communities.

In this program, VIN interns work in conjunction with women’s groups, out-of-school youth groups, and Children’s Clubs to improve their environmental understanding, their current practices, and to help them gain access to the resources and services available to them to enhance their livelihoods in the long term. An integral component of this community work involves working closely with local health and environment services to increase their profile and demand amongst community people / rural young people.

Roles of Volunteers

  • Promoting sustainable practices, such as kitchen gardening, waste management and sanitation within the community; striving for a plastic-free community.
  • Educating students, youths, and community members in the need to carry out nature conservation related projects for purposes of sustainable development. The role that volunteers and students of Children’s Clubs played as developmental catalysts has proved to be extensive. Working with students, out of school youth, women’s’ groups, local NGOs and other local services, they were able to make substantial progress in minimizing local environmental and developmental problems in the program areas.
  • Plantation and Forestation of plant species of medicinal, economic and cultural values.
  • Conducting Informal Environmental Courses in rural government schools, supplemented by wide varieties of activities through Children’s Clubs, which empower students with the knowledge and skills to protect their health, environment and livelihoods, and promote environment friendly behaviors and sustainable rural living amongst their schools, out-of-school peers and communities.
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