Teaching Russian schoolchildren about wildlife trafficking

Children were engaged with a variety of environmental lessons, including IFAW’s one on wildlife trafficking

The Department of Natural Resources Management and Environmental Protection of the city of Moscow recently invited the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to participate in “Green Caravan” events—a series of open lessons on environmental issues for school pupils of different ages.

I held open lessons together with department head Anton Olegovich Kulbachevsky. I have never before worked with children, but they demonstrated an enormous desire to learn something new and to participate in the discussion.

We discussed illegal trafficking of wildlife. How do you explain to children who is a poacher or a trafficker, or why it is so important to think what kind of souvenirs you buy during seaside vacations? But it turned out that even 4th grade students understand everything perfectly well.

At the end of the lesson a girl asked me: “What if I really like a squirrel in the forest so much, that I want to take her home with me?” I addressed this question to the entire class. And the kids practically in unison replied that it should not be done. They also very confidently argued why exactly this is a bad idea.

I would like to thank Alla Nikolaevna Marchuk, a school teacher, who for many years has participated in our educational program “IFAW Animal Action Week” and made possible our participation in this year’s “Green Caravan” project.

--AF

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