Keeping within ecological limits

A conservation management curriculum for e-learning


Those now being educated will have to do what we, the present generation, have been unable or unwilling to do: stabilise world population; stabilise and then reduce the emission of greenhouse gases; protect biological diversity; reverse the destruction of forests everywhere; and conserve soils. They must learn how to use energy and materials with great efficiency. They must learn how to utilise solar energy in all its forms. They must rebuild the economy in order to eliminate waste and pollution. They must learn how to manage renewable resources for the long run. They must begin the great work of repairing as much as possible, the damage done to Earth in the past 200 years of industrialisation. And they must do all this while they reduce worsening social and racial inequities. No generation has ever faced a more daunting agenda. (Orr, 1994, p.26).


In calling for a wise use of Earth's resources, Orr is really asking for a new conservation management curriculum at all levels of education. Conservation here refers to the protection and sustainable use of resources including sustainable resource management and establishment of protected areas. The promotion of Orr's conservation management curriculum has been a consistent objective of the CMSC since the late 1990s when the EU LIFE 'Community Environment Programme' funded a project involving the UK Conservation Management System Partnership, the University of Ulster, the education department of the National Museum in Cardiff and a group of European/international industries. The aim was to evaluate the Consortium's conservation management system as a tool for biodiversity management of industrial sites (BIAS). This work had an important educational component, which involved developing a knowledge framework for teachers and neighbourhood leaders to carry the Consortium's conservation management system logic, now embedded in its latest CMSi software tool kit, from professional users into the community. 


Since the BAIS project, with the help of sponsorships from Chevron/Texaco, this educational framework, under the name of 'cultural ecology', has been extended by the Going Green Directorate as a prototype online resource for teachers and community leaders. The data model is based on the following four interrelated conservation management themes for living sustainably:

  • KARIC 'keeping a resilience in community' for living in socio-ecological systems which organise themselves in response to community management plans;
  • KAROC 'keeping a rein on consumerism' for living with an ethic of production with moderation and neighbourliness requiring household and workplace management plans;
  • KAROP 'keeping a reserve of production' for living with a managed renewable global economy;
  • KARON 'keeping a richness of nature' for living harmoniously with managed ecosystems.

The latest Chevron sponsorship has enabled a start to be made on the integration of these four themes to create a conservation management curriculum modelled on the Welsh Government's vision for the Nation's response to climate change. Current work is concerned with building KARON to test the CMSi as a practical tool within a conservation management curriculum for e-learning. Two e-learning tool kits, 'Articulate' and 'Moodle', have been adopted for the project. PowerPoint screen sequences present the basic information packages, which are integrated with case studies, mindmaps, quizzes, wikis, glossaries, choice-branching, forums and chats. The project is within the EU's ICOPER Best Practice Network. ICOPER is part of the eContentplus programme of the EC. Its mission is to collect and further develop best practices for higher education. It tackles issues like creating learning designs and teaching methods, authoring content for re-use, transferring knowledge in an outcome-oriented way and assessing it, or evaluating learning activities. 



This webbrain presentation is to encourage educationalists at all levels/sectors to join with the CMSC to produce self-learning on-line resources for a conservation management curriculum.