Protected landscapes are a category of protected areas that are ideal for developing programmes for environmental education. These areas are developed at the border between nature and human made and can function as long as the links between people and nature are preserved, and precisely because of this they have a huge potential for delivering perhaps the most important aspects of environmental education – sustainable development and use of natural resources. Environmental education can be delivered in three ways. Environmental education as part of the regular curriculum, as part of nature-based classes in the form of field trips or as extracurricular activities. Yet the best is to merge all three methods through integrated environmental education. Integrated environmental education is the only way to improve environmental literacy and raise public awareness.
Thus, protected landscapes offer the possibility for integrated environmental education in several different ways:
1. Learning about natural values
In protected areas and through the defined zones for protection students have the opportunity to see the gradation of protection of nature and how it impacts the ecosystem. Starting from rural areas where there is the possibility for active use, through managed forests all the way to areas under strict protection, students will learn what environmental protection looks like directly in the field.
2. Food production and use of natural resources
The communities in protected landscapes are rural and usually sustain themselves with agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing and forestry. Thus students can see first-hand how food is produced, the difference between modern and traditional food production, the use of natural resources and the reuse of natural materials.
3. Living with nature
In protected landscapes students can see a way of life that is slowly disappearing from the modern world and that is life in harmony with nature, with moderate use and common protection.
One of the informal education institutions you can visit in the Bregalnica region is the Educational Centre for Nature Conservation in the village of Negrevo, where you can learn about the region’s biodiversity. The Education centre is open for family visits as well as for educational school trips, with the possibility of holding classes there. You can find out more about the Educational Centre on their website: www.ecnegrevo.mk