Connecting Fueguians with their natural heritage

Diverse and creative is the environmental education program we have designed to strenghten the appreciation of Tierra del Fuego.

One of the most profound beliefs of WCS is that the protection of biodiversity depends on the commitment and participation of everyone and, in this sense, Karukinka offers a unique opportunity for magallánicos (locals of Magellan region), and Chileans in general, to discover through experience the value of conservation. This is why we have developed a diverse and creative environmental education program, designed to strengthen the value of Tierra del Fuego.

Year after year, based on our scientific research, we generate friendly printed and audiovisual educative material for the people and children of Tierra del Fuego. Our aim with these books, handbooks and videos is to fill the gap of existing knowledge regarding the flora and fauna of the region, and thus to generate a local identity and appreciation of the natural and historic heritage of Tierra del Fuego.

We also share our work and research with local teachers, because we know they play a fundamental role, since with their lessons they can ignite in the Fueguian children the love for their land and the will to preserve it.

But we do not want knowledge to be reduced only to the classroom, so thanks to WCS initiatives, more than 2,000 children of Porvenir, Cameron, Puerto Eden, Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales have walked across Karukinka. These are children who for the first time in their lives face subantarctic forests and peat bogs, with guanacos, fox and woodpeckers in their path.

In 2011 we created the first School Group of Ornithology in Bernardo O’Higgins school of Porvenir, which already has taken part in several scientific fairs and has developed two projects related with birds: “Knowing the Biodiversity of the coastal birds of Porvenir” and “Trophic Ecology of the Tucúquere (Magellanic horned owl)”. Even though geographical distances have not allowed expanding this ornithological group to other areas in Tierra del Fuego, Internet and social networks give the students and their teachers the chance to interact and share their interest in native birds.

Through WCS’s initiative, more than 2,000 children of Porvenir, Cameron, Puerto Edén, Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales have toured Karukinka, either for real or virtually, and by doing so, have fueled their imagination with guanacos, foxes and woodpeckers found on their way. And for the first time in their lives, they have faced subantarctic forests and peat bogs.

In parallel to this, we conduct biology, ecology, biodiversity and conservation workshops, together with scientific illustration workshops and lectures for the dissemination of the biodiversity of Tierra del Fuego in the schools of the province.

Today we are all together building a valuable culture of conservation among Fueguians.

More information on workshops and talks