Appraisal of Conservation Education Programs in adjoining communities of Old Oyo National Park, Nigeria

B.O Adetola, O.S. Ekundayo

Abstract



This study evaluates the conservation education programs in the adjoining communities of Marguba, Tede, Sepeteri, Oyo-Ile, and Yemoso ranges in Old Oyo National Park (OONP). Primary data were obtained through structured questionnaires, oral interview and focus group discussion. Two hundred and seventy-five (275) questionnaires were administered to residents within 1-5km distance to the park boundary representing 55 respondents in each of the ranges. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Chi-Square and Pearson’s correlation. The results show that highest percentage (91.5%) of the respondents were aware of conservation education programs of the park. The respondents show positive perception about promotion of cordial relationship between the park and adjoining communities (mean= 4.16±0.62), campaign on change of attitude/behaviour to support conservation of natural resources in the park (mean= 4.05±0.69) and promotions of conservation of natural resources (mean=4.01±0.68) through OONP conservation education programs. Moreover, 52.0% of the respondents were actively participating in the conservation education program and their involvement is the highest in the community meeting with park management. One on one mode of communication was the most effective education strategy in the park adjoining communities. Through the conservation education programs of OONP, adequate knowledge, right attitude and supportive behaviour were enhanced as opined by 62.2% of the respondents, improved knowledge on the value of the park resources and the importance of tourist visitation to the park (mean= 4.13±1.21) were realized. There was a significant association between awareness of conservation education program and respondent’s participation (r = -0.46, p<0.01). It is therefore concluded that local people's animosity toward the National Park may be reduced by effective conservation education interactions with communities.

Keywords


Conservation, education, natural resources, community, park

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