In response to global warming, the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria has decided to lead by example. Working together with political decision-makers, the Park's Mittersill visitor centre (Salzburg) is expanding its environmental education programme. The National Park Climate Change School project is designed to teach children and young people how to respect the natural world.
Building on the environmental education formula of experience + knowledge = informed action, young people are shown a wheel of time that indicates how the climate has changed over the last few thousand of years and its impact on the Pasterze glacier. The commentary also refers to the large block of ice housed in the visitor centre. Schoolchildren who visit the National Park are taught about a wide range of climate issues in the purpose-built Science Centre . The Science Centre has its own weather station which can be used to compare meteorological date and thereby demonstrate the realities of global warming. With the aid of a thermometer, pupils observe the difference in temperature gains when sun shines into a clean or CO2-rich atmosphere.
Many schoolteachers who have brought their students to Hohe Tauern National Park confirm that this educational format is very effective. Around 25,000 schoolchildren from Austria, Germany and Switzerland have taken part in the National Park's environmental education programme. Hopefully, given the scale of the audience, future generations will have a more sustainable view of the natural world.
Source: summary of a Hohe Tauern National Park press release