“Environmental Intellect and Environmental Literacy”
a gift and a skill to meet challenges of the
DECISION MAKING AGE
“ …It will soon be unacceptable for any economist, politician, or corporate CEO to remain to remain environmentally illiterate and thus ignorant of these processes and our connection to them.” Allan Savory1999
Environmental Intellect: A gift we humans have been tempted to neglect…
Environmental Literacy: An evolving skill enabling us to read new and existing ecological “sign-posts and maps”…
A gift needs to be “unwrapped”. A skill cannot be given, bought or taught. A skill is acquired and perfected through learning and practice. Much like learning to fly an aircraft, most of the real lessons are learned in the pilot’s seat and not from the literature. We can spend some time at a simulator, but life is for real… And it can be exciting!
In 1992 Kachana Pastoral Company began developing the settings for what has become an “out-door class-room”. We offer training and practical examples to help people of all age groups to develop their environmental intellect.
More on the subject:
Never before in the history of this planet have we had so much information at our disposal. Never have so many individuals been faced with so many decisions…
Healing damaged land has become a global challenge.
The livelyhood of families and the future of civilizations are tied to biodiversity and the fate of the land.
As national economies begin to suffer as a result of eroding biodiversity we are called to an ecological awakening: developing our “environmental intellect”. “Environmental literacy” is the first skill we acquire to do this.
So what exactly do we mean by “Environmental Literacy”?
We use the term “Environmental Literacy” to describe a basic skill that underpins holistically sound decision-making.
“Environmental Literacy” has a very marketable ring to it. A search on the Internet reveals that in recent years people have begun to use the words with little consideration for their deeper meaning ...
To attempt to present a rigid definition for an evolving skill therefore seems inappropriate...
One thing however is certain: we must not confuse being environmentally literate with being environmentally knowledgeable or with having read a lot about environmental issues… Knowing a lot about one or more environments, or about environmental issues does not necessarily mean that we are capable of deciphering what our environments are telling us on a day-to-day basis.
Modern technology and communication has produced an unprecedented volume of knowledge about environments on this planet. If however we were to draw the environmental bottom line say: 15th October 2003 (despite all that volume of knowledge and all the positive things that are happening), we would need to admit to a decline in the health of the life-support system of planet Earth. This fact alone suggests that we humans (as a species) are either not getting the messages that nature is sending us on a daily basis, or we are not treating them with the seriousness that they deserve.
Rather than engaging in academic debate about what “environmental literacy” means we chose to look for the answer in places where people are consistently achieving results that are life enhancing, socially rewarding and often financially justifiable.
Logic tells us that these people are reading their particular environments in a manner that transcends the search for immediate financial or social gratification. We think this is a good place to start finding out about this relatively new skill.
So what do people who successfully revitalise degraded environments and landscapes have in common? Do they perhaps have what could be termed: “environmental intelligence”?
It seems they are learning to read “between the lines”; they are interpreting and then acting on information that flows from the very environments that they rely on for their livelihood and well-being. Rather than focusing on personal quests and looking for opportunity they are beginning to learn what nature is telling them and then mimicking natural processes in an endeavour to create opportunity for themselves and for others.
We associate two important skills with Environmental Literacy:
- The skill to read new and existing ecological “sign-posts and maps” that tell us where we stand (in ecological terms).
- The skill to read new and existing ecological “sign-posts” that indicate where we are headed (in ecological terms), and that caution us as to what may lie ahead or around the next bend.
Applying these skills awakens our environmental intellect… our capacity to thrive on planet Earth, but not at the expense of others (present or future).
As our Environmental Literacy improves we begin to read more than simply the "sign-posts and maps". We read "headlines", "news stories" and more...
Rangeland management advice is now available to land managers and other stakeholders.
The Kachana Environmental Literacy Workshops offer “in the field” skill training.
For corporate groups we emphasise the ecological facets of triple-bottom line.
Other workshops can be arranged specifically for schoolteachers and/or students.
Workshops can also be combined with a family holiday.
Venue-Hire: Kachana’s out-door classroom is available for other gatherings.
Kachana Pastoral Company also offers a three-month practical training package on the application and practice of Environmental Literacy skills.
For more information please browse through our web-site, but remember: the real information is out there when you go outside and face the elements… like in a news paper that information changes constantly.