|Environmental Education in the Schools (Peace Corps, 1993)|
|Activities, activities and more activities|
As long as Sione could remember, his family hunted the Pe'a or flying foxes. For many years, he and his family ate the bats, along with reef fish and vegetable crops. But in the last few years, Sione and his family sold the bats to traders, who shipped them to Guam. Sione had heard that the people in Guam had over-hunted their bats until there were no longer any left. And that's why the people in Guam paid so much money for Samoan bats.
Sione and his family needed the extra money he made from selling bats, especially since the fishing in his village was not as good as it once was. The fish were smaller, and some of the tastiest fish had just seemed to disappear from the reef. Sione also knew that his family was worried about not selling as many fish at the market. And he knew that selling bats gave them the money they needed to buy food and clothing.
A few months ago, Sione's teacher told his class that so many people were killing the bats that they might become extinct. That had worried Sione, since he always wanted there to be bats for his family to hunt. Sione had also learned from his teachers that the bats were important to Samoans in other ways. They brought tourists to the island, who spent money in the country. And the bats helped to pollinate many of the fruits he and his family ate.
Sione continued to hunt bats and sell them to the trader. But one day he noticed a sign in his favorite hunting area. It said: "Hunting Bats is Illegal! If you are caught killing bats, you will be fined and the bats will be taken away." Sione knew his family was depending on him. But he didn't know if he should break the law. And he also didn't want the bats to disappear from Samoa, as they had in Guam.
1. Should Sione continue to hunt bats?
2. Should he discuss the new law with his family?
3. What are the other ways he could generate money for the family?