| Teaching conservation in developing nations |
|Chapter 1: The self-contained conservation education center|
In planning the building you must decide what kind of indoor facilities you will be able to offer. The basic need is for an interpretive room where the exhibits are located. The interpretive space should be large enough that you can use it for a group meeting room, or for showing slides or films, if these are available from a government service.
Wall space can be Used for graphics, posters and hanging exhibits; counter tops can hold collections, aquariums or terrariums. Cabinets can provide storage for alternate exhibits and materials which might be loaned to schools.
Will you be able to provide office space for the center's staff? Can you provide a small laboratory for staff use and student training? Can you provide a small library where conservation books, magazines, photographs and other resources could be made available to the public? Can you provide a workshop for preparation of exhibit and interpretive materials? Can you provide indoor toilet facilities?
A simple layout such as the one suggested in Figure 1 can be adapted according to your program and resources.
The building materials should be chosen to blend with the surroundings. A building which clashes with the environment does not demonstrate the basic conservation point that people are a part of nature and should work in harmony with it.
Construction information for concrete and bamboo is available in the Village Technology Handbook, or Bamboo as a Building Material (see Chapter Sources).