Nearly all of the LARSI partners demonstrate a strong commitment to environmental education. The reserves that are owned and managed by these organizations are often forest remnants in otherwise deforested and settled landscapes. While this emphasizes the critical importance of these remaining habitats, it also demonstrates the need to communicate this importance to surrounding communities, and school groups are one of the primary ways this is done. Visits by local schools to these reserves often provides a first opportunity for children to explore tropical forests and observe wildlife, which ultimately generates more support for local conservation efforts.
Beyond the private reserve network of our partner organizations, March Conservation Fund is also supporting other leaders in environmental education. Research defines our knowledge of tropical ecosystems, and the Organization for Tropical Studies is a global leader in the integration of tropical research principles into a diverse curriculum of undergraduate and graduate courses, mostly in Costa Rica. We also are supporting long-time environmental education pioneer RARE, creators of the “pride campaign”, which inspires people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their community unique, while also introducing practical alternatives to environmentally destructive practices.