In July 2012, volunteers from France, Kenya and Korea spent three weeks in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and act as young ambassadors and educate peers about heritage site management, risks and opportunities for tourism. They rose awareness through the campaign for eco-tourism in Maasai Mara and discussions and debates to develop inspire sense of ownership to the local population about the Maasai Mara World Heritage site. They also ran classroom programs related to the promotion and preservation of world heritage in the primary school of Maasai Mara.
The goal of the project is to establish a sustainable social action in which key stakeholders act in a sustainable partnership to mobilize and direct resources towards environmental conservation and cross culture learning to improve the quality of life and livelihoods of people and animals in Masaai Mara.
The Maasai community living adjacent to the reserve has lived in peace with the wildlife for many years, their land use practice has until recently been strictly pastoralism. The wildebeest and the plains zebra migrate between the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara National Park seasonally. And it is also characterized with the largest number of carnivores in Kenya: lions and cheetahs in particular are listed as threatened and play an important role in ecosystem balance by keeping prey numbers in check.
In 2008, as a response to a growing interest of young people to take concrete action and to play an active role in the promotion and preservation of World Heritage as volunteers, CCIVS and UNESCO initiated the World Heritage Volunteers project, using the character of "Patrimonito".
The WHV campaign aims at raising awareness about the necessity to protect, preserve and promote cultural and natural heritage in general and the inscribed or potential World Heritage sites in particular.
The project furthermore aims at demonstrating the value of non-formal education as an approach to disseminate the values and expertise developed at the inter-governmental level to a large public and to young people in particular.
It aims at exploring opportunities for a dynamic dialogue between the heritage and education experts involved in the promotion and protection of the sites and the volunteers and youth groups developing concrete World Heritage projects.
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