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Costa Rica beach

School Workshop: Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Us: Why the fuss?

This workshop unpicks the complex relationships between people and the natural world. It tells the story of how a damaged and degraded rainforest ecosystem in Costa Rica was repaired. Welcome to the ‘Miracle at Matambú’, a story of hope and an example of how humans can do much better!

Workshop overview

We begin the session by defining what we mean by biodiversity and highlighting the key drivers of biodiversity loss, before introducing the story of Matambú Forest Nature Reserve, Costa Rica. This story tells of how a once flourishing rainforest ecosystem was degraded by multiple generations of logging and cattle farming. The students play an ’up and about’ game to model how this can happen. 

Matambú, however, is a story of hope, restoration, and the power of people to make a difference. With this as the focus, the students are challenged to take a journey around our Rainforest Biome to discover just why tropical rainforest biodiversity is important and crucially how the rainforest at Matambú was restored over the last 25 years. This is known as the ‘Miracle at Matambú’.

On returning to the Core, the students share their understanding of the ways in which we depend on rainforest ecosystems and their biodiversity as well as the initiatives and actions that are effective in protecting and repairing them. Finally, supported by the use of creative artwork and infographics, the students consider what they can do to help biodiversity closer to home, as part of their everyday lives.

A visiting teacher

Visiting teacher

“ One of the most educationally rich venues to have taken groups to visit. I would hope all pupils at our school could visit on a rite of passage. ”

Practical information

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