Sunday, March 22, 2009

Live & Learn - Environmental Education and Community Development

Our Objectives

The overall objectives of Live & Learn are:

  1. To provide an integrated, educational approach promoting community transition to sustainable development while maintaining a strong focus on community realities and priorities.
  2. To promote increased quality and innovation of teaching and learning in formal and community education.
  3. To facilitate networking within and outside communities to enhance community mobilisation and action and maximise benefits at the community development level, particularly in relation to economic opportunity and sustainable livelihoods options.
  4. To support government and intergovernmental organisations with practical resources and tools for implementing national and international strategies that integrate community participation in environmental conservation and sustainable development

Guiding Principles

We believe that local knowledge and global understanding are the starting points in developing an ethic in environmental and development education. Local ownership of environmental and development education programs, open participation and equality remain the foundation of our organisation. We aim to strengthen this foundation through the following guiding principles:

  • Live & Learn Environmental Education seeks to establish action-based, effective and creative learning models and teaching methodologies of environmental and development issues in the developed and developing world;

  • Live & Learn Environmental Education emphasises the importance of linking schools, school managers and teachers with the community, chiefs, elders, parents and NGOs so that communities in their entirety are involved with environmental and development education;

  • Live & Learn Environmental Education strives to work in appropriate partnerships with local teachers, communities, NGOs, and government agencies, respecting their position and addressing their needs;

  • Live & Learn Environmental Education shares knowledge, information and lessons learnt with national partners and colleagues along with the wider regional and international community;

  • Live & Learn Environmental Education does not discriminate between gender, race, political opinions, age, sexual preferences or religion and does at all times promote equality and fairness among staff, beneficiaries and partners.


Our development philosophy is a key to the success and sustainability of our work. We believe that the process that leads to change is as important as the change itself. These processes can be captured and tested in different contexts. The strength of these processes is the ability to be replicated and the positive motivational effect of each on communities.

Principle 1

Develop environmental and development education approaches based on community reality and perceptions, resulting from community participatory research analyses.

Principle 2

The well being of whole communities (not formal community leaders only) is the central priority of all programs.

Principle 3

Take an integrated sustainable development approach while being focused on specific entry points into communities such as water quality, forest or reef conservation.

Principle 4

Make project evaluation (and the process of sustainable development) meaningful to communities.

The Live & Learn Model

Live & Learn strives to develop Community Development and Education models that have the capacity to reduce poverty and promote environmental sustainability. Our models are practically designed to strengthen participation and learning, use community resources and knowledge, promote innovation and simplicity, and benefit marginalised people. Most importantly the models are easy to replicate and take to scale.

One model that is commonly used to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development is the MAIA Model for Action and Learning . MAIA will first and foremost aim to manage natural resources based conflict and promote eco-system-based dialogue and community sustainability. MAIA is a four-stage conservation and conflict management model that focuses on: (i) Mobilization, (ii) Anticipation, (iii) Innovation and (iv) Action.

The overall denominator in the MAIA model is the focus on the mobilization of communities to enter Sustainable Use Agreements, promote sustainable management, local economic revitalization and peaceful conduct. MAIA approach focuses on building the capacity of local communities to identify and analyze information about the constraints conflict impose to the reduction of poverty and sustainable development and how to proceed in managing/dissolving these constraints through practical resources management arrangements.

Recognizing that sustainable development starts with forging sustainable relationships among resource users MAIA promotes local coalitions and multi-stakeholder resource user groups. MAIA will build participation and sustainability following a horizontal approach , which promotes greater cooperation among stakeholders, leading to more productive negotiations and collaborations between potential partners. This process builds on the continuing relevance of traditional knowledge and resource management systems, together with other types of information about resource bases, to help communities make objective, better informed decisions that are more consistent with sustainable development objectives.

The MAIA Model for Learning and Action can be applied to any development and environmental issue.

Resource Library - Teaching Tools and Manuals

Module 1 - Ourselves, Maldives 2008 (PDF 4MB)
Part of the Schools for a Healthy Environment Series

Module 2 - Earth, Maldives 2008 (PDF 3MB)
Part of the Schools for a Healthy Environment Series

Module 3 - Life Around Us, Maldives 2008 (PDF 5MB)
Part of the Schools for a Healthy Environment Series

Module 4 - Resources from the Environment, Maldives 2008 (PDF 4.2MB)
Part of the Schools for a Healthy Environment Series

Module 5 - Interdependence, Maldives 2008 (PDF 1.9MB)
Part of the Schools for a Healthy Environment Series

Module 6 - Science and Technology, Maldives 2008 (PDF 3.1MB)
Part of the Schools for a Healthy Environment Series

Environment and Biodiversity Flipchart, Maldives 2008 (PDF 6.3MB)
Part of the Schools for a Healthy Environment Series

Weather, Water, Waste and Energy Flipchart, Maldives 2008 (PDF 5.8MB)
Part of the Schools for a Healthy Environment Series

Discovering Biodiversity, Vanuatu 2008 (PDF 9.2MB)
An Educator's Guide to Exploring Nature's Variety

Water and Sanitation Training Manual, Maldives 2008 (PDF 5.1MB)
Good Water, Sanitation & Environmental Hygiene Practices for Primary Schools - A Training Manual

Best Practice Guidelines, Maldives 2008 (PDF 4.6MB)
Best Practice Guidelines for Teaching Environmental Studies in Maldivian Primary Schools

Field Guide to Maldivian Plants, Maldives 2008 (PDF 7.8MB)

Field Guide to Maldivian Mangroves, Maldives 2008 (PDF 6.2MB)

Field Guide to Maldivian Beach & Beach Ecosystems, Maldives 2008 (PDF 5.8MB)

RiverCare - Why Water?, Vanuatu 2007
A Teaching and Learning Resource for Vanuatu
This publication is available through the Vanuatu office.

Governing Water - Community Water Governance Guide, Fiji 2007
Available in English (PDF 5MB) and Fijian (PDF 5MB)

Governing Water - Learning Circles, Fiji 2007
Community Participatory Learning Guide
Available in English (PDF 1.8MB) and Fijian (PDF 1.8MB)

Governing Water - Is Your Water Safe to Drink?, Fiji 2007
Community Water Monitoring Guide
Available in English (PDF 2MB) and Fijian (PDF 2MB)

Governing Water - Governing Communities, Fiji 2007
Community Governance Guide
Available in English (PDF 2.9MB) and Fijian (PDF 2.9MB)

Mobilising People Towards Integrated Water Resources Management - A Guide to Community Action, 2007 (PDF 3.8MB)

WATER: We Are Targeting Every River, Papua New Guinea 2006
RiverCare Teacher's Manual
This publication is available through the PNG office.

Helping Our Planet Earth (HOPE), Fiji 2006 (PDF 9.5MB)
Teachers' Guide

Banners, Cambodia 2006 (PDF 1MB)
Banners produced as part of the Tonle Sap Environmental Management Project

Community Flipchart, Cambodia 2006
Good People, Good Environment: The Community Environmental Awareness Flipchart
Available in English (PDF 4.9MB) and Khmer (PDF 5MB)

Community Flipchart Facilitation Guide, Cambodia 2006
Facilitation Guide to be used with the Community Environmental Awareness Flipchart
Available in English (PDF 1MB) and Khmer (PDF 1MB)

Schools Flipchart, Cambodia 2006
Practical Tools for Schools
Available in English (PDF 3.4MB) and Khmer (PDF 4.7MB)

Beachwatch Toolkit Managing Our Beach Erosion, Maldives 2006 Available in English (PDF 1.9MB) and Dhivehi (PDF 5.4MB)

Clean Communities Toolkit Facilitating Community Involvement in Solid Waste Management, Maldives 2006
Available in English
(PDF 1.7MB) and Dhivehi (PDF 7.5MB)

Community Water Toolkit A Community Based Water Monitoring Toolkit Using the H2S Paper Strip Test, Maldives 2006
Available in English (PDF 1.8MB) and Dhivehi (PDF 3.8MB)

Community Mural Toolkit A Facilitator's Guide to Mobilising Community Environmental Action, Maldives 2006
Available in English (PDF 1.1MB) and Dhivehi (PDF 4.5MB)

Learning Circles Modules, Solomon Islands 2006 (PDF 4.1MB)

Learning Circles Facilitators' Guide, Solomon Islands 2006
(PDF 3.1MB)

Learning Circle Facilitators' Guide, Cambodia 2004 (PDF 340K)
Learning Circle Facilitators' Guide to Promote Sustainable Development in the Tonle Sap

Community Theatre Guide, Cambodia 2004 (PDF 250K)
Community Theatre Guide to the Water Awareness Program

Water Flipcharts, Fiji 2004 (PDF 1.4MB)

Communities Working Together; Sharing Water

RiverCare Factsheets, Fiji 2003 (PDF 349K)

RiverCare Poster, Fiji 2003 (PDF 240K)

RiverCare Lesson Plans, Fiji 2003 (PDF 134K)

World Water Day Factsheets, Fiji 2003 (PDF 114K)

World Water Day Poster, Fiji 2003 (PDF 220K)

Drama in Environmental Education, Vanuatu 2002 (PDF 10MB)
Fighting Poverty through the Protection of the Environment. A Wan Smolbag Theatre Publication.

Green Schools Manual, Fiji 2000 (PDF 2.1MB)
Green Schools Fiji Teachers' Manual: Education for a Sustainable Environment

Green Schools Guide, Fiji 2000 (PDF 160K)