Gobabeb recently hosted a group of Grade 7 learners from JP Brand Primary School, located just 50 km from Gobabeb in Utuseb, for the first FLC Benefit-Sharing in the Namib Sand Sea Training session. Learners spent four days at Gobabeb exploring the dunes of one of Namibia's World Heritage Sites
, participating in activities including the Delving into Dunes Tour, the Namib Picture Building Puzzle, the Climate Change Roleplay and the Dew in the Dunes Experiment. Their visit to Gobabeb was funded by the Finnish Embassy's Fund for Local Cooperation. The Benefit-Sharing grant is a three-year project working to increase awareness of and develop local income-generating capacity around the inscription of the Namib Sand Sea as a World Heritage Site in 2013. One of the educational and awareness-building components of the grant is the development of a Grade 7 curriculum in the Natural Sciences themed around the ecology of the Namib Sand Sea, for eventual use in the national curriculum. The JP Brand learners were trying out some of the ecology and World Heritage Site-themed activities developed by Gobabeb Training staff. Highlights from their time at Gobabeb included the Dune Night Hike, when learners explored the dunes in the twilight hunting for Palmato geckos (Pachydactylus rangeii) and Dancing White Lady Spiders (Leucorchestris arenicola) with UV torches; and learning about how the plants of the Namib Sand Sea capture fog in the Dew in the Dunes Experiment, later sharing the 'tricks and tools' plants use to obtain moisture to their classmates in their final presentations.
Check out more photos of the group enjoying exploring the dunes on our Facebook page, and stay tuned for some footage of the JP Brand learners in the FLC video (produced by Marcel Chaves)!