The indigenous community of San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro in Mexico has been engaged in a successful Community Forest Enterprise employing sustainable management practices since 1981. These environmental practices do not seem to be reflected in the educational programmes developed at school. In this study, the environmental knowledge and interest of 102 students at high-school (15 to 18 years old) towards forestry management were analysed. The association between their knowledge and interests in environmental issues was also estimated. These analyses examine their interest in forest management as potential employment and the effect of the educational system on environmental learning. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used. Results showed that environmental concepts were poorly understood despite their inclusion in the curriculum. Adolescents did not envisage working in the forest in the future because they showed no interest in forest activities. Educational implications and strategies to encourage adolescents to become involved in community forest management are crucial for conservation.
- Community forest enterprise
- Environmental knowledge
- Environmental learning
- Interest in forest management