An Interview with an Education Development Officer in a Rainforest



 What would you say is the main point that you want people visiting the rainforest to take away with them?

 An appreciation for what an incredible and vital ecosystem the rainforest is and a better understanding and enthusiasm for leading a more sustainable lifestyle to protect and ensure the longevity of our environment.

 What are the main questions that visitors ask?

Normally, ‘is it warm and is it indoors’ is the first question we get asked!  (The answer is yes to both). Visitors are generally keen to find out more about the animal species we have, where they come from and how we look after them. We also get asked about things visitors have seen on TV such as palm oil or renewable energies as well

What work does the Trust for Sustainable Living do?

The Trust for Sustainable Living is the educational charity which runs The Living Rainforest visitor centre. The mission of the Trust is to further the understanding of sustainable living both in the UK and abroad and encourage positive engagement for a sustainable future.

As well as the education program here which attracts around 25,000 school children and 80,000 members of the public a year, the Trust also has an International Schools Essay Competition which engages primary and secondary school students from around the world (schools from 73 countries participated last year) in different sustainability topics.  

The Trust has a partnership with the Seychelles National Botanical Garden Foundation to work on joint international educational, sustainability and biodiversity projects. We are also hoping to develop a range of online educational courses and materials for teachers and educators on sustainability subjects.

We also chair the Eco Attractions Group, with members such as The Eden Project, Centre for Alternative Technologies and Royal Botanical Gardens whose overall aim is to help people connect with natural world and engage with sustainability.