The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation celebrates World Wildlife Day today, with this year’s theme : “Listen to the young voices”. The campaign calls for action to mobilize young people worldwide to create positive changes with real impact on wildlife conservation.
Hunting is a phenomenon that is often perceived in a negative way in public notion, and there are many reasons for this; the predominant reason lies in the sad fact that today’s children have little basic knowledge about the interrelations and ramifications of nature. Most of our youngsters learn about nature through the media, in other words: via second hand and not from the source. Another crucial point is the pathetic fallacy or humanization of nature and its animals. This is the main raison why, the CIC believes that children should have the possibility to approach hunting on the basis of a better and more in-depth knowledge of nature suitable for their age. They have to learn that death is part of the natural cycle and, consequently, that hunting is part of a natural process.
The CIC Working Group Young Opinion (CIC-YO) initiated a project with the aim to offer information days for kindergarten and elementary school kids, with different stations about nature’s interrelations, and about today’s hunting practices, such as falconry, dogs, shooting, ethics, and conservation where children get introduced to hunting and its principles in a playful way. In addition, the goal is to explain that sustainable hunting is an acknowledged and legitimate basis for conservation.
As Benedict Hammer, President of the CIC Young Opinion stated “CIC Young Opinion has a strategic focus on children’s education in nature, hunting, and wildlife conservation. We believe that this education for the coming generations is crucial to promote our values of game and wildlife conservation. As Young Opinion we see it as our responsibility to have a lasting impact on the younger generations.”
Hunting teaches children the importance of the connection between conservation and the environment. Another aspect of the project is to convey to our children the basic philosophy from Platon to Nikolas von der Kuys: man has a basic instinct, a moving force of always trying to acquire something. Without this instinct, there is no progress, no development. Hence, hunting is one of the basic elements of mankind – although few actual experience shows hunting in its original context; almost everybody hunts for something – success in sports, business, day-to-day life as a hunted trophy.
The CIC-YO Working Group is implementing this project in order to bring wildlife conservation and hunting closer to the future generations.