The polar regions are famously associated with extreme temperatures, ice, snow, legendary explorers, indigenous people, polar bears, penguins and other impressive fauna and flora. The past decades have witnessed a revolution in the amount of data collected in the polar regions, with considerable advances in the knowledge of numerous areas, including in polar biodiversity. Educationally, the polar regions can be perfect vehicles to transfer educational concepts related to biodiversity, but unfortunately, the evaluation of the impact of educational activities related to polar biodiversity is scarce. This chapter provides a general review of the importance of the polar regions, the increasing status of polar education in the last decade, examples of polar educational activities on biodiversity, and a resource to stakeholders interested in polar science and education. With pivotal inputs to polar education during the International Polar Year, 2007–2008, three of the most important challenges to be addressed in the future are to assess the needs of polar educators, strengthen the network of information sharing of educational materials (e.g. in a validated, multi-lingual and easily accessible online mode) and to develop robust evaluation of the educational activities. Recent improvements in internet technologies may provide a major source of ideas and the ability to effortlessly spread polar information relevant to biodiversity education.
Authors: Xavier, Jose C. ORCID record for Jose C. Xavier, Fugmann, Gerlis, Beck, Inga, Huffman, Louise, Jensen, Eric
Editors: Castro, Paula, Azeiteiro, Ulisses M., Bacelar-Nicolau, Paula, Filho, Walter Leal, Azul, Anabela Marisa
1 May, 2016
In: Castro, Paula, Azeiteiro, Ulisses M., Bacelar-Nicolau, Paula, Filho, Walter Leal, Azul, Anabela Marisa (eds.). Biodiversity and Education for Sustainable Development, Springer, 43-56.