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LONG-TERM EVALUATION OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
PROGRAM: ASSESSING THE IMPACTS OF THE GOLDEN LION TAMARIN
EDUCATION INITIATIVE IN BRAZIL
CHRISTINE ANN ARCHER
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Christine Ann Archer
I would like initially to acknowledge those that participated in this study, for their
time and contributions, which greatly facilitated this work. I want to extend my deepest
gratitude to the staff of the Golden Lion Tamarin Association (AMLD) who helped me
with logistical support, contact information, advice and friendship. Special thanks go to
my field assistants, Katia Pintor and Mariana Pintor. Without their energy and joyful
assistance, it would have been nearly impossible to collect the data for this study in two
months. Thanks go as well to the IBAMA administration of the Poco das Antas Reserve
for their backing of this study. Key contributions to the field work were provided by the
Brazilian Census Institute (IBGE), the water company of Casimiro the Abreu (SAAE),
and the directors of schools in Casimiro de Abreu, Silva Jardim, Imbau and Professor
Funding for this research was provided by the Charles Wagley Research Grant
and the Tropical Conservation and Development Program from the University of Florida.
This funding was supplemented by the Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation and
the Graduate Student Council.
This study would have not been possible if it were not for the research
contributions and support of Lou Ann Dietz and Elizabeth Nagagata. I am also extremely
grateful to Lou Ann Dietz, who was an enormous influence in my professional
development and a wonderful friend.
At the University of Florida, I would like to extend special thanks to my advisor,
Susan Jacobson, for all the dedication and guidance she provided throughout my studies.
During the past two years, she offered me sensible advice, directional focus, essential
support, and priceless expertise on the topics of environmental education, communication
and program evaluation. I am also thankful for her financial and logistical support for
My supervisory committee has provided thoughtful advice and encouragement,
which has immensely benefited both this study and my professional development. I
thank Marianne Schmink for her guidance in social research, her empowering advices,
and her invaluable knowledge of conservation and development work. Martha Monroe,
I thank for her expertise and enthusiasm in the field of environmental education, as well
as for her positive approach to life. I thank all of my committee members for all the time
and effort they have spent on my behalf.
Dr. Charles Wood is another influential and supportive person to whom I am
deeply grateful. His help in the statistical analysis and in the reporting of results were
invaluable and came at a crucial time. I also deeply appreciate his commitment to the
success of the students in the Center for Latin American Studies.
I thank all my friends at UF for the wonderful conversations, advice, pep talks and
fun times we shared together. Special thanks go to Jennifer Solomon and Alfredo Rios. I
could not have done it without their friendship, encouragement, humor and collaboration.
My family has been a strong source of encouragement and support, both
emotionally and financially. My gratitude and love go to my parents, Michael, Monica,
and Ruth, as well as to my aunt Elise for their encouragement in urging me to follow my
dreams. I would have not been successful without them.
Lastly, I would like to thank my husband, John Engels, whose constant assurance
and patience gave me power and focus throughout this learning process. He sacrificed
much of his time proofreading my work, listening to my concerns, giving advice and
lifting up my spirits. His positive energy, creative mind, and strong confidence provided
me the strength for pursuing, initiating and completing this work, and for this I will be
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S ......... .................................................................................. iii
L IST O F TA B LE S ......... .. .......... ............ ............. ............. viii
LIST OF FIGURES ......... ........................................... ............ ix
A B STR A C T ................................................. ..................................... .. x
1 IN TR OD U CTION .................. ............................ ............. .............. .
Golden-Lion Tamarin Project Background ........................................... .............. 2
Environmental Education as a Conservation Strategy................... .............................. 5
Importance of Evaluating Environmental Education Programs ................................ 7
Beliefs, Knowledge and Attitudes .............................. .................... 10
Description of the 1986 Evaluation of the AMLD Education Program ................... 14
Research Objectives and Hypothesis.......................... ......... .............. ...... 14
2 D E SIG N A N D M E TH O D S ............................................. ........................................ 17
Site D description ............................. .............. ...... 17
Sam pling D design .......................................................................................... .............. 18
Quantitative M methods. .............................. ........................... ............ 19
Survey Indicators of Belief and Knowledge........................................ ....... ........... 20
Demographics and Other Relevant Information........................................ .. 21
Q ualitative M methods ................................................... ....... .. ........ 21
D ata Analysis ................................. ............................................ 22
Quantitative Data .. ................. ...................... .................. 22
Qualitative Data ......................................... 24
3 R E S U L T S ..................................................................2 5
Survey R response ............... ........................................................................... .............. 25
Socio-dem graphic Backgrounds ........................................................ ......... ..... 25
Beliefs and K now ledge ............... ... .. ..................... ..... .. ............. 26
Beliefs about the Golden-lion Tamarin and its Conservation............................ 26
Knowledge about the Golden-lion Tamarin and Its Conservation..................... 28
K now ledge about Environm ent ........................................ .................. ...... 29
R egression A nalysis.................................................. ........................... .................. 30
R liability A analysis ............................ .............. .. ................. ...... ... ....... 30
K now ledge Indices.................... .... ................... .. ................ .............. 3 1
Knowledge index about the golden-lion tamarin...........................................31
Knowledge index about the local environment ............................................ 34
Sources of Information about the Golden-lion Tamarin and the Environment ............ 35
Sources of Information about the Golden-lion Tamarin.................................. 35
Sources of Information about the Environment.................................................... 36
O their R elevant Inform ation ....................................................................... 37
Focus Group Response .................... ............. ......... ........ ........... ... 38
Focus Groups in the Two Smaller Communities................................................ 39
Rural community of Professor Souza......... ................. ..................39
Rural community of Imba .................................................... .......... 41
Focus Group in the Two Larger Communities ............................................... 42
Urban community of Casimiro de Abreu.............................. ............... 42
Urban community of Silva Jardim................... .. ......... ..............43
L im itatio n s o f Stu dy .......................................................................... ..................... 4 4
4 D ISC U S SIO N ...............................................................65
Support for the Conservation of the Golden-lion Tamarin ................................... 67
Knowledge about the Golden-lion Tamarin and the Environment.............................. 68
Individual Indicators of Knowledge .............. ...... .......................... .......... 68
K now ledge Indices..................... ...................... ............................ 70
Associations Between Knowledge Indices and Socio-demographic Variables..... 70
Sources of Information about the Environment and the Golden-lion Tamarin .......... 75
O their R elevant Inform ation ...................................................................... 78
Conclusion ............................................ ............... 79
5 R E C O M M EN D A TIO N S ....................................................................... ..................82
A SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE .......................................................................87
B FO CU S GR OUP GU ID E ................................................. .. .... ......................... 94
C COD E BO OK .............. .... ............ ... ......... ......................... .. 96
L IST O F R EFER EN CE S ......................................... .... ........................ ............... 116
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................... 128
LIST OF TABLES
1 List of survey indicators of belief.......................................... ............................ 46
2 List of survey indicators of know ledge............................................... ............... 47
3 D em graphic sum m ary .................................................................... ....... ................48
4 Selected beliefs about the environment and the golden-lion tamarin............................49
5 Im portance given to golden lion tam arins ........................................ .....................49
6 Percentage of respondents that would not disturb animal ............ .... ............... 50
7 F forest b benefits identified ....................................................................... ..................50
8 Selected indicators of specific knowledge about the golden lion tamarin...................51
9 Selected indicators of general knowledge about environmental issues......................52
10 Cronbach alpha values for belief and knowledge about the golden lion tamarin........52
11 Means for index of knowledge about the golden lion tamarin and the environment ..53
12 Index of knowledge specific to the golden lion tamarin............................................53
13 Means of self-reported use of mass media by gender............... .................... 54
14 M ass media sources of information by gender ................................. ...... ............ ...54
15 Index of knowledge about environmental issues................................. ... ................ 55
16 Sources of information about the golden lion tamarin..............................................56
17 Sources of information about the environment.......................................... 57
18 O their R relevant Inform action ........... .................. ........ ................................ 58
19 Mean for index of knowledge visited versus not visited EE center ........................58
20 Percentage of people who heard of Reserva Uniao by communities...........................59
LIST OF FIGURES
1 Map of the area of occurrence of the golden lion tamarin.................... ..............60
2 Responses about importance of golden-lion tamarin...............................................61
3 Percentage of respondents saying they would not disturb animal...............................61
4 Media sources of information about the golden-lion tamarin....................................62
5 Sources of information related to environmental education........................................62
6 Sources of information about nature related to media............................................63
7 Sources of information about nature related to environmental education ...................63
Abstract of a Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Master of Arts
LONG TERM EVALUATION OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
PROGRAM: ASSESSING THE IMPACTS OF THE GOLDEN LION TAMARIN
EDUCATION INITIATIVE IN BRAZIL
Christine Ann Archer
Chair: Susan K. Jacobson
Major Department: Latin American Studies
The mission of the Golden Lion Tamarin Association (AMLD) in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, is to sustain a genetically viable population of golden lion tamarins
(Leontopithecus rosalia), an endangered primate species endemic to this region.
Environmental education has been a primary component of the AMLD conservation
strategy since the launching of the project in 1983.
This study compared results of an evaluative survey conducted in 2001 with
findings of a 1986 baseline survey. This long-term program evaluation was conducted to
(1) assess changes in public support, (2) identify strong and weak features of the
program, and (3) suggest modifications. The study examined 666 surveys, of which 352
were collected in 2001 in 6 randomly sampled communities and 314 were selected from
the 1986 database from the same communities.
The study revealed an increase in positive support regarding the tamarin and the
environment, as well as an increase in the general knowledge about the environment.
However, the composite knowledge scores about the tamarins showed no significant
changes in awareness within the period. By analyzing the individual knowledge items,
results showed specific gaps regarding the biology and the conservation status of the
tamarin. Survey participants did not know the correct habitat for the tamarin nor how
many tamarins exist in the wild. Despite specific gaps in knowledge, this analysis also
showed an increase in general level of knowledge about the tamarin. For instance, there
was a greater percentage of people correctly naming it as the golden-lion tamarin and
recognizing that it is unique to the region.
Using logistical regressions, the study also identified the socio-demographic
groups less knowledgeable about the tamarins. These included people with little formal
education and women. In addition, the analysis found that people living in smaller towns
had similar knowledge levels about the tamarin as people living in larger towns. This
indicates that information about the tamarin has been broadly disseminated and it is not
mainly concentrated in the larger towns as it was in 1986.
Results of this study will be used to improve the AMLD program and serve as a
model for the evaluation of other environmental education programs in Latin America.
Five hundred years ago, when the Portuguese arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the
rainforest covered more than 386,000 square miles along the Atlantic coast. Today, less
than 7 percent of the original forest remains, and what is left is threatened by human
activities (SOS Mata Atlintica and INPE 1993, WWF 2000). Although deforestation has
been severe, the biological importance of the remaining coastal rainforest has been
recognized by conservation organizations, including SOS Mata Atlintica, World Wildlife
Fund and Conservation International, which consider it a priority ecosystem to conserve
(WWF 2002, CI 2002, SOS Mata Atlintica 2000).
Presently, most of the Atlantic coastal forest remains clustered in the hilltops and
hillsides along the coast. Residential, agricultural and industrial expansions are the main
causes for the fragmentation of the forests in the coastal lowland regions of Brazil (Dean
1995). Although these forests are scattered in a mosaic of fragments, they support a high
biodiversity of flora and fauna, including one of the most endangered primates in the
world, the golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia). The Atlantic forest (Mata
Atlintica) is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. The Botanical Book of
Records reports that out of the world's flora, more than 52 percent of tree species, 64
percent of palms and 74 percent of bromeliads are endemic to this type of forest
(Botanical Book of Records 1993).
Golden-Lion Tamarin Project Background
In fragments of forest in the state of Rio de Janeiro, lives a bright orange, squirrel-
sized monkey, the golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia). This animal has
survived widespread deforestation because of the efforts of the Golden Lion Tamarin
Conservation Association, also known by its Brazilian acronym AMLD (Associagco
Mico Ledo Dourado). The AMLD was established in 1983 with the support of a network
of international and national organizations, to protect and sustain the continued increase
of the population of wild tamarins and its dwindling habitat. The headquarters of the
AMLD is in the Poco das Antas Biological Reserve, located 60 miles northeast of the city
of Rio de Janeiro. The Poco das Antas Biological Reserve is a federal sanctuary of 6,213
hectares that protects the wild population of tamarins, as well as other species of local
fauna and flora, such as the river otter (Luttaplatensis), the Broad-snouted spectacled
caiman (Caiman latir6stris), the monkey pot tree (Lecytispison) and at least 244 species
of birds (Dean 1995). In 1998 IBAMA created a second protected area nearby with the
purpose of protecting the golden lion tamarin and its habitat, the Unido Biological
Reserve. Other protected areas, known as private reserves of nature protection (RPPNs),
have been created through a federal agreement with local land-owners, who agreed to
conserve their patches of forests for the reintroduction of captive tamarins to the wild.
The total area currently protected for the wild tamarin is more than 16,000 hectares.
Throughout this territory, there are about 1,000 wild tamarins, including the populations
in the two biological reserves and in the RPPNs. This has been an impressive increase
from the 200 individuals reported to exist in the 1970s (AMLD 2000, WWF 2000).
The most common threats to the tamarins are deforestation, hunting inside the
protected areas, fires within and around forest fragments, destruction of the forest
understory by cattle, and capture oftamarins for the pet trade (Padua et al. 2002). Today,
the threats continue to be the same, but have subsided due to the presence of conservation
efforts and the existence of federal legislation that prohibits the use or removal of natural
flora and fauna. These threats are exacerbated by trends in human population growth,
landlessness, regional migration and distribution of wealth imbalances. In light of these
challenges, the AMLD created an environmental education program that collaborates
with surrounding communities to increase local participation in conservation activities by
raising local knowledge and developing more positive attitudes and behavior towards the
golden lion tamarin and its habitat (AMLD 2000). As research suggests, environmental
education efforts can increase pro-environmental behavior and public support for the
long-term conservation of habitats (Dietz and Nagagata 1995, Jacobson 1994, Padua
1994, Monroe and Day 1997).
The golden-lion tamarin education program began in 1983 as one of the first
programs in Brazil to sensitize people to the importance of protecting an endangered
species and its habitat (Dietz and Nagagata, 1986, 1995, 1997). The environmental
education program of the AMLD attracts public attention by using a "flagship" species,
the lion tamarin, to preserve biodiversity. Studies on programs for endangered animals
suggest that charismatic species attract more people to support conservation initiatives
than the general concept of saving ecosystems (Kellert and Berry 1980, Kellert and
Westervelt 1983, Westervelt and Llewellyn 1985, Dietz et al. 1994). By protecting the
golden lion tamarin, the tamarin education project helps conserve coastal rainforest along
with all the other endemic species (Dietz & Nagagata 1994).
Although the scope of the AMLD environmental education work reaches local,
national and international audiences, the focus has always been on the local communities
neighboring the Poco das Antas Biological Reserve. From the beginning of the program,
the target audience selected by the environmental education team has been limited to
three municipalities Silva Jardim, Casimiro de Abreu and Rio das Ostras. The
program's target audiences consist of: students and teachers from rural schools, visitors
to the educational center, regional landowners, neighboring communities of settlers, and
the rural and urban communities at large within these three municipalities. Over the
years, AMLD educators have designed a variety of educational approaches in order to
encourage locals to participate in conservation, including but not limited to ecological
music festivals, plays, parades, school lectures, training courses for teachers, educational
field trips, ecological contests, and art exhibits. The AMLD's educational program uses
formal, non-formal and informal environmental education approaches to pursue its goals.
Through the formal environmental education approach, the program provides
training for elementary school teachers and give presentations at schools during
campaigns, special events and when requested. The teacher training are composed by a
series of workshops covering content information and activities that emphasize the
conservation of golden-lion tamarins and their habitat. The program has targeted
teachers from elementary schools of local communities surrounding the protected areas
where the tamarin lives.
Within the non-formal sector, the program provides information and activities to
visitors of the environmental education center and offers support to groups such as, local
youth clubs and community associations. The center has a comprehensive exhibit
describing the beginnings of the project and the importance of the tamarin, its habitat and
the protected areas. There is also an interpretative trail that provides onsite information
and gives a glimpse of the tamarin's habitat. Visitors and school groups walk the trail by
themselves or led by one of the program's educators. Frequently, the program takes
selected groups of students and tourists to see the tamarin inside one of the protected
areas, which include the biological reserve and the RPPNs. The center receives a wide
variety of visitors, ranging from school groups to local residents and to national and
international tourists. Periodically, the program supports youth and community groups
by offering conservation related information, materials and activities as well as logistical
support, such as a place for events and/or meetings.
The program also attempts to cover the informal sector of environmental
education by providing information to the local TV channels, the radio programs and the
local newspapers with the intent to influence the attitudes, values, and knowledge of local
communities regarding the golden lion tamarin. Media and fundraising campaigns such
as the announcement of the birth of the 1000t tamarin and the fundraising for forest
corridors campaign are two of the latest activities the program has organized.
The program ensures to maintain ties with government agencies such as the
IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Natural Resources), the Forest
Police, and the municipal secretariats for education, agriculture and the environment, as
well as to relevant community associations and other non-governmental organizations.
Environmental Education as a Conservation Strategy
Environmental education arose from the need to educate citizens about their
surroundings in order to prevent and reduce the deterioration of the environment.
Influential documents, such as Caringfor the Earth (IUCN/UNEP/WWF 1991) and
Agenda 21 (United Nations 1992) have reported that one of the important roles for
environmental education is to stimulate social change towards a sustainable society.
Environmental education has been regarded as a means of "learning how to manage and
improve the relationship between human society and the environment, in an integrated
and sustainable manner" (Meadows 1997, p.167). It is also known to have a positive
long-term impact on people's awareness, beliefs, attitudes and knowledge about
environmental issues. These elements in turn may influence a consequent change in
behavior and adoption of new and more sustainable conducts (Kaiser et al. 1999,
Kuhlemeier et al. 1999, Mangas and Martinez 1997, Hines et al. 1986/87).
The practice of environmental education in countries "in development" faces very
complex social situations where environmental problems are intimately related to social-
economic conflicts. Environmental education programs provide people with
opportunities for cognitive and affective gains as well as skills and empowerment to act
and behave more sustainably toward nature (Padua 1997, lozzi et al. 1990.) In this
context, the main objective for environmental education in Brazil, as suggested by
Sorrentino (1995, p. 15) is "to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity, for
individual and collective self-realization and for the political and economic self-
management that will promote improvement in the environment and in people's quality
Environmental education plays an important role in encouraging us to share our
concerns, information and values, which may in turn lead to changes in how a society
deals with environmental problems. Environmental education recognizes that it is not
enough to understand an issue. People need to be active participants in solving the issue
at hand. The role of environmental education is to help the individual to go through this
process of awareness into action (Weilbacher 1991). It is important to note, however,
that environmental education does not aim at transferring ideological tendencies. Part of
its goal is to provide a rich diversity of options, in which learners can choose the most
significant alternatives relating to their own realities. Stapp (1996, p. 112) expresses this
thought with the following,
Empowerment happens when education allows the educator and the learner to
participate in processes that make them aware of their options and will encourage
them to act, thus exercising their roles as citizens.
This process is fundamental since environmental, social and economic problems
are increasingly more complex and the abilities of solving them are multifaceted and
interdisciplinary (Weilbacher, 1991). In promoting the development of these abilities and
new ethical paradigms, environmental education may contribute to a higher respect for
life, not only human, but of all living beings.
Importance of Evaluating Environmental Education Programs
Environmental education programs associated with protected areas in Brazil, and
in most developing countries, suffer from insufficient funds and pressure from the
migration of landless rural populations (Padua 1994, AMLD 1999). These problems are
magnified by the lack of time, money and trained people available to monitor, evaluate
and improve existing educational programs. Improvement of any program depends on
evaluation. Evaluations are useful for: "measuring the achievement of program
objectives, assessing secondary outcomes and unanticipated impacts, identifying
strengths and weaknesses in the program, analyzing the program from a cost-benefit
perspective, improving program effectiveness, collecting evidence to promote future
programs, and sharing experience and lessons learned with similar programs" (Jacobson
1999, p. 267). Evaluations "use scientific methods to measure the implementation and
outcomes of programs, for decision-making purposes" (Rutman and Mowbray 1993,
p.12). Program evaluation is an important step in the search for factors leading to
successful programs because it is a means of improving program effectiveness (Jacobson
1987). In a study of 56 tropical conservation education programs, the only variable that
significantly correlated with program success was the inclusion of evaluation (Jacobson
and Norris 1998). It has been noted that in the fields of conservation and rural
development there is a great need to identify variables associated with program efficacy
(Ameyaw 1992, Brandon and Wells 1992).
In environmental education, public support is an essential feature for the success
and continuation of a program. Public support is measured through public participation,
public satisfaction with the program and positive change in behavior toward the
conservation of the environment. Studies have demonstrated the positive correlation
between environmental education, public participation and program success rate
(Jacobson and McDuff 1997, Hewavitharana 1994, Finsterbusch and Van Wicklin 1987).
Research has also demonstrated that evaluation is an important element in correcting the
course of environmental education activities (Padua and Jacobson 1993, Gerakis 1998,
Heffernan 1998). One example of an education program that used evaluation results to
improve its strategy was the seabird conservation program on the North Shore of the Gulf
of St. Lawrence, Canada (Pomerantz 1992). The results of this evaluation strengthened
educational strategies aiming to improve the knowledge, attitudes and hunting behaviors
of local people in order to reverse population declines of seabirds (Blanchard 1995).
Most evaluations in the environmental education field are conducted within short
intervals of time. Evaluation instruments, such as before and after tests, surveys and
interviews have been applied to target audiences to assess a one-time visit to a nature
exhibit (Heffernan 1998, Chin 1985), a park (Padua and Jacobson, 1993), or a zoo
(Marshdoyle et al. 1982, White and Jacobson 1994), or to examine the immediate effect
of a one week course (Wood 2001, Bennet and Padalino 1989), a four-to-eight week class
(Armstrong and Impara 1991), or a three month long workshop in a zoo (White and
Jacobson 1994). These evaluations occurred near the beginning and end of the program
activities and seldom looked at long-term impact. Performing evaluations within a short
period helps to control for external variables, such as the impacts of historical events and
of the media. In executing the evaluation right away, there is higher certainty that the
behavior being measured is due to the program or activity. However, it does not assess
the long term impact of the activity or program.
Longitudinal studies are designed to permit observations of the same phenomena
over an extended period (Babbie 2001). Studies that looked at longer term impacts of
environmental education programs were performed by Ryan (1991), Dietz and Nagagata
(1995), Paaby and Clark (1995) and Gray (1997), who evaluated programs within one or
two years of activities. Fewer attempts have been made to examine the impact of
programs after more than two years of activities. Westphal and Halverson (1985/86) and
Weber (1995) performed longitudinal evaluations to examine citizen involvement and
support for conservation programs within five years of activities. Westphal and
Halverson (1985/86) found several attitudinal and behavioral changes resulted from
participating in an educational program, the most common of which were: greater
awareness about the topic and more confidence in discussing environmental issues
publicly. Weber (1995) used attitudinal surveys and reported that program participants
demonstrated increased positive attitudes about the support wildlife tourism provides to
park protection even after five years of the onset of the program. Blanchard (1995)
performed a longitudinal evaluation within a period of seven years to examine the impact
of a seabird conservation program on a local community in the shore of Canada. She
reported a sustained improvement in the target audience's knowledge, attitudes and
behavior towards seabirds and greater local support for the conservation program. These
longitudinal evaluations provide evidence of long-term impact. In the field of education,
this is an important finding since educational processes take longer to generate the
Beliefs, Knowledge and Attitudes
This study evaluates the AMLD program by exploring public beliefs, knowledge
and sources of information about the golden lion tamarin and its environment after 18
years of implementation. Questions from the original 1986 survey have been identified
as either measuring participants' individual beliefs or levels of knowledge regarding the
tamarin and the environment. Beliefs and knowledge are elements embedded in a
person's attitude toward a person, place, event, etc. (Kaiser et al 1999, Stutzman and
Green 1982, Fishbein and Ajzen 1975). Most behavioral models identify knowledge,
beliefs, attitudes and intentions as the major components in the process of generating a
specific behavior. In order to understand this study's purpose in measuring beliefs and
knowledge levels, this section explores a few of the theoretical models that explain the
role of beliefs and knowledge in the construction of attitudes and behavior.
According to Ajzen and Fishbein's Theory of Reasoned Action (Ajzen and
Fishbein 1980), understanding the attitudes of people indicates what behaviors they might
be likely to perform. This theory describes attitudes as a function of two factors: a
person's beliefs about the consequences of their behavior also called the subjective norm
factor, and the person's evaluation of those consequences, also referred as the attitude
toward behavior factor (Fishbein 1963). Knowledge is not considered a separate
component in this model, but it is referred to as a cognitive component that influences the
construction of a belief. Thus, a person's attitude is favorable if there is belief or
knowledge that performing the behavior will lead to a positive outcome. In contrast, the
attitude becomes negative if the person believes or knows that the behavior will generate
negative consequences. A favorable attitude engages individuals in a particular behavior,
while negative attitudes cause them to avoid certain behaviors. Hence, Azjen and
Fishbein suggest that modifying behavior requires changing a person's underlying beliefs
or knowledge about the consequences of specific behaviors. Several studies have used
this theory to show that environmental beliefs are related to ecological behavior
intentions (Ster and Dietz 1994, Axelrod 1994, Van Liere and Dunlap 1981).
The theory of planned behavior expands the theory of reasoned action by
including the impact of behavior that people are unable to control, also known as
perceived behavioral control component (Ajzen 1988). This component refers to how
easy or difficult it is to perform the behavior based on experiences and possible
anticipated obstacles. Thus, for example, when a person believes an animal can be
protected through the work of conservation, s/he will contribute to conservation
organizations. If a person does not believe that when they put a newspaper in the recycle
bin that it is actually recycled, they are not likely to recycle their newspaper. Fishbein
and Manfredo (1992) suggest that to influence attitudes toward a specific behavior, it is
necessary to change or reinforce the particular belief and/or their evaluative aspects.
They argue that it is possible to use beliefs in developing messages designed to reinforce
or change an audience's intentions and that these messages should deal with specific
beliefs that underlie the targeted intention.
The model of responsible environmental behavior is another major theory used in
explaining the relationships between behavioral components. Hines et al (1986/87) found
that the interaction of different types of knowledge together with personality factors
determines the intention to act and eventually leads to the desired responsible
environmental behavior. Knowledge in this model is more than simply knowing
ecological facts. It also includes knowledge of action strategies, action skills,
environmentally sensitive attitudes, and exercises to develop self-efficacy. Developing
these kinds of knowledge is particularly important in allowing an individual to adapt
strategies to situational factors that create changeable conditions. If knowledge is limited
to a particular situation, a person may be unable to adapt when changes occur. A study
performed by Hsu and Roth (1988) found that knowledge and skills in using action
strategies were powerful predictors of responsible environmental behavior. Based on the
findings of their study, they concluded that a person is more likely to be environmentally
active if s/he has knowledge of action strategies, accepts environmental responsibility and
has positive environmental attitudes.
As indicated by the theoretical models described above, belief and knowledge are
essential elements in forming attitudes and thus indirectly influencing the development of
a behavior. In the environmental context, Hoban and Clifford (1992) described attitudes
by defining them as an expression of beliefs, feelings, deeply rooted values and
preferences relative to a person's experience with specific aspects of the natural world.
Marcinkowski (1993) showed that positive attitudes provide incentives for individuals to
seek more information about environmental issues. McDonough and Lee (1990) have
also argued that the increase in levels of knowledge and positive beliefs may be used as
indicators of program success. Furthermore, several studies have looked at the
relationship between environmental responsible attitudes and levels of knowledge and
have found positive and often significant relationship between the two variables (Cano
1998, Kellert 1996, Hartcourt et al 1986, Fialho and Jacobson 1995, Lyons and
Breakwell 1994, White 1993, Armstrong and Impara, 1991, Infield 1988, Olson,
Bowman and Roth 1984, Taylor and Daniel, 1982).
In conclusion, an individual must first have the relevant knowledge and beliefs in
order to have a positive environmental attitude, which ultimately may generate an
environmental responsible behavior. Nevertheless, the progression from beliefs and
knowledge to informed behavior is not a simple or linear one (Dillon and Gayford 1997).
The only conclusion currently established is that the major components of behavior
change are knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and behavior. What types of variables interact
with each other remains to be determined in future research.
This evaluation measured the long-term changes in beliefs and knowledge
regarding the tamarin in order to assess the AMLD environmental education program.
Understanding these changes may help to improve program effectiveness and the local
levels of support towards the conservation of tamarins and their habitat.
Description of the 1986 Evaluation of the AMLD Education Program
A baseline evaluation was conducted in the initial phases of the program, between
1984 and 1986. Dietz and Nagagata (1995) used a pre/post-test evaluation design by
applying a survey in 1984 and a second survey after two years of educational activities.
The surveys included questions related to beliefs, knowledge, and information sources
regarding the wildlife, forests, and local protected areas. The treatment groups involved
students from the local schools and the general adult population in the region. Results
from the study indicated an increase in knowledge about the reserve, the golden lion
tamarin and the value of forests in both adults and students (Dietz and Nagagata 1995,
Research Objectives and Hypothesis
The research objectives of this evaluation are to
(a) Provide accountability of the AMLD environmental education program by
assessing public awareness and support generated by the project,
(b) Improve the AMLD environmental education program delivery by identifying
strong and weak features of the program and suggesting modifications.
The research hypothesis of this study is:
The 2001 evaluation of the environmental education program will show (a) an
increase of local public awareness and (b) a positive shift in the local support
towards the golden lion tamarin compared to results of the 1986 evaluation.
In measuring public knowledge and support resulting from the activities of the
AMLD environmental education program, the evaluation answers the question: "Is the
program successful?" I compared the results of the 2001 survey to the results of the 1986
survey, concerning changes in knowledge and beliefs of local residents. The evaluation
from this accountability perspective is useful in showing the level of support gained or
lost in the 15 years since the last evaluation. The second objective of this evaluation has
a managerial context since evaluation results can be used to make better decisions about
the design and the delivery of programs (Rutman and Mowbray 1983). In order to make
changes to improve a program, managers need to understand how their program is being
implemented and how the mechanisms of the activities affect the outcomes (Rutman and
Mowbray 1983). By identifying strong and weak environmental education program
elements, the managers can generate improvements to the program. This study may
assist program managers by providing information to modify activities and techniques of
information transfer so that the program can be made more effective.
In addition to quantitatively assessing knowledge, beliefs and information sources
of local communities to provide breadth and generalization of results, this evaluation
included focus groups to present more in-depth, descriptive context of the study results.
Evaluation studies become considerably more powerful when using a combination of
quantitative and qualitative methods of assessment (Marcinkowski 1993). Combining a
number of data collection instruments improves results by ensuring higher validity and
confidence in the findings. Information collected through qualitative and quantitative
methods benefits from the strengths of each instrument while minimizing the flaws
inherent in single strategies (Cantrell 1993).
The products and impacts of the environmental education strategy of the AMLD
have not been assessed since 1986. As the environmental education program has been
conducted continuously for 18 years, it offers an excellent opportunity to gather, analyze
and compare valuable information to improve the program and disseminate its long term
successes and challenges. By conducting a program evaluation of the educational
component of the AMLD, this study contributes to our understanding of long-term
impacts of environmental education. This study also may serve as a model for other
projects in Brazil to evaluate and improve their environmental education programs.
DESIGN AND METHODS
Surveys are useful for measuring public attitudes and knowledge. Randomized
surveys allow generalizations to be made from a sample to a population. Focus groups
are a useful method to explore broad attitudes, motivations and behaviors of audience
interest as well as to develop a deeper understanding of a program (Jacobson 1999).
Methodological diversity allows the strengths of one technique to compensate for the
weaknesses of another. This study used surveys and focus groups to assess the impact of
the AMLD environmental education program on the communities surrounding the sites
where tamarins live. This study compares results of an evaluative survey conducted in
2001 with findings of a 1986 survey conducted by Dietz and Nagagata (1995).
The study site encompasses the area of local activity of the Golden Lion Tamarin
Environmental Education Project, located at the Poco das Antas Biological Reserve in the
northeast region of the Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil (Figure 1). The AMLD administration
and education center are located between the two counties of Silva Jardim and Casimiro
de Abreu. A major federal highway (BR 101) provides easy access to the AMLD from
the surrounding communities. The two neighboring municipalities accommodate an
estimated 44,000 people (IBGE 2000) in rural towns or dispersed on farms or ranches.
Local residents currently share this area with 1,000 wild tamarins. The main economic
activities in the region relate to agriculture, cattle ranching and commerce (Guia S6cio-
econ6mico dos Municipios do estado do Rio de Janeiro 1993).
Six communities in the counties of Silva Jardim and Casimiro de Abreu were
selected for this study's population. The communities were selected based on three
criteria: (1) those that participated in the 1986 evaluation which included 24 communities
(Dietz and Nagagata 1995), (2) communities that are or have been included in the
program's education strategy, according to information from the AMLD annual reports
(AMLD 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996/1997, 1998, 1999, 2000), and (3) communities
within 60 kilometers of the reserve's environmental education center. Of the six
communities chosen, two are large towns Casimiro de Abreu and Silva Jardim (with
about 14,000 inhabitants each) and four are smaller rural towns Rio Dourado, Professor
Souza, Aldeia Velha and Imbau, (with about 1,300 inhabitants each). Because a list of
1986 survey participants was not available, a trend study format (Babbie 2001) was used
to examine changes within a population over time without having to survey the same
exact participants. A database containing information from the 1986 surveys was used to
compare with information collected in 2001. The comparison included only data from
the six communities selected.
In order to control for variation in the information collected in 2001, simple
random sampling was used to select respondents. A list of customers from the local
water company serving the county of Casimiro de Abreu and the 1996 IBGE (Instituto
Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics)
regional and sectored census maps for the county of Silva Jardim were used to randomly
select the respondents of the survey. For the list of customers from the local water
company (SAAE Sistema de Abastecimento de Agua e Esgoto), I used the IBGE's
aggregated database (available online) to confirm that most people (96%) in the Casimiro
de Abreu county have water service (IBGE 2002). As I was not able to find a similar list
for the communities surveyed in the Silva Jardim county, I relied on the 1996 IBGE's
census maps. These maps provided the total number of homes and their locations for
each street, which allowed for a random selection of houses. When the selected person
was not found at home, the team returned two other times. If after three times the first
selected person was not found, the team picked the neighboring house and interviewed
the available adult member of the household, again trying three times until someone was
In contrast, the 1986 sampling method relied on available subjects. The survey
was applied to those who were at home or in the streets at the time researchers visited the
communities. This technique is inefficient because it may produce biases, such as not
surveying those at work. Although the sampling techniques for both evaluations differ, it
was a necessary step to avoid the potential unreliability problems of the 1986 sampling
For purposes of performing a comparative analysis using a time series design
(Kosecoff and Fink 1982), the questionnaires followed the protocols used in the first
program evaluation performed in 1986 (Dietz and Nagagata 1995). We used forty-eight
of the original questions and added seven new questions at the end of the survey. These
seven questions were added to examine elements of the program included since 1986.
The survey instrument was pilot tested (N=6) with available subjects of the chosen
communities during June 2001, and revisions were made based on the results. The
questions were both open and close-ended, targeting people's belief values (10
questions), knowledge specific to the golden lion tamarin (9 questions), general
knowledge about the local environment (4 questions), sources of information about the
tamarin and nature (2 questions), and standard demographic information (8 questions)
(Appendix A). Ten questions were later dropped from the analysis due to problems in the
design of the question or to difficulties faced during data collection (Appendix A).
A team of three people (two locally hired assistants and the researcher) conducted
the surveys in the six communities. The team applied face-to-face questionnaires with
adult members 18 years old and older between July and August 2001.
Survey Indicators of Belief and Knowledge
This study surveyed the audience's beliefs, knowledge and sources of information
about the golden lion tamarin and local nature. Measures include 10 belief items (Table
1) and 20 knowledge items (Table 2), of which 4 are focused on nature, 9 are specific to
the golden lion tamarin, and 7 are related to recent aspects of the program. The 7
questions added to the 2001 survey assessed other relevant information not included in
the 1986 survey, such as, people's awareness of the Biological Reserve Uniao and its
location, awareness of the AMLD and its purpose, and knowledge about the meaning of
forest corridors and ecotourism. These elements of the program were established after
1986. Several survey questions on people's beliefs, knowledge and source of information
about the golden lion tamarin were only asked of those who recognized the picture of the
animal. The sample size for some items is smaller than the size of the sampled
population. Qualitative questions also have smaller sample sizes due to no response
The analysis of belief and knowledge was done in two ways: by using separate
empirical indicators of the each concept and by combining the individual questionnaire
items into a summary index. In analyzing each belief and knowledge indicator, it is
possible to focus attention on each specific question. By combining several responses
into a single index, the goal is to generate a measure that may reflect an individual's
overall knowledge of and beliefs about the tamarin. An additional advantage of the
summary index is that its value can be used in a regression analysis that permits the
introduction of statistical controls.
Demographics and Other Relevant Information
Socio-demographic variables in the surveys include larger/smaller communities,
years living in the community, years of education, age and sex. Other information
requested included open-ended questions that had respondents identify: benefits provided
by the forest and the importance of tamarins to the individual/community.
The qualitative approach used to assess people's perspectives towards the project
was the focus group technique. Focus groups are defined as group interviews composed
of a homogeneous collection of 7 to 12 individuals who share key characteristics, such as,
age, race or occupation (Jacobson 1999). The strengths of the focus group method are
that it allows for sharing and stimulating ideas between the participants, as well as it
allows for the moderator or other participants to explore people's perceptions about the
topic of interest. However, since participants are purposefully selected, it is not possible
to extrapolate the results to a broader context. Thus, I used this method primarily to
obtain a deeper understanding of local people's beliefs and knowledge about the program
I intended to perform one focus group with each of the six targeted communities;
however due to lack of time and resources, I conducted focus groups in only four of the
six communities. Participants of these focus groups shared the characteristic of being a
parent of a student from the local elementary schools.
To select participants for each focus group, I randomly selected 20 names out of a
list of parents (both mothers and fathers) of students in the public elementary schools of
each of the communities. Invitations were sent home with the selected students.
Invitations stressed that participation was voluntary, explained the objective of the focus
group, emphasized the meeting would not take more than an hour and offered participants
a snack and a small gift (a sticker of the AMLD). The meetings took place in a school
classroom at an hour the local teachers suggested to be the best. I also performed one
pilot test focus group, from which revisions to the questions were made. I tape recorded
the conversations and had an assistant take notes. According to recommendations by
Morgan (1997), I followed a discussion guide with suggested questions/activities. Open-
ended questions were similar to those asked in the survey, but presented in ways to
encourage discussion among participants (Appendix for focus group instrument).
This research on human subjects received UF IRB approval, IRB 2001 381.
Survey data was directly entered into an SPSS 10.0 software package for
statistical analysis. Standard descriptive and inferential statistical procedures were
utilized for data analysis (Agresti and Finlay 1997).
Answers related to belief and knowledge measures were converted into
dichotomous variables. I used frequency distributions to compare the change in
frequency from 1986 to 2001 and chi-square analysis to check for the significance of any
existing change. When analyzing trends and examining differences between open-ended
questions or between questions with more than two options for answers, Chi-squared
tests were also used to identify significant differences. The Chi-square analysis in these
cases was calculated manually using the following formula:
X2= Y (fo fe)2 fo = observed frequency
Je fe = expected frequency
= (row total)(column total)
total sample size
Answers for open-ended questions were coded and grouped into categories
(Appendix B) in order to facilitate analysis. Significant differences are reported at the
alpha level ofp < 0.05 and p < 0.01. Regression analysis was used as an inferential tool
to evaluate the relationship in the population from the analysis of sample data.
Regression analysis investigates whether an association exists between two
variables and examines the strength and the form of this relationship (Agresti and Finley
1997). Questions related to respondents' level of belief and of knowledge were grouped
together into three different indexes. Indexes were built to allow regression analysis
techniques to examine the influences of demographic variables on belief and knowledge
questions. I used Cronbach's alpha coefficient to describe reliability of belief and
knowledge measures for each survey. The Pearson correlation coefficient, r, was applied
to measure the strength of relationships between the dependent variable and the following
independent variables; age, gender, education, larger/smaller communities and years
living in the county. Standardized b regression coefficients were used to estimate the
relative importance of the dependent variables in their relationship with the independent
variables. The regression was done separately for the 1986 and for the 2001 samples.
I used qualitative data from focus groups to better understand the context of the
survey results. The information was later transcribed from the tapes and merged with the
notes collected by an assistant. Information was then grouped into categories of beliefs,
knowledge and sources of information related to the tamarin and its conservation.
The comparison of the two surveys included 314 participants from 1986 and 352
participants from 2001, for a total of 666 questionnaires. The 314 participants from
1986 were selected out from a database of 1,021 questionnaires according to the
communities selected for this study.
For the surveys conducted in 2001, the non-response rate was zero. Every person
contacted agreed to respond to the survey, although on a few occasions the interviewers
had to return later due to the participant's lack of immediate time to participate.
Nonetheless, two questionnaires (in addition to the total of 352) had to be discarded since
observations by the data collector indicated that the participant was unable to focus on the
questions due to the presence of small children calling for attention.
The mean age of respondents was 38 years old (S.D=16.2) in the 1986 survey,
and 41 years old (S.D=16.15) in 2001 (Table 3). In the 1986 survey, 62% of the
respondents were female and 38% were male. In 2001, 52 % of the study population was
female and 48% was male. Hence, both the age and sex structure of the sample differed.
In 1986, 72% of respondents were from the two largest towns in the county (more
than 10,000 inhabitants), Casimiro de Abreu and Silva Jardim, whereas in 2001, the
comparable figure was 66%. The proportion of the sample in the smaller towns (less than
2,000 inhabitants) was 28% in 1986 and 34 % in 2001. The number of surveys done
within large communities was similar to the number done within smaller communities;
thus, no significant differences between the two datasets in this context were found.
More than half of the people interviewed in both surveys were raised in the region
(54% in 1986 and 56% in 2001). Those that migrated reported living in the region a
mean number of 14 years for the 1986 survey (S.D= 13.67) and 17.7 years in 2001 (S.D.=
12.49) (Table 3).
More than three quarters of the people surveyed in both samples attended formal
school (87% in 1986 and 92% in 2001). Most people had from one to eight years of
school (74% and 69%, respectively for 1986 and 2001). Not surprisingly, fewer people
had nine to eleven years of formal education (11% and 20%, respectively) and fewer still
had some college education or above (2% and 3%, respectively) (Table 3). IBGE figures
confirm that the average number of years of school per person for these regions is
between 3.4 to 4.5 years of school (IBGE 2000). Respondent education significantly
increased between 1986 and 2001.
Beliefs and Knowledge
Beliefs about the Golden-lion Tamarin and its Conservation
We asked ten questions related to respondents' beliefs about nature (7 questions)
and about the golden-lion tamarins (3 questions) (Table 1). When the two surveys are
compared, results indicate an increase in positive beliefs toward the conservation of the
golden-lion tamarin and its habitat over the fifteen-year period.
More than three quarters of respondents in both surveys believed the GLT was
important (83% in 1986 and 90% in 2001), with a significant increase in 2001 (Table 4).
An open-ended question asking respondents to specify the importance of the tamarins
also showed an increase in a positive belief for their preservation. To facilitate the
analysis of this open-ended question, responses were coded into two main categories of
importance: for human needs and for the environment (Appendix B). Results showed a
significant increase in responses related to environmental importance (22% in 1986 and
52% in 2001). A large decrease in frequency of responses related to "the animal is
important for human needs" occurred from 1986 (77%) to 2001 (47%) (Table 5; Figure
Respondents also indicated a positive belief in their answers to what they would
do when encountering a "little monkey" in the woods. When given a choice of answers,
such as "take it home", "sell it", "kill it", or "leave it alone", respondents answering they
would not disturb the animal rose from 75% in 1986 to 91% in 2001 (Table 6).
This same type of question was asked about other animals such as a little bird, a
paca (Agoutipaca), a caiman and a snake. Results show a pattern of increase in
respondents' beliefs that wild animals should not be disturbed (Figure 3). Whereas the
responses for the paca (27% point increase), the snake (23% point increase) and the
caiman (12% point increase) had significant increases, the change was not significant in
the case of the bird (Table 6).
Another question related to wild animals also indicated a significant increase in
the belief that wild animals were not harmful to human activities. The proportion of the
sample who held this belief rose over the fifteen-year period, from 85% in 1986 to 92%
in 2001 (Table 4).
Additional questions focused on the perceived benefits that the forest holds for
humans. The results showed that most of the respondents in both years seem to agree
that forests are beneficial. The proportion of people who held this belief was similar in
both years (Table 4). A subsequent open-ended question asked respondents to specify a
benefit provided by the forest. Responses to this question indicated that a large
proportion of people in both surveys believe that the benefits forests provide relate to the
conservation of nature rather than in providing products and services for human
consumption. From 1986 to 2001, this result remained the same, showing a higher
frequency of responses (88% in 1986 and 95% in 2001) affirming that forests provide
benefits related to conservation (Table 7).
Knowledge about the Golden-lion Tamarin and Its Conservation
Knowledge questions about the golden-lion tamarin and its conservation were
restricted to those knowledge areas that had been the focus of the 1986 survey. The
survey instrument included thirteen knowledge items, nine of which were specific to the
golden-lion tamarin and four pertained to the local environment. Results demonstrated a
significant increase in several knowledge questions about the golden lion tamarin.
The frequency of respondents who recognized and correctly named the animal in
the picture as the golden-lion tamarin rose significantly from 68% in 1986 to 94% in
2001 (Table 8). In the earlier survey, respondents used 23 different names for the animal.
There were also significant increases from 1986 to 2001 in respondents' awareness that
tamarins are found in the region and found only in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Knowledge about the correct purpose of the Poco das Antas biological reserve, such as
for protection of animals and plants, also increased significantly between 1986 (90%) and
Significant decreases in knowledge occurred for two of the survey measures,
while no changes were found with respect to two other measures. In 1986, more people
(53%) responded correctly to the question related to the social family structure of the
tamarin than in 2001 (33%). A significant decrease occurred in knowledge that tamarin
prefer living in small family groups of parents and offspring (average of 6 per group).
There was also a decrease of correct answers from 1986 (68%) to 2001 (36%) in the
awareness of the total number of golden-lion tamarins existing in the wild. Less people
in 2001 answered the correct number of tamarins living in the wild (currently 1,000
tamarins) than in 1986 (500 tamarins). In addition, no significant changes occurred
among the frequencies of respondents recognizing the tamarin from a picture (80% in
1986 and 75% in 2001), answering the correct habitat for the tamarin (47% in 1986 and
44% in 2001) or in identifying the correct location for the reserve (90% in 1986 and 97%
in 2001) (Table 8).
Knowledge about Environment
Only one measure showed an increase in knowledge pertaining to the local
environment. A significant increase occurred between 1986 and 2001 in respondent's
agreement with the existence of a nearby protected area intended to conserve animals and
plants. In 1986, 75% of participants agreed with the statement while in 2001 this
proportion increased to 86% (Table 9).
The remaining questions related to other aspects of the environment and to the
consequences of human activities. One item was designed to measure the degree to
which people knew the names of any endangered species in the area. The other two
items referred to deforestation (whether it weakens the soil; and whether it was deemed to
be a problem in the area). A comparison of responses in the two surveys showed no
significant change in these items (Table 9).
The previous section presented an analysis of beliefs and knowledge using
separate empirical indicators of the two concepts. In this section, the objective is to
report the results of the regression of the belief and knowledge summary indexes.
There were two objectives in performing these regressions. The first was to
examine the variation in the knowledge indexes about the tamarin and local
environmental issues between 1986 and 2001. The second reason was to understand the
differences in knowledge among the various socio-demographic groups.
Before proceeding with the regression, it was first necessary to assess the internal
consistency of the various indexes. The test used to measure inter-item correlation
reliability was the Cronbach alpha for reliability analysis. If the Cronbach's coefficient is
< 0.30, items do not share a common theme, while coefficients > 0.80 strongly indicate a
common domain between items (Witter 1978). For the purposes of this research, a
Cronbach's alpha of > 0.30 was considered reliable.
Three indices were constructed from the survey to examine the beliefs and
knowledge pertaining to the tamarin and its conservation. Table 10 shows the reliability
values for the three indexes. The index for knowledge about the tamarin and the index
for knowledge about nature reported alpha values greater than 0.3, while the reliability
value for the index of beliefs about the tamarin were lower than the 0.3 suggested
threshold (Witter, 1978). Thus, only the two indexes of knowledge were used for the
regression analysis while the index of beliefs was discarded due to its low reliability
The total score of each index was used as the dependent variable in a regression
analysis. Additional socio-demographic indicators were entered as independent control
variables. The latter included: year of survey, education, sex, age, place of residence and
years living in the county. The literature on environmental education suggests that socio-
demographic variables correlate sometimes with a person's environmental attitudes
(Fiallo and Jacobson 1995, Furman 1998, Kellert 1993, Blum 1987, Frost 2000).
Moreover, the regression results based on the two surveys may provide substantively
important insight into changes over time in the determinants of environmental
Knowledge index about the golden-lion tamarin
Overall, knowledge index levels were in the mid range for both samples. On a
scale of 1 9, the sample mean score for 1986 was 4.63 (S.D.=2.75) and for the 2001
sample was 4.92 (S.D.=2.47) (Table 11). This shows that both in 1986 and 2001 people
correctly responded to about half of the knowledge questions. Table 12 presents the b-
coefficient values for the regressions of the samples of 1986 and 2001. The R-square is
15% in 1986 and is similar fifteen years later 13%.
Although the regression analysis reports no significant change in knowledge
between 1986 and 2001, there are interesting patterns related to demographic variables
that can be compared across the years. More specifically, we can use regression analyses
to answer a question fundamental to understanding the nature of environmental
knowledge. This question concerns the determinants, or covariates, of the knowledge
index. In other words, it highlights which of the independent variables has the largest
effect on knowledge once the other socio-demographic controls are entered into the
The literature suggests that a good predictor of environmental knowledge is the
amount of formal education that a person has acquired (Arcury 1990, Arcury and Johnson
1987, Lovirich et al. 1986). I converted the education variable into 4 dummy variables,
using no education as the reference category. The dummy variable technique is useful in
this context because it will enable us to see the impact of a given level of education on
the knowledge index. Put another way, rather than treat education as a single variable
(with a single b-coefficient), we can observe the effect of, say, 1-8 years of education and
compare it to the effect of 9-11 years of schooling. This flexibility allows us to identify
nonlinearities in the data and to compare over time the effects of a particular level of
education on the knowledge index.
The results in Table 12 show that knowledge about the tamarin increases as years
of schooling increase. Because all of these coefficients are statistically significant, these
findings clearly support the premise that education is positively correlated with
knowledge about the tamarin. The dummy variable approach permits us to further
conclude that the relationship is virtually linear: each increase in the schooling category
is associated with an increase of around 1.2 points in the knowledge index. The effects of
education are a net of the statistical controls for the other variables in the equation -
namely, sex, age, place of residence, and the number of years that individuals have lived
in the county. In other words, even after taking all the other variables in consideration,
the education variable still performs in similar manner as when analyzed on its own. No
significant changes resulted when calculating the z-scores across the years for each
Gender differences were also noted for each sample. Males seem to know more
about the golden lion tamarin than females in both the 1986 and 2001 samples. In 1986,
the knowledge index was greater by 0.81 for males in respect to females (reference
category), while in 2001 it was greater by 1.33 points (Table 12). Comparing across the
years in this case reveals that in net of the effects of education and the other controls in
the equation, the gender gap continues but did not significantly change.
Further analysis of this knowledge gap was performed to explore possible
differences in the ways men and women receive information. An index from 0 to 3 was
constructed for mass media sources of information (TV, radio and newspapers), in which
0 referred to no media influences, 1 referred to influences of 1 type of media, 2 referred
to 2 types, and 3 referred to 3 types. T-tests and chi-square tests were performed to check
for differences in media use by gender. T-tests revealed that for both men and women
there was a significant increase in the reported usage of mass media between 1986 and
2001 (Table 13). Further analysis showed that men and women reported similar amounts
of media influences in 1986 (t=. 171, df=312, p>.05), but in 2001 there was a higher
usage of the media by men (t=3.26, df=350, p< .001) (Table 13). Chi-square analysis
revealed that in 2001 men reported acquiring more information about the tamarin from
TV and radio than women (Table 14). No significant differences in mass media usage
between genders were found in 1986.
Knowledge also increased for respondents living in larger towns. This occurred
even after taking into account the effects of education. For the 1986 sample, knowledge
about the golden lion tamarin in larger towns was significantly higher, increasing 0.68 in
respect to smaller towns the reference category. In the 2001 sample, however, the
difference was not statistically significant (Table 12).
Finally, the regression revealed no significant differences between respondents
based on age, or by how many years an individual has lived in the county. Although one
might expect newcomers to the area to be less informed of environmental issues (and
hence a negative coefficient), this was not the case in this study for either year.
Knowledge index about the local environment
Regression analysis results for the knowledge index about environmental issues
were generally similar to the knowledge index about the tamarin. Knowledge pertaining
to local environmental issues increased as respondent's formal education increased for
both samples. Respondent's sex and place of residence also had significant impacts on
people's knowledge. For both sampled population, men knew more about these issues
than women and residents of larger towns scored higher than residents of smaller towns
The regression for this index, however, also reported a few contrasting results
from the previous regression. Knowledge about environmental issues for the 1986
sample was significantly different between those that did not have schooling and those
that had 1 to 8 years of formal education. This significance, however, was not present in
the results for the 2001 sample. A similar situation occurred in regards to the association
between knowledge about nature and the years a person had spent in the county. For the
1986 sample, the longer the respondent had lived in the county, the more s/he would
know about nature. In 2001, there were no significant changes in knowledge between
those living longer in the area with those living there for shorter periods. The negative
values occurred because the reference for this variable was "0 years", which represents
those people who lived in the area since birth.
No differences were found between respondents based on age for either sample.
The variance explained for both 1986 and 2001 samples was 11% (R2= 0.11) (Table 15).
Sources of Information about the Golden-lion Tamarin and the Environment
Two "multiple response" questions were designed to determine how audiences
receive environmental information. One question focused on examining where people
get information specific to the golden lion tamarin. The other question looked at sources
of information about general nature issues. Respondents chose their preferred sources of
information from two lists, each presenting 14 different options.
Sources of Information about the Golden-lion Tamarin
Table 16 shows relevant sources of information about the golden-lion tamarin and
the changes in frequency within the two specific points in time. Overall, there were
increases in the frequency of responses for most of the referred sources.
The source of information with the highest percentage change was that of printed
media (newspapers and magazine) with a significant increase in frequency from 16% in
1986 to 64% in 2001. A greater proportion of respondents, however, mentioned
television as their main source of environmental information, a response that increased in
frequency from 52% in 1986 to 95% in 2001. Radio also increased as a source of
information, although not as sharply as the other media. Figure 4 illustrates the increase
in responses related to media sources of information between the survey years.
Significant increases occurred for various sources of information related to the
environmental education program. The frequency of responses indicating the usage of
environmental education materials such as posters and brochures increased from 43% in
1986 to 73% in 2001 (Table 16). People mentioning t-shirts with tamarin pictures as
information sources increased in frequency from 29% in 1986 to 69% in 2001.
Affirmative replies related to environmental education activities such as school classes
provided by the project also increased considerably from 8% in 1986 to 43% in 2001.
Furthermore, more people in 2001 reported having heard or seen the golden lion tamarin
by watching educational movies. Further educational activities that had significant
increases in frequency of replies from 1986 to 2001 were: excursions to visit the tamarin
and the community meetings organized by the program. Figure 5 illustrates the sources
of information related to environmental education that demonstrated significant increases
from 1986 to 2001.
Less people reported having received information about the tamarin from a street
parade (8% in 1986 to 4% in 2001). This was expected as this event was only done in the
initial phase of the program. Annual reports from 1992 to 2000 reported no occurrences
of parades. The educational activities that reported a non-significant change were the
mobile exhibits and the play about the tamarin.
Sources of information unrelated to the activities of the EE program also reported
significant increases in 2001, such as visits to the zoo and talking to other people about
the golden lion tamarin. In regards to other people, participants in the 2001 survey, in
contrast to those in 1986, responded that adults (5% in 1986 and 75% in 2001), not
children, were the ones who most frequently shared information about the tamarin (Table
Sources of Information about the Environment
For sources of information on the environment, television emerged as the source
with the highest significant increase from 36% in 1986 to 89% in 2001 (Table 17).
Smaller significant increases were also reported in 2001 for printed media
(newspapers/magazines) and for radio. Figure 6 shows the increase in frequency of
response for media sources of information on nature from 1986 to 2001.
Results indicated that environmental education activities have had a positive
impact on survey participants as information sources about nature. Educational
materials, such as posters and brochures had one of the highest significant frequency
changes as a source of information about nature (from 11% to 56% in 2001) (Table 17).
Also, a significantly higher percentage of people in 2001 considered classes in schools
(47%), presentations (29%), excursions (5%) and exhibits (9%) as sources of information
about nature. A comparison between the years for the various sources of information
about nature related to environmental education is displayed in Figure 7. In addition, a
higher percentage of people in 2001 reported receiving information from educational
movies and from visiting parks.
Other sources of information that had a significant change in frequency were
specifically related to talking to certain groups of people. From 1986 to 2001, talking to
friends increased in frequency from 31% to 55%, talking to own children increased from
8% to 28%, and talking with program technicians rose from 4% to 12% (Table 17).
An information source about nature that presented a significant decrease in
frequencies between survey years was that of nature observing. Response frequencies
decreased from 53% in 1986 to 42% in 2001 (Table 17).
Other Relevant Information
Questions added to the 2001 questionnaires assessed information about some
elements of the program that did not exist in 1986. One of the questions related to the
existence, location and purpose of the AMLD. The association was legally created in
1993 as a non-governmental organization to represent the golden-lion tamarin project.
Of 352 people questioned, 55% had heard of the name and acronym of the Associacgo
Mico-ledo Dourado (AMLD), 50% identified its correct location and 48% gave a correct
purpose for the organization (Appendix B). Additionally, respondents were asked if they
had visited the education center in the AMLD headquarters. Only 14% of the sample
population responded they had visited the education center (Table 18). The analysis of
the performance of these respondents in the overall index score indicated that their mean
of knowledge about the tamarin was significantly higher than for those people who had
not visited the environmental education center (Table 19). Those who had visited the
center answered in average 6 (66%) out of 9 of the answers correctly, while those who
had never been there answered about half of the questions correctly.
Other questions asked participants about the Uni.o Reserve, a federal biological
reserve created in 1998 that houses several tamarin families. Of all the survey
participants, 33% had heard of this reserve, but only 24% answered its correct location.
As expected, most people who claimed to have heard about it lived in towns closer to this
reserve, such as Casimiro de Abreu, Prof Souza and Rio Dourado (Table 20).
Two additional questions asked participants if they had ever heard of the concepts
of forest corridor and ecotourism. Most had not heard of either. Only 10% had heard of
forest corridor and 23% had heard of ecotourism. Out of those who had heard of these
concepts, 51% defined forest corridor correctly and 81% answered the correct definition
for ecotourism (Table 18).
Focus Group Response
The purpose of the focus groups in this study was to collect information that
would provide a deeper context and explanation of the survey results. Although there
were only three participants in two of the focus groups conducted in the larger
communities of Silva Jardim and Casimiro de Abreu, the collected information still
contributed to a deeper understanding of local people's awareness and support generated
by the environmental education program. Focus group questions are provided in
Appendix C. Below, I describe each focus group, and provide selected contributions
relevant to this study. I divided the focus group results into two categories: focus groups
in smaller towns and focus groups in larger towns.
Focus Groups in the Two Smaller Communities
Rural community of Professor Souza
This focus group had 12 participants involved. Although more people
participated in this than any other focus groups, some participants (5) were not parents of
students, but students themselves attending adult classes. The other 7 participants were
parents of the local 5th grade students who had received invitations to participate. The
group included 10 women and 2 men, nine of who had been raised in the region. Three
women had been living in town for at least 4 years. Five participants attended school
until 7th grade, while three finished 8th grade and two finished high school. One person
had a 3rd grade education, another had never attended classes and one person declined to
answer. Participants' age ranged from 21 -45 years old.
During introductions, I asked people to introduce the person sitting at their side as
an animal typical of the region. Only five participants used the names of local animals,
while the rest named exotics or domestic animals.
When asked to talk about their experience in the forest, everyone responded they
had been in the woods before. Two people said they went in to harvest resources such as
wood or hearts of palm. Another person talked about how currently there is not much
forest nearby, and all that is left is pasture. A fourth person added that in the past, most
destinations she walked to were along wooded paths, but now there are only a few left.
In imagining that the forest from the region had been cut down and the
consequences of that, one person began by saying it would change the weather patterns,
while another added that pollution would increase and someone else said the supply of
water would diminish. A woman spoke of the collapse of a retaining wall due to
deforestation which consequently affected the water supply system. She also said that
water became scarce because the water company did not build a system adequate to the
current population. A woman responded to this by saying that "nobody is to blame" and
another woman agreed saying that "the lack of water is everywhere [referring to the water
supply system] and the lack of rain is probably due to deforestation."
There was also some discussion about the theme of federal environmental laws.
After introducing the topic, one person agreed with the current laws of environmental
protection, while another said that the laws are weak, adding that there should be more
vigilance and support, as well as more advertisement on television and more work to
raise awareness, beginning with schools. A third person also agreed with the weakness of
law enforcement as he shared the story of how he had eaten bush meat in the house of a
local forestry policeman.
When asked what they imagine when they see the AMLD logo, most people
mentioned they think of the golden lion tamarin, and at least four people said they think
about the need for protection of animals and nature. Two other participants talked about
the danger of extinction. In the words of one person, the logo "reminds me [that the
animal] is in danger of extinction and it is the symbol of animals that are in the verge of
Rural community of Imbau
In the rural community of Imbau, seven participants joined the focus group,
although one had to leave in the middle of the session. All participants were parents of
the local school's 5th grade students. Six were women and one was a man, all of whom
were between the ages of 32 and 40 years old. Two participants had formal education up
to the 4th grade, while three people had completed high school and one person had
completed college. All of the participants were raised in the region.
When asked to imagine what would happen if all the local forest was gone, one
participant described the following: "water supply would decrease as well as clean air."
Other participants declared that by having the forest around, "there is less trash", "people
are healthier and there is no pollution in the air." Furthermore, they all agreed that nature
smelled better than the burnt oil and smoke common in larger cities.
When they saw the picture of the tamarin (Figure 8) and were asked to relate what
they knew about this animal, everyone in this group said they had heard of the tamarin
and at least four had seen it in the wild. One person shared her experience of watching a
video about the tamarin in the university she attended. She remembered that the message
of the video was that "the survival of the golden lion tamarin in the wild helps preserve
the forest." Another participant added that he usually saw people from the project come
feed the monkeys in a forest near town.
When I showed the AMLD logo (Figure 9) and asked the group to talk about what
they thought when seeing the drawing, most of the participants said it reminded them of
the animal itself as well as a call for protection. Three people stated that the logo gives
them the image of family protection, because the "mother is protecting its offspring."
This perception of protection seemed to be translated in the minds of these participants
into protection of the species itself. As one participant put it, "it reminds me of
preserving the tamarin family." Another person also mentioned that the image the logo
transmits is of "nature, the reserve, and a call for help."
Focus Group in the Two Larger Communities
Urban community of Casimiro de Abreu
Four women participated in this discussion; however, only one really contributed.
All participants were parents of students in the local elementary school. One of the
women brought her toddler, who took most of her attention in the meeting. The other
woman was quiet and did not say much, while the fourth woman arrived thirty minutes
into the session. They were between the ages of 21 and 40 years old. One woman
attended school for only one year, another attended it for five years and a third finished
eight years of school. Only one had attended college. Two of the women had not been
raised in the region, but had been living there for at least 7 years.
When asked to imagine that all the forest in the region had disappeared, one
participant said it would impact people's lives because, "we need the green, the forests. ..
it will get hotter and water will disappear." The other two agreed and one woman added,
"everything is already drying up."
In talking about the reserve, one woman mentioned that although there is
visitation to the education center in the reserve, she does not think many people know
about it. She went further in saying that there should be more advertisement for the
visitor center. She added, "For people to protect, they have to know about it. It doesn't
help to talk only about protecting the golden-lion tamarin. People protect more if they are
aware and if they can participate. There is a nice gate [for the entrance of the AMLD],
but there is no sign advertising the education center." This same participant also added
that she thinks there should always be someone to monitor people's visits. She said,
"When I visited, more than 10 years ago, someone guided me. ... I was even more
interested to know about the tamarin. It is important to orient and raise people's
awareness and allow them access to information."
In talking about what they imagine when seeing the AMLD logo, one woman said
she imagined an area of environmental protection for the golden-lion tamarins as well as
a population reproducing freely in their natural habitat. The others nodded in agreement.
Urban community of Silva Jardim
Three women, all mothers of the school students to whom I had sent invitations,
attended this discussion. Two of the women were 44 years of age and the third was 40.
Only one had been raised in the region; the other two had been in the region for at least
two years. Two of them had a 5th grade level education and the other had completed 6th
In imagining that all the forest in the region had disappeared, one woman said
nothing would happen, while the other two said that the destruction would bring health
problems and pollution to the region.
A general theme discussed in this focus group but not in the previous ones, was
the law against hunting. All three agreed with the law and one participant added that it
was, "right to put hunters in prison." Another woman mentioned that IBAMA should
have more meetings with the general population to help everyone understand what is
legal and what is not. She also agreed with the existing laws and added; "animals should
be free for the next generations to enjoy them."
When asked to identify and talk about the golden lion tamarin, all three women
recognized the animal and contributed information about its diet and social composition.
One woman said tamarins like bananas and another said it also eats fruits in general. All
three agreed that it is an animal that prefers to live in a family unit although they did
not specify how many. None of them had ever visited the education center at the reserve
nor had ever seen the animal live, but they had seen it on TV. One women stated, and the
other two agreed, that visiting the reserve should be limited because people would
In regards to what they imagine when seeing the AMLD logo, one woman
mentioned that she thinks of an "oppressed animal that is afraid of people." Another
woman said she thinks "they should be free just as we are free and they have the same
privilege to have a family as we, humans do." They all mentioned seeing the logo on the
VW vans of the AMLD program.
Limitations of Study
The limitations to this study include: the sampling method of the 1986 study, the
questionnaire instrument, and the longitudinal aspect of this research.
The sampling for surveys with adults in the 1986 evaluation followed a non-
probability sampling design of relying on subject availability. This sampling method
does not permit any control over the representation of a sample and may create biased
results (Babbie 2001). Furthermore, adults interviewed in 1986 were not the same as the
ones interviewed in 2001 because there were no records about the previous participants.
Surveying the same participants would have generated stronger results since it would be
possible to directly measure individual levels of support and knowledge.
Another limitation was to have used the same questionnaire for the 2001 study.
This was a necessary condition as questions had to be compared and analyzed for
changes in knowledge and beliefs. However, the 1986 questionnaire was designed to
evaluate activities occurring in the first two or three years of the program, not within
fifteen years of activity. Furthermore, questions should have covered attitudinal and
behavioral changes more appropriately, through scales rather than using open-ended
questions and just yes/no answers. Furthermore, a few of the questions in the earlier
questionnaire were difficult to analyze objectively, such as the qualitative open-ended
questions and the nominal types of questions.
The main limitation that affects the internal validity of this design is its
longitudinal aspect. The 15 years in between surveys makes it extremely difficult to
control for certain external impacts influencing the program's target audience, such as
influences of the mass media (TV, radio and newspapers) or of historical events (i.e., the
environmental movement) (Fink and Kosecoff 1982). In addition, many educational
strategies were developed over those 15 years, modified in the light of further research,
baseline evaluation, and the availability of funds. Through this research design, it was
impossible to control for confounding variables, such as the Rio Conference of 1992,
mass media influences or changes in the strategy of the program.
One extra limitation of this study was that it was conducted with 6 communities
surrounding the Biological Reserve Poco das Antas in Rio de Janeiro; thus, it may not
reflect the beliefs and knowledge of people from other geographic regions or other
Table 1. List of survey indicators of belief
Indicators Statements/ Questions
1986 and 2001 Surveys 1. The golden lion tamarin is an important animal
2. What is the importance of the golden-lion tamarin? (open-ended question)
Beliefs about the GLT 3. A little monkey should be left undisturbed if found in the woods
and its conservation 4. A bird should be left undisturbed if found in the woods
5. An alligator should be left undisturbed if found in the woods
6. A paca should be left undisturbed if found in the woods
7. A snake should be left undisturbed if found in the woods
8. Wild animals do not disturb human activities
9. Forests bring benefits
10. What is the benefit the forest brings? (open-ended questions)
Table 2. List of survey indicators of knowledge
1986 and 2001 Surveys 1. Recognition of the picture of the golden-lion tamarin
2. Identification of its correct name
Knowledge about the 3. Awareness that GLTs are found in this county
golden lion tamarin 4. Awareness that GLTs are only found in this state
5. Knowledge that GLTs prefer lowland forest habitats
6. Knowledge that GLTs prefer to live with a mate and offspring
7. Knowledge that there are 500 (in 1986) to 1000 (in 2001) tamarins
currently living in the wild
8. Identification of correct location of the Poco das Antas Biological Reserve
9. Knowledge of correct purpose for the Poco das Antas Biological Reserve
1. Identification of at least one local animal in danger of extinction
2. Understanding that deforestation disturbs the health of soils and the quantity
of available water
3. Awareness that deforestation is a problem in the region
4. Knowledge of existence of a federally protected area in the region
1. Identification of the AMLD acronym
2. Knowledge of the location of the AMLD
3. Knowledge of the purpose of the AMLD
4. Awareness about the existence of the Uniao reserve
5. Knowledge of the location of the Uniao reserve
6. Awareness and understanding of ecotourism concept
7. Awareness and understanding of forest corridor concept
Table 3. Demographic summary comparison of selected variables, 1986 2001
1986 (1) 2001 (2) Sig. Test df Sig
Age Mean 38.1 S.D=16.2 41.45 S.D.=16 t=-2.67 664 **
in the county
Casimiro de Abreu
< than 5 years
between 5 and 15 years
more than 15 years
1 to 8 years
9 to 11 years
some college or above
** Significant frequency difference values at the < .01 level
aNote: Total N for education variable was slightly smaller (313
and 350 respectively); 3 people chose not to respond
Table 4. Selected beliefs about nature and the golden-lion tamarin, 1986 2001 surveys
Selected indicators of beliefs (1) 1986
1. The golden lion tamarin is an important animal 83%
2. Would not disturb monkey if found it in the woods 75%
3. Wild animals are not harmful to human activities 85%
4. The forest brings benefits to people 89%0
* Significant frequency difference values at the < .05 level.
** Significant frequency difference values at the < .01 level
Table 5. Importance given to golden lion tamarins (grouped by topic), 1986 2001 surveys
Coded response statements 1986 n 2001 n (2) (1) Xi2
a.human needs 78% 91 48% 79 -30.0% 26.0 **
b.environment 26% 26 52% 90 26.0%
N= 117 N= 172
** Significant frequency difference values at the < .01 level
Table 6. Percentage of respondents that say they would not disturb animal if found it in
(1) 1986 n (2)2001 n (2)- (1) Xi2
a monkey 75% 306 91% 345 16% 27.4 **
a bird 73% 310 75% 347 2% 0.59
a snake 36% 274 59% 351 23% 32.9 **
a paca 64% 307 91% 350 27% 72.4 **
a caiman 82% 299 94% 352 12% 24.2 **
** Significant difference values at p < .01 level.
Table 7. Forest benefits identified (grouped by topic), 1986 2001 surveys.
Coded topic statement 1986 n 2001 n (2) (1) X12
Products/services to humans 12% 30 5% 14 -7% 8.2 **
Nature conservation 88% 220 95% 262 7%
N= 256 N= 276
* Significant difference values at p < .01 level.
Table 8. Selected indicators of specific knowledge about the golden-lion tamarin, 1986 2001 surveys
Selected Indicators of Specific Knowledge 1986 n 2001 n (2)-(1) X12
1. Identified picture of golden lion tamarin (GLT) 80% 313 75% 351 -5% 2.1
2. Identified correct name of GLT 68% 249 94% 265 26% 55.4 **
3. GLT lives in this region 81% 242 90% 264 9% 8.5 *
4. GLT prefers lowland forest habitat 47% 245 44% 261 -3% 0.5
5. GLT prefers to live with mate and offspring 53% 250 33% 263 -20% 21.1 **
6. Identification of correct number of GLTs living in the wild 68% 130 36% 206 -32% 32.7 **
7. GLTs are found only in the state of Rio de Janeiro 51% 246 67% 264 16% 13.2 **
8. Correct location of Poco das Antas Biological Reserve 97% 171 97% 288 0% 0.0
9. Correct purpose for the Poco das Antas Biological Reserve 90% 174 97% 254 7% 9.6 *
Extra Q.- Identified the tamarin logo correctly 30% 94 57% 201 27% 49.6 **
Significant frequency difference values at the < .05 level.
** Significant frequency difference values at the < .01 level
Table 9. Selected indicators of general knowledge about environmental issues, 1986 2001 surveys
Selected Indicators of General Knowledge
1. Protected area to conserve animals and plants exists nearby
2. Correct identification of local animals in danger of extinction
3. Deforestation dries out and weakens the soil
4. Deforestation is a current problem in this area
** Significant frequency difference values at the< .01 level
(1) 1986 n (2) 2001 n (2)-(1)
75% 314 86% 352 11%
28% 312 32% 350 4%
94% 218 93% 320 -1%
78% 278 78% 338 0%
Table 10. Cronbach alpha values for belief and knowledge about the golden lion tamarin (glt), 1986 -2001 surveys.
knowledge about glt
cf =627.7, p .159
knowledge about the environment
Means 2.11 2.45
S.D. 1.01 0.72
N 314 352
t=-4.78, df 560, p<.01
Table 11. Means for the index of knowledge about the golden lion tamarin (glt) and
nature, 1986 2001 surveys.
Indexes # of items 1986 n 2001 n
belief about the glt 4 0.2 173 0.19 231
knowledge about environment 4 0.45 278 0.31 338
knowledge about the glt 9 0.82 311 0.79 351
Table 12. Index of knowledge specific to the GLT- Individual b-coefficients and
variance, 1986 2001 surveys
Year of Study
Mean S.D. B Mean S.D. B
Constant 2.82 3.19
Education 0 years (reference) 2.7 2.2 3.5 2.5
1 to 8 years 4.6 2.7 1.28* 5 2.5 1.27*
9 to 11 years 6.2 2 2.52* 5.5 2 1.91*
12 years or more 7.4 1.1 3.66* 7 1.3 3.05*
Sex Female (reference) 4.3 2.8 4.3 2.5
Male 5.2 2.5 0.81* 5.5 2.2 1.33*
Age (in years) 38 15.7 -0.000 41.5 2.5 -0.001
Place Smaller towns (reference 3.8 2.9 4.5 2.5
Larger towns 4.9 2.7 0.68* 5.1 2.4 0.43
Years in 14.2 13.7 .000 17.7 12.5 0.001
R2 0.151 0.127
N 310 351
* Significant difference values at p < .05 level.
Table 13. Means of self-reported use of mass media by gender, 1986 2001 surveys
Gender Year Mean SD n independent sampled t-test
Men 1986 0.86 0.94 119 t -6.6, df 272, p< .001
2001 1.6 1 169
Women 1986 0.84 0.99 195 t= -3.5, df= 368, p < .001
2001 1.2 1 183
Table 14. Mass media sources of information by gender, 1986 2001 surveys
Table 15. Index of knowledge about environmental issues- Individual b-coefficients and
variance, 1986 2001 Surveys
Year of Study
Mean S.D. B Mean S.D. B
Education none (reference)
1 to 8 years
9 to 11 years
12 years or more
Sex Female (reference)
Age (in years)
Place Small town (reference)
38 15.6 .005
2.6 0.6 0.32*
41.5 16.1 -.000
14.2 13.7 -.01*
17.7 12.5 -.000
* Significant difference values at p < .05 level.
Table 16. Sources of information about glt, 1986 2001 surveys
Source of Information
% Pt Change
* Significant frequency difference values at the < .05 level.
** Significant frequency difference values at the < .01 level
Note: Due to multiple responses, columns do not sum to 100%
Table 17. Sources of information about the environment, 1986 2001 surveys
Source of Information
Total Cases N=314 N=350
* Significant frequency difference values at the < .05 level.
** Significant frequency difference values at the < .01 level.
Note: Due to multiple responses, columns do not sum to 100%
Tablel8. Other Relevant Information responses for 2001 questionnaire only
Abreviated topic statement Percentage n N
Have heard of Uniao reserve 33% 116 352
Gave correct location of Uniao reserve 24% 82 352
Have heard of AMLD 55% 191 352
Correct location of AMLD 50% 110 352
Correct purpose for AMLD 48% 104 352
Have visited the AMLD education center 14% 48 350
Have heard of forest corridor 10% 35 352
Gave correct definition of forest corridor 51% 19 352
Have heard of ecotourism 23% 82 352
Correct definition of ecotourism 81% 66 352
Table 19. Mean for the index of knowledge between those who visited and those who
did not visit the environmental education center, survey 2001
Knowledge of Visitors X Non-visitors
visited not visited
Means 6.12 4.75
SD 2.01 2.5
n 48 301
t=-4.2, df 71.9, p< 0.001
Table 20. Percentage of people who heard of Reserva Uniao by communities, survey
Communities Percentage n N
Casimiro de Abreu 43% 50 113
Prof Souza 10% 12 25
Rio Dourado 19% 22 32
Silva Jardim 18% 21 119
Aldeia Velha 9% 10 32
Imbau 1% 1 30
N total= 351
c- <*- *
RIO DE ANRO
Rio de Janero
* Area of occurrence of the golden lion tamarin.
Figure 1. Map of the area of occurrence of the golden lion tamarin (Adapted from a
drawing by Steve Nash).
** significant difference at p < .01 level
Figure 2. Responses about importance of golden-lion tamarin,
1986 2001 surveys
** significant difference at p < .01 level
Figure 3. Percentage of respondents saying they would not disturb animal if found in
significant difference at p < .05 level.
Television Radio Printed media
sources of information
Figure 4. Media sources of information about the golden-lion tamarin, 1986 2001
** significant difference values at p < .01 lev
sources of information
Figure 5. Sources of information related to environmental
education, 1986 2001
** significant difference values at p < .01 level
47%** O(1) 1986
sources of information
Figure 6. Sources of information about nature related to media, 1986 2001 Surveys
significant frequency difference values at the .05 le
** significant difference values at p < .01 level
S^47%** 0(1) 1986
31% 29%** (2) 2001
sources of information
Figure 7. Sources of information about nature related to environmental education, 1986 -
Figure 8. Picture of the golden-lion tamarin used in the surveys
Figure 9. AMLD Logo used in the surveys and focus groups
Currently, the population of golden-lion tamarins in the wild is 1,000 animals, a
considerable recovery from the 200 thought to exist in the wild in the 1970s (AMLD
2000). Much of this success is due to the conservation strategy coordinated by the
Golden-lion Tamarin Association and its national and international partner organizations.
Although the program in its entirety has achieved many positive results, there is still
much to accomplish. A critical goal of the program is to have enough adequate forests
for the tamarin population to reach the naturally sustainable size of 2,000 animals in the
wild by the year 2025. As the tamarin population increases, they need more space
suitable for their basic needs in order to protect against inbreeding, disease, unpredictable
natural disasters and human disturbances. Part of the AMLD's strategy to accomplish
this goal is to support an environmental education program to "increase public awareness
and involvement in the conservation of golden lion tamarins and their habitat" (AMLD
This study investigated the long-term impact of the AMLD's environmental
education program on the people living near the reserve by determining the level of
beliefs and knowledge regarding the golden-lion tamarin and its habitat. The hypothesis
of this study was partially confirmed. Results revealed the occurrence of a positive shift
in local support towards the conservation of the golden lion tamarin and an increase in
knowledge about the environment. On the other hand, levels of knowledge about the
tamarin did not increase as expected. Analysis suggested some increase in general
knowledge but no change in overall knowledge about the tamarin. Although it was
impossible to determine the causality of these results due to the longitudinal nature of this
research and the various external factors that have been at play, the results of this study
still provide program accountability and recommendations that may contribute to
improve program delivery.
The similarities within socio-demographic characteristics of the sampled
population, such as locality of residence and years living in the county, strengthened the
comparison between the two datasets. The number of participants from large towns and
those from small towns along with the number of years participants were living in the
region were similar across datasets. These were important items to control for
similarities since differences would have created biases in the results. Although
differences in gender and education were found, these were expected. The gender
difference between the two datasets was deliberately created in attempts of generating
less bias within the 2001 sample population. The education differences were also
expected since educational levels of the general population in the area increased
throughout these years (IBGE 2000). In general, there were no major significant
differences between the sample populations.
I discuss the results of this study by first conferring the support for the AMLD
program based on the responses for the individual belief questions. Next, I discuss
results of the analysis of individual knowledge items and of the regression analysis
between the composite knowledge score and socio-demographic variables. Finally, I
discuss the results indicating the impact of the different sources of information on the
sample population over time.
Support for the Conservation of the Golden-lion Tamarin
The results of this study revealed significant increases on several indicators of
beliefs held by local people regarding the golden-lion tamarin and its habitat. Individual
analysis for the indicators of beliefs demonstrated an increase in belief supporting the
conservation of the golden-lion tamarin and its habitat. In the 1986 survey, there was no
evidence of negative beliefs towards these primates, and as the 2001 results demonstrate,
positive beliefs towards the tamarin and its habitat have strengthened. Out of the ten
belief indicators used in this study, eight had a positive significant increase and two
showed no change. The significant increase in the percentage of most of these indicators
suggests a greater local support for conservation of the golden-lion tamarin and its
Results demonstrated a significant increase in the percentage of people who
believe tamarins are important. Of those who indicated they valued the tamarin in 2001,
there was an increase in the percentage of people who believed tamarins are valuable for
more fundamental reasons like its environmental importance or for the "preservation of
nature" rather than for human needs, such as for its "use in tourism" or "for people's
pleasure." Additionally, among those who identified forest benefits, there was an
increase in the 2001 survey, in responses of benefits relating to "nature conservation,"
rather than relating the benefits to "products and services to humans." There was also a
significant percentage increase in 2001 of people believing that the tamarin and a few
other animals, such as a paca, a caiman and even a snake, should be left undisturbed in
their native habitat. Wild animals in general were also perceived to have less impact on
human activities in 2001 than in 1986. These results strengthen indications reported by
Dietz et al (1994) of the importance of the golden lion tamarin as a flagship species in
conserving other local species and its habitat.
The increase in people's positive perceptions towards the tamarin and its habitat
were significant for most of the belief indicators. Focus group results also supported
participant's convictions about the importance to protect the surrounding forests in order
to maintain a healthy environment for the tamarin, for people and for future generations.
These results strengthen earlier indications that tamarins may be effective conservation
symbols in raising pride about the habitats where they live (Dietz and Nagagata 1995;
Padua et al. 2002).
Knowledge about the Golden-lion Tamarin and the Environment
The analysis of knowledge about the golden-lion tamarin and its habitat presented
mixed results that are discussed below.
Individual Indicators of Knowledge
The analysis of individual indicators allowed a closer inspection of the kind of
information people know today in comparison to what they knew in 1986. Out of
thirteen knowledge questions, knowledge increased for 5 of the questions, decreased for 2
and did not change for 7.
The five indicators that reported a significant increase in knowledge between
1986 and 2001, included: (1) the common name of the tamarin; (2) if tamarins are found
in the region; (3) the state where tamarins are found; (4) the correct purpose for the Pogo
das Antas Biological Reserve and (5) if there is a biological reserve in the area. All of
these questions relate to a general level of information about the tamarin and its habitat.
The only indicator in this category that did not increase in frequency was whether people
recognized the tamarin from a picture. About three quarters of the sample population
identified the tamarin from a picture in both 1986 and 2001. Although this is still at a
high level of recognition, it was surprising that it did not increase from 1986. For the
respondents that identified the tamarin correctly, the positive results indicate a greater
general level of knowledge about the tamarin.
Questions that reported a decrease in knowledge included what is the social
family structure of the tamarin, and what is the number of tamarins currently living in the
wild. These questions required knowledge more specific to the biology and conservation
of the tamarin population. Knowing that tamarins live in pairs with a few offspring is an
important piece of information that helps people understand the amount of territory
needed to sustain a healthy population of tamarins. Regarding the numbers of tamarins in
the wild, although a public communications campaign celebrating the birth of the 1000th
tamarin had been launched two months before the onset of the survey, data showed that
only 36% of the respondents knew the correct number of tamarins living in the wild.
Being aware of the current number of wild tamarins is essential for involving people in
the work to achieve the project's goal of having a sustainable tamarin population in the
Research on public knowledge has usually indicated low scores of knowledge
about the environment (Pyrovetsi & Daoutopoulos 1999, Gambro and Switzky 1996,
Zimmermann 1996, Holl et al. 1995, Arcury and Christianson 1993, Arcury and Johnson
1987, Buethe 1985, Berroa and Roth 1985, Kellert 1980). Kuhlemeier et.al (1999) has
also reported low levels of environmental knowledge in a study of a sample of students
from secondary schools in the United States. In general, the current analysis indicated
that knowledge about the golden lion tamarin might be increasing in regards to questions
on general information about the tamarin, while decreasing or not changing for more
questions on more specific types of information. This indicates that more attention needs
to be placed on effectively communicating information specific to tamarin biology and
The analyses of the indices of knowledge demonstrated that people responded
correctly to at least half of the questions in both 1986 and 2001 on facts about the tamarin
and the local environment. Comparison of the knowledge indices between 1986 and
2001 showed a significant increase in the means for knowledge of environmental issues,
but not for the knowledge about the tamarin. The significant change in one index but not
in the other was a surprising result. The AMLD environmental education program has
been providing information about local environmental issues and about the tamarin and
its habitat for the past 18 years, thus it was expected that if one knowledge index
increased, the other would increase as well. This result may have occurred due to the
impact of external factors, such as the influences of mass media, which may cover more
frequently information concerning the local environment than the tamarin specifically.
This study could not control for confounding variables such as this.
Associations Between Knowledge Indices and Socio-demographic Variables
The socio-demographic elements of a population are essential indicators of the
lifestyles, interests, and receptivity of people; thus, they are important variables in
defining, designing and evaluating environmental education programs (Berroa and Roth,
1985). Knowing the differences among groups in environmental support and knowledge
can help segment audiences and thereby improve the quality of environmental education
programs. Identifying the differences among groups of people can inform the
practitioner about groups' interests and concerns to better target environmental education
and to understand any resistance to the program (Arcury and Christianson 1993, Berroa
and Roth 1985).
The strength of the relationship between knowledge and the demographic
variables was not very strong for either regression (Table 12 and Table 13). The weak
strength of both regressions was expected because in the real world the pattern between
variables is more disordered and complex than in a controlled environment, which
reduces the amount of variance that explains an association (Agresti and Finlay 1997).
The R2 for the knowledge about the tamarin was similarly low for both years 15% in
1986 and 13% fifteen years later (Table 12). A review of studies that similarly used
demographic variables showed small values of variance explained in the support of
environmental protection (R2 = 15% andl6%) (Lowe and Pinhey 1982); in rural-urban
differences in environmental concern (R2= 9% and 15%) (Freudenburg & McGinn 1987);
sex differences in environmental concern and knowledge (R2= 3%, 5%, 7%, 16%)
(Arcury et al. 1987), and in the social bases of environmental concern over 17 years (R2
range from 7% to 13%) (Jones and Dunlap 1992).
The regressions showed a few interesting associations between respondent's
socio-demographic variables and their level of knowledge about the tamarin and about
environmental issues. The strongest association was between education and knowledge,
which was virtually linear for both samples and for both indices. Knowledge about the
tamarin had a stronger linear relationship with education than knowledge of
environmental issues. From the results, we can conclude that education is a statistically
significant predictor of both knowledge indices in both years. Thus, the more educated
people are, the more they know about the golden lion tamarin and about local
Education is an important variable to help people understand environmental issues
and conservation messages. The more educated the person, the more they will
understand information and media messages or the more curious they will be in learning
about an issue. In a study of residents of a river basin in Kentucky, Arcury and
Christianson (1993) found that the greatest variation in environmental knowledge was
due to different levels of education and income. Furthermore, based on the findings of a
study of environmentally responsible behavior in secondary school teachers, researchers
found that knowledge and skills were powerful predictors of responsible environmental
behavior (Hsu and Roth 1988). Education has been found to have positive associations
with environmental knowledge in other studies as well (Brothers et al. 1991, Arcury
1990, Caron 1989, Arcury and Johnson 1987, Lovirich et al. 1986). It is easy to
understand why people with less education know less about the tamarin, since formal
education facilitates learning and motivates people to become better informed.
Another predictor of knowledge was the gender of the respondent. Findings show
that even after controlling for other factors, men knew more about the tamarin and the
local environment than women in both 1986 and 2001. Sex differences in knowledge
may be due to various factors, such as men's tendency of doing more outdoor activities
than women (Duda and Young 1993), or that men and women may see and attend to
different media. In fact, by examining the influences of the mass media by gender, it was
noted that in the 2001 sample, men reported to have higher use of mass media than
women. Another possible reason for gender differences in ecological knowledge may be
associated with the time spent and the experiences acquired while fishing, bird watching,
or enjoying nature (Tarrant et al.1997, Newhouse 1989). Further research with focus on
the gender issue is recommended to explore the possible local causes of why women
displayed less knowledge about the tamarin and the local environment.
Several studies have reported gender differences regarding environmental
knowledge. Berroa and Roth (1985) showed that females were less knowledgeable than
males about the existence of national parks in the Dominican Republic. Arcury et al
(1987) also found that males had greater knowledge than females about acid rain.
Appleson (1999) reported that women were less knowledgeable about the ecology of a
watershed basin in Florida. Likewise, in studies with universities or high-school
students, Kibert (2000), Hausbeck et al. (1992), Zimmermann (1996) and Gifford et al
(1982/83) reported that male students scored higher in environmental knowledge than
Respondent's place of residence was another variable associated with knowledge
about the tamarin and about local environmental issues. In the 1986 survey, people living
in larger towns had more knowledge about the local environment and about the tamarins
than people living in smaller towns. Fifteen years later, however, the variance was only
significant for knowledge about the environment. The change in significance for
knowledge about the tamarin suggests that there may have been a greater homogenization
of information about the tamarin from larger towns to smaller towns over the period.
This difference could be due to the program's focus in its earlier years of conducting
activities and campaigns in larger towns where the chances of spreading information to a
greater number of people were higher. Currently, the program has been focusing on
smaller towns in the surrounding area of the biological reserve (AMLD 2000).
Studies on the impacts of place of residence on environmental knowledge are
seldom found in the literature (Arcury and Christianson, 1993). Arcury and Christianson
(1993) performed a survey on this issue by measuring the association between
environmental knowledge and three different residence groups urban-metro, urban-
nonmetro and rural-nonmetro. They found that the more metropolitan and urban the
respondent, the higher their knowledge about the environment. However, when they
controlled for other socio-demographic factors, they found that education, income, age
and gender accounted for much of the variation in environmental knowledge. Thus,
compared to other variables, such as education and income, they concluded that place of
residence was not as important in explaining environmental knowledge. This also may
be true for this study, since place of residence lost its significance in 2001 and
respondents seemed to have become more homogeneous. Because the environmental
education program has expanded its activities to a larger area, this homogeneity in
knowledge could possibly be a result of the work of the program. Other external factors,
such as influences of television programs or the printed media also may be interfering in
Influences of television programs and printed media could also be a factor in
explaining why the regression for knowledge about nature reported a loss of significance
in knowledge between those living longer in the area with those living there for a shorter
period. As the Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Program has gone from a local
initiative to an internationally recognized model program, awareness of its purpose and
objectives has spread across the nation and abroad. Furthermore, television, newspaper
and magazine coverage of environmental issues have risen significantly across the world
(Hausbeck et al 1992, Ostman & Parker 1987). Thus, residents of areas near or far from
the biological reserve may have risen to similar levels of knowledge about environmental
issues (Pierce et al 1989).
Sources of Information about the Environment and the Golden-lion Tamarin
This study also determined the changes that occurred in the last fifteen years
among the sources of information from which people perceive to gather information
about the tamarin and the local environment.
The respondents in 2001 reported having heard about the golden-lion tamarin and
about the environment through a greater variety and number of sources than in 1986.
There was an increase in the number of reports for the mass media sources (television,
radio and printed media), for education materials and activities (posters, classes in school,
t-shirts, meetings, excursions, zoos), and from other people (technicians and friends).
Mass media continues to be the most popular source of information about the
tamarin and the local environment. Television is still the most mentioned source
information and its impact increased since 1986. Research shows that television is often
perceived as a source of environmental information for most people (Fortner and Mayer
1991, Brothers et al. 1991, Fortner and Lyon 1985). Television and newspapers have
been found to be the most frequently used media on a study done with New York
residents (Ostman and Parker 1986/87). A study by Brothers et al (1991) has also
showed that a news show broadcast was effective in increasing knowledge levels among
its viewers. Another interesting result was that printed media (newspapers and
magazines) had the highest percentage change from 1986 to 2001. This suggests an
increase in the influence of the printed media, which may have occurred due to an
increase in the coverage of local environmental issues. This positive impact could be the
result of a greater global interest on the environment, but could also be due to the local
presence of the AMLD. The environmental education program recognizes the power of
the media to transmit its environmental message and has been supporting and monitoring
articles and programs about the tamarin and its habitat that appear on television,
newspapers, magazines or radio (AMLD 2000).
Although mass media sources seem to have had a higher frequency of response,
there have also been significant large increases in the frequency of reporting sources
related to environmental education activities and materials supported by the program.
Posters were the third most mentioned source of information about the tamarin in 2001.
Classes in school, meetings, presentations and excursions also had significant increases.
This indicates people's awareness of the various activities and materials supported by the
program. Another indication of greater awareness about the program's activities is that
more than half of the survey participants had heard of the Golden-lion Tamarin
Association (AMLD) and knew of its location. During the focus groups, participants
recognized the logo of the organization and associated it with the conservation work to
protect the tamarin and its habitat. However, less than half of the survey participants gave
the correct purpose for the organization. One of the participants of the focus groups
stated that there is not enough advertising of the environmental education center in the
area or of the opportunities to visit.
More people in 2001 also reported having heard or seen the tamarin by watching
educational movies and by visiting parks. However, people seemed to have perceived
these questions differently than expected. Educational movies were understood as any
nature program on television, whereas the original intention of the survey was specific to
films. Visiting parks was perceived as any park (including zoos and city parks) whereas
the researchers meant national and state parks. These misunderstandings may have
created higher frequencies of responses for these categories. This reasoning also may
explain the discrepancy between the increase of the frequency of responses for visiting
parks, and the decrease for observing nature as a source of information about nature.
Less people responded they learned about nature by 'observing nature' in 2001.
This result may be indicative of the high levels of deforestation and the increase in the
urbanization of the local population that has occurred in the region in the past 20 years.
Since 1980, the population living in towns has become higher than the population living
in farms for both counties (IBGE 2000). Participants in the focus group indicated some
of this occurrence when mentioning the disappearance of nearby forested areas due to the
increase in urbanization levels.
Another source of information that decreased in frequency of response was the
parade, while exhibits and the play underwent no significant changes. The significant
decrease that occurred for the parade as a source of information was an expected result.
The AMLD annual reports (available since 1992) confirm that between 1992 and 2000,
the parade did not occur (AMLD 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996/97, 1998, 1999, 2000).
For the play, the non-significant change was also an expected result since it only occurred
3 times between 1992 and 2000. Regarding the exhibits, they occurred more frequently
(between 2 and 6 times a year), but reports state that Casimiro de Abreu and Silva Jardim
were the only towns from the ones surveyed where these exhibits occurred. In contrast,
for information about nature, the frequency of responses indicating exhibits as sources of
information actually increased.
In general, there is evidence that people currently acquire information about the
golden lion tamarin and its habitat from a greater number of sources through the media
and through the environmental education program. Studies have suggested that
continuity and repetition are two of the key elements identified in the success of
educational programs (Dwyer et al. 1993, De Young 1993). The identification of the most
successful sources of information should provide the AMLD program with indications of
the sources to continue using in future campaigns and activities.
Other Relevant Information
More than half of respondents recognized the AMLD name and knew of its
location; however, less than half were able to give the correct purpose for the
organization. The AMLD was created in 1992 to manage the golden-lion tamarin project
from Brazil; thus, local people in the area might not exactly know the name of the
organization managing the project, but are aware of the project itself. Furthermore, this
study reported that only 14% of respondents in 2001 had visited the education center,
which is housed in the AMLD headquarters. It is possible that if more people had visited
the center, there would be a greater awareness about the purpose of the AMLD and
knowledge about the golden lion tamarin and its habitat. In fact, the mean for the
knowledge score of those who had visited the center was significantly higher than of
those who had not visited. In other words, those who had visited the center knew more
about the tamarin than those that had never been there. The education center was
inaugurated in 1989 as a center to provide information about the golden-lion tamarin and
the reserve. Visitation is free and the center's location is easily accessible by car or by
public transportation since it abuts a major federal highway that crosses the region.
AMLD annual reports state that the education center exhibit has received more than
25,000 people, while the 2001 survey revealed that only 48 out of the 352 study
participants had visited the center. Thus, it seems that most of the visitors are students,
travelers or tourists, whereas local residents might have not had the opportunity to visit
the center or might have not had their interest triggered.
This study assessed public awareness about relevant environmental issues and
levels of support for the AMLD environmental education program from the period of
1986 and 2001. By comparing two sets of data that included respondents' sources of
information, beliefs and knowledge about the golden-lion tamarin and its habitat, we have
a better understanding of the long term impacts and the strong and weak elements of the
environmental education program. This should help strengthen management and
improve the environmental education program's contribution to the overall conservation
goal of increasing the survival chances for the tamarin population.
Results of this study demonstrate the program was partially successful in
achieving its stated goals and objectives of greater citizen awareness and public support.
This research provided positive indications of local support towards the conservation of
the golden lion tamarin and its habitat. Although the knowledge index score
demonstrated no change in knowledge about the tamarin, the analysis of individual
questions showed that knowledge is increasing in regards to general information, while
decreasing or not changing for content that is more specific. Additionally, people living
in smaller towns had similar knowledge levels about the golden lion tamarin as people
living in larger towns, in contrast to the 1986 study. Results also showed that education
is a strong and linear predictor of knowledge and that men were more knowledgeable
than women in 1986, and continued to be so in 2001.
Environmental education as a conservation strategy is a long term process that
aims to have a positive lasting impact on people's environmental responsible behavior.
Environmental education "emphasizes attitudes, values, skills, knowledge, motivation,
and participation to solve environmental problems" (Braus and Wood 1993, 7). It uses a
multitude of techniques such as, consciousness raising, skill building, and action oriented
activities in order to improve the relationship between humans and the environment. As
an interdisciplinary tool, environmental education draws on various disciplines to address
the complex issue of biodiversity conservation. It is a tool along with other tools that
helps move humans toward a more balanced approach to quality of life and quality of the
environment. As Jacobson (1995, xxiv) expresses, "Although education alone will not
solve environmental problems, effective education and communication programs are a
prerequisite for better natural resources management, and ultimately for safeguarding the
biosphere on which we all depend." Results of this evaluation demonstrated the
importance of an environmental education program in creating support for an endangered
species and its fragmented habitat. Evaluations are useful in providing insight into the
short and long term effects of environmental education programs and thus, in reporting
successes and improving the program's contributions to conservation.
With this information, new attempts that benefit from successful aspects of this
program and modifications of less effective features can be executed. Future
environmental education strategies should be even more successful in encouraging citizen
support and participation in environmental affairs, based on the recommendations that
Recommendation 1: Fill the gaps in knowledge about golden lion tamarins and
the importance of their rainforest habitat.
For effective conservation of the tamarin population to take place, it is important
to identify the information that reflects a basic understanding of the interrelationships
between tamarins and their environment. Research on public knowledge has usually
indicated low scores of knowledge about the environment (Arcury and Johnson 1987,
Buethe 1985). In this study, frequency distributions of individual knowledge items
revealed a lack of knowledge of specific information about the tamarin and there was no
increase in the knowledge index from 1986 to 2001.
Only 44% of respondents in 2001 knew that tamarins prefer to live in lowland
rainforest, a similar frequency of response as 15 years ago (47%) when the environmental
education program began communicating this kind of information in the surrounding
areas. Deforestation continues to be the largest threat for the golden lion tamarin
population (Padua et al 2002). Being aware of what is the habitat of the golden lion
tamarin is a crucial piece of information to help reduce even greater fragmentation of the
lowland forests of the region. Respondents to the 2001 survey also lacked knowledge
about the numbers of tamarins living in the wild as well as in identifying endangered
animals endemic to the area. A public grasp of this kind of information helps create the
support needed to strengthen conservation work.
Recommendation 2: Provide activities or materials targeted to specific audiences.
Enhanced understanding of the program's audience provides an opportunity for
environmental educators to develop focused programs through the selection of more
specialized content and media. One of the target audiences of the AMLD program is the
group of residents living in the towns surrounding the biological reserve. This study
indicated that subsets of the program's target audience, more specifically women and
people with lower levels of education, know less about the tamarin and its habitat. The
reasons why women are not obtaining information about the tamarin and the environment
should be further explored. As research and some of the results have indicated, men and
women may attend to different messages, media or activities. Environmental education
materials, messages or activities could be developed with a greater focus on women, with
more attention to their values and the places they frequent. Newspaper articles and TV
programs could be improved with more focus towards women, or informative materials
could be distributed to residences in order to reach women working at home.
Furthermore, the program could simplify some of the materials and activities in order to
reach the less educated audience.
Recommendation 3: Create opportunitiesfor the local public to have greater
participation and involvement in program activities.
Past research demonstrated that environmental experience is correlated with
increased ecological knowledge (Appelson 1999, Kellert 1984, Chaiken 1980) and that
local participation in projects has been correlated to overall project success (Jacobson and
McDuff 1997, Hewavitharana 1994, Finsterbusch and Van Wicklin 1987). Sociologists
agree that durable behavior change requires the use of techniques such as social
commitment, intrinsic behavior and supporting attitudes (Heberlein 1981). Citizen
participation in the education program may help create a greater social commitment to an
environmentally ethical behavior (O'Riordan 1976, Grieser 2001).
The project appears to have great potential to involve local people in a larger
scale, since it has been well established and is popularly known and liked. One way of
increasing local participation is to create a volunteer group that could help in the various
activities and stages of the program. Volunteers could become a great asset by adding to
the human resources capabilities and to the contact networks of the program. Creating
partnerships with either the local government or local businesses could offset some of the
constraints of having a volunteer group, such as providing transportation and giving
logistical back up.
Furthermore, activities that encourage experiences of learning by doing or in
which people get information on how to have a positive impact on the environment, such
as participating in projects of reforestation, community improvement, or supporting
commercialization of legal birds, could help expand levels of awareness and support
towards conservation. Research has also showed that promoting thoughtful, informed
positive behavior is more successful in changing a behavior than by focusing on stopping
negative behavior (Blanchard 1995). Changing a negative to a positive behavior that
endures requires the use of techniques such as social commitment, intrinsic behavior and
supporting attitudes (Heberlein 1981, De Young 1993). Moreover, becoming involved
stimulates the need to know (Carlson 1998) and learning is a social activity. Adults can
learn more when they have opportunities to share, discuss and work together (Newstrom
and Lengnick-Hall 1991).
By increasing the frequency of its community outreach with positive behavior
activities and of person-to-person and group activities, especially of hands-on
experiences, may help improve the environmental education program and its long-term
impacts in the region.
Recommendation 4: Provide greater opportunitiesfor visits to the education
center for local community members.
The educational center was renovated in 2000 and provides an excellent
opportunity for increasing awareness of the program's work in the region. In addition to
the information provided by the center, there is a nature trail in the back of the center
used frequently with school groups to provide them with a glimpse of the tamarin's
habitat. This area has been reforested, and tamarin groups can be frequently seen in the
area. This provides a chance for directly learning more about these animals and their
habitat. Our observations suggest that the education program might not be using these
resources to their full potential, since there were a small number of people who reported
having visited the center. Results of this study showed that respondents who had visited
the center had a significantly greater knowledge about the tamarin than those who had
The program could target local residents by organizing annual visits to the center
and possibly to the inside of the reserve or to another private reserve to see the tamarins.
This could become a good opportunity to perform environmental educational activities
and to gather further support for conservation. Partnerships with the local and federal
government as well as local or national businesses could help provide the needed funding
and legal support. Nature centers need to do more than just exhibit ecological principles,
as Monroe (1983) suggested through her work with nature centers: "they need to bridge
the gap to the built environment." Providing opportunities for visitation by the local
community might help promote improvement of knowledge and program support.
Recommendation 5: Conduct periodic monitoring and evaluation
The environmental education program has not followed a consistent monitoring
and evaluation process since 1986. Regularly monitoring educational activities is helpful
for assessing the progress of the program. As research has demonstrated, evaluation is an
important element in correcting the course of environmental education activities (Padua
& Jacobson 1993, Gerakis 1998, Heffernan 1998). Follow-up assessments of target
audiences' knowledge, beliefs and attitudes are useful measures to improve the program
in a consistent manner. Program evaluations are a systematic tool to measure knowledge
and attitude changes over longer periods (Weber 1995, Blanchard 1995).
This study demonstrated the need for program evaluation by identifying specific
knowledge gaps of the survey participants and by confirming the positive beliefs local
people have regarding the tamarin and the environment. In order to improve, the
program needs to continually monitor its activities as well as to perform comprehensive
evaluations every few years (if possible every 5 years). Additional resources to support
monitoring efforts, such as training the environmental education staff in program
evaluation, would be well utilized by the program. Future evaluation efforts should
consider designing a comprehensive survey that would cover attitudinal and behavioral
elements of the target audiences. Presently, evaluations specific to the environmental
education center and to the educational activities with the schools are recommended to
assess the strengths and weaknesses of these sections of the program.
(Present yourself) "My name is I am participating in a study that is looking
at what people know about their local forests. I will be talking to different people in this
community about their knowledge on forests. I will also ask people in the other
surrounding communities. I would like to ask some questions about the local forests.
Besides asking you about the forests, I would also like to ask a few questions about you,
such as: age, education, place of birth, etc. It will take about 20 minutes to ask these
questions. Answering these questions will not affect you either for better or for worse.
You do not need to answer any questions you do not feel comfortable with or do not wish
to answer. You do not need to stop working to answer them. If you prefer, we can come
back another time. We will not write down your name, it will be kept private. Do you
have any questions? May I begin asking my questions/ May I begin the focus group
session? You can always stop me at any time or we can schedule for another day."
Q 1. Currently, what is the most serious problem in the municipality? (only one problem)
Q 2. Do you think the amount of deforestation that happens in the municipality is
currently a problem?
1 Yes, it's serious
2 Yes, more or less serious
3 No, it's not a problem
4 Don't know
Q 3. Does the forest bring any benefit to you or to the community?
3 Don't Know
Q 4. If Yes, Which benefit?
Q 5. Does the forest bring any problems to you or to the community?
3 Don't Know
Q 6. If Yes, What problem?
Take Sell it Kill and Kill to Leave it Other
home leave eat alone (specify)
A little bird 1 2 3 4 5 6
Asnake 1 2 3 4 5 6
A little monkey 1 2 3 4 5 6
A paca 1 2 3 4 5 6
An alligator 1 2 3 4 5 6
Q 8. Do you know the name of this animal? (Show Tamarin Picture)
1 Yes, it's name is
2 No, I don't know (Go to question 22)
Q 9. What name do you give it?
Q 10. Do you know other names for this animal? (specify)
Q 11. Does this animal live in this municipality?
3 Don't know
Q 12. Have you seen it ...(mark all that saw or heard, specifying the places)
( ) In the forest
( ) Killed by someone
( ) Caught in a trap
( ) Being cared by someone
( ) On posters or photos (where? )
( )On TV
( ) In the zoo
( ) In movies or "slides" (where? )
( ) In a play (where? )
( ) In the radio
( ) In the newspaper or magazine?
( )In classes at school (where? )
( ) In an exposition (where? )
( ) In a reunion of some group (where? )
( ) On t-shirts, buttons, or adhesives (where? )
( ) On a parade (where? )
( ) On an excursion (where? )
( ) Seen someone else talking about the animal ( ) children ( ) adult
( ) Seen or heard being talked in any other conditions? Specify place
( ) Have not seen it in any places
Q 7. If you encounter each of these
animals in the forest, what would you do?
Q 13. (If seen in the forest) How many times have you seen it in the forest?
1 One time
2 2 to 5 times
3 more than 5 times
Q 14. What type of forest does it prefer? (Mark all cited)
2 Top of hill
3 Side of hill
5 Don't know
Q 15. What does this animal eat?
Q 16. How does this animal live?
2 In pairs with young
3 In large groups of at least 15 individuals
4 I don't know
Q 17. Do you think there are more of these animals in the forests now than there were 10
1 Yes, there are more
2 No, there are less
3 No, there are the same number
Q 18. If Yes, or No, there are less, What are the causes?
Q 19. Does this animal have any importance?
3 Don't know
Q 20. If Yes, what is its importance?
Q 21. How many individuals of this animal do you think exist in the forests?
1 Less than 100
2 Around 500
3 Around 1000
6 Don't know
Q 22. The golden-lion-tamarins exist in the forests of which Brazilian states?