Youth Empowerment for the Protection of Endangered Species in Thailand: A Case Study of Fighting Extinction Project

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Alexander Simon Rendell
Kanang Kantamaturapoj


The objectives of this study are to explore the youth empowerment for the protection of endangered species in Thailand by studying case of Fighting Extinction Project and to propose directions to enhance youth empowerment in environmental education in Thailand. Qualitative approach was employed. Data was collected through in-depth interviews with 10 key informants from Environmental Education Centre (EEC) Thailand, environmental experts, youth experts, and parents of youths who participated in Fighting Extinction Project. The main finding is that the Fighting Extinction Project was complied with four dimensions of youth empowerment; 1) involvement value and participation, 2) warmth and safe surrounding, 3) sharing power equally between youth and adult, and 4) integrated individual and community potential. However, there were still a gap between theory and practice in relations to participation in reflection of opinion essential for procedures between individual and political process, and participation in political process leading to changes.  Two major recommendations were drawn from this study. Firstly, this study suggested the environmental educators to enhance field study in the course syllabus. Secondly, new forms of political activities such as environmental advocacy and environmental harm product boycott should be promoted in environmental education because these political activities empower the youth and lead to powerful social change.


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