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Transition Practices: Education for Sustainable Development in Ecotourism in Zambia
There is a nationally acknowledged urgency for Zambians to transition toward environmental sustainability. Empowering people to make sound assessments is the basis for desirable transitions. Education for sustainable development (ESD) is an interdisciplinary learning process advancing knowledge, understanding and action for sustainability. To encourage sustainability transitions ESD needs to be personal and place-specific. One platform provisioning for such learning is ‘ecotourism’, where participants have a heightened sense of self, others and the environment. Hence a practice incorporating ESD into ecotourism was investigated to determine whether the setting would be propitious for fostering sustainability transitions. The pertinent sustainability concepts are assessed, and social practice theory is utilized in a case study. The approach of social practice theory was preferable, as it holds the assumption that people are able to act in relation to collective cultural activities rather than in immediate responses to internal or environmental events. The effect of ESD in ecotourism is analyzed through observations and unstructured interviews conducted in a case-study in Zambia which has a wider natural environment and least developed educational facilities. The findings imply that through social practice, pro-environmental transitions can be encouraged and strengthened, with the provisions of having freedom for learning, social interaction, connection with nature, tangible activities and inclusive approach.