Enhancing Pro-Environmental Behavior for Transforming Environmental Sustainability by Josephat Paul Nkaizirwa

While the human-nature interaction is inevitable, an increasing threat of environmental deterioration has, to a large extent, been accelerated by human activities. The conservation of the world's biodiversity is primarily dependent on the ways we interact and use the world's forests that host most of the terrestrial species. Approximately 31% of the whole global land is covered by forests accounting for their unique contribution to environmental sustainability. Nevertheless, human activities through wildfire, agricultural extension, population increase, and pollution among others, have threatened the conservation efforts. In particular, 18% (8% forest trees, 5% forest animal species, and 5% of fungi) of plants and animals housed in forests have been listed as critically endangered species due to human interferences. Only one-third (34%) of the world forests are naturally regenerated that have not been disturbed by human interferences. Nearly 420 mil. hectares of forest have been converted to other land uses since 1990. In addition, large scale farming has contributed to 40% of tropical deforestation whereas subsistence farming has accounted for another 33%. Of recent, wildfires have cleared 2.7 mil. hectares of vegetation in Australia since 2019, three times higher than the burned area in Amazon (906,000) in the same period. In Sub Saharan Africa, dependence on wood fuel (charcoal & firewood) contributes to the greatest impact of deforestation, in addition to infrastructural development that diminishes habitats for many species. To address these challenges, enhanced pro-environmental behavior and an interdisciplinary approach among researchers are required. However, for decades the majority of researchers in conservation biology have been working in isolation. This presentation discusses the theoretical and practical implications of the intertwined approach of pro-environmental behavior in promoting environmental sustainability.



Mr. Josephat Paul Nkaizirwa is a Ph.D. student in Biology Education at the African Centre of Excellence for Innovative Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science (ACEITLMS) hosted by the University of Rwanda-College of Education (UR-CE). Mr. Josephat Paul Nkaizirwa holds a BSc (Science Education) and MEd (Science Education) both from the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) awarded in 2009 and 2014, respectively. He is also an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Dodoma, Tanzania. Josephat’s Ph.D. research focuses on Enhancing Environmental Knowledge and Attitudes among Pre-service Biology Teachers in Tanzania Using Inquiry-Based Learning. His study aims at employing the contemporary pedagogical approach in enhancing psychological constructs among the pre-service teachers towards the protection and conservation of ecological resources. Considering the potential contribution of individual attitudes and cognition in ecological conservation, his study intends to use the Two-Major Environmental Values (2-MEV) for evaluating attitudinal constructs whereas the Environmental Competence model examines environmental knowledge dimensions. Both self-reported and observable attitudinal attributes and knowledge dimensions will be measured. Upon successful completion, the study is expected to establish solutions for mitigating environmental pressing issues in Tanzania and other areas with similar situation. Josephat has been involved in different academic projects as an assistant researcher. Some of these include; Teacher Education Support Project-Tanzania (2017-to present), Language Supportive Teaching and Textbooks Project-Tanzania (2017), Capacity Development in Mathematics in Rural and Remote Communities in Tanzania (2017), and Research Follow-up on; Enhancing literacy and numeracy through digital content among primary schools in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, Tanzania (2017-2019).