PACEVirtual Explorer. Pan African Conservation Education Project

PACE Geography Virtual Explorer

PACE Virtual Explorer

The PACE Virtual Explorer for Secondary Geography is based on a set of environmental education films created for the Pan African Conservation Education Project. PACE, a Tusk Trust initiative produced in collaboration with Siren Conservation Education, aims to communicate practical solutions to environmental problems between communities across the continent. PACE packs for educators focus on the importance of meeting people’s needs in ways that protect wildlife and preserve natural resources for future generations. The packs include short films, posters, an illustrated book and teaching activities and technical information. To date, over 1,500 copies of the film and 5,000 copies of the book have been distributed for free to over 250 projects in 22 African countries.

By purchasing this resource, your school is contributing to ongoing distribution of these resources to African educators and to further development of the project. PACE initiatives in the pipeline include: a teacher training project in Uganda, a Malagasy translation in Madagascar, and a Nigerian version of the book Africa Our Home


UK Relevance

The PACE films are unique and positive case studies. They show people in Africa solving environmental and economic problems, and are a refreshing change from the helpless and hopeless stereotype portrayed in much charity literature. That said, the environmental challenges faced by those in the films will be exacerbated by global climate change due to energy use by inhabitants of wealthier countries like the United Kingdom. Wealthier countries also have the power to affect environmental and economic conditions in Africa through trade. The learning activities accompanying the films encourage students to investigate positive actions that could be taken to reduce the negative impacts of UK lifestyles on the planet and its people.

Whilst this resource has been designed specifically for use by the geography department, the topics are relevant to citizenship themes such as global interdependence and sustainability. Each lesson plan suggests additional opportunities including cross-curricular work with Science, English or whole school off-curriculum days.

National Curriculum links for Geography Key Stage 3 and GCSE can be accessed here.


International School Partnerships

Many UK schools have developed International Partnerships with schools in Africa. The topics in this pack could form the basis of practical or awareness-raising work within the partnership. If you’d like to share the materials with your partner school, copies of the PACE films and illustrated schoolbook Africa Our Home can be obtained by emailing, whilst PACE Action Sheets on practical solutions to environmental problems are available via on or CD-ROM.


Explorer Links

We wanted this resource to reflect the true diversity of Africa’s people and environments. To aid this, we have selected Internet links in each country – the Explorer links – which can be used to investigate interesting and perhaps unexpected elements of each country. These sites could form the basis of further citizenship work in Geography, English or Science as suggested in this Word document, for teachers to edit or copy as required:

Extra Explorer Activities.doc

PACE Cases on Google Earth

Download and double click this file to open in Google Earth and you will be able to fly to each of the PACE Case study locations.

PACE Cases Geography.kmz

Google Earth

Country Information

We have collated basic statistical information on each of the 4 countries featured, accessible through the 'About' button in the sidebar on each Country map page. Students could be encouraged to collate similar date on the UK and USA for comparison, using the reference sources listed below


PACE Case Learning Activities

Click through the map pages or use the resource overview below to explore ten PACE case studies and associated learning activities. Each PACE Case contains one or two film clips which, if online, can be accessed directly via the clickable link on each PACE Case page. Alternatively, the films can be played from the Films DVD. The films were subtitled in English for use across Africa where many people speak English as a second or third language.

For each PACE Case, we have created lesson plans, presentations and a variety of activities for classroom use, many of which are differentiated to facilitate use with different groups. Though all lessons have suggestions for using ICT, most lessons could also be used without access to the Internet. Some of the lessons refer students to the Action Sheets from the original PACE pack distributed in Africa.

These lesson plans are intended purely as suggestions: Students could explore the case studies and Explorer links independently to practice their research skills, whilst teachers could use them with classes in any number of ways. We will be very interested to hear of ways in which these resources are used in the UK to help us improve our educational work in future.

PDF Viewer: Download Adobe Acrobat Reader here:

NB. Hyperlinks in pdf documents should work if using Acrobat version 7


Watching the PACE Films

The video format .mov may not play in your default media player. Download Quicktime Player here:

It is also possible to view .mov format videos in media players other than QuickTime by installing the free QuickTime Alternative software outlined in the following link:

For whiteboard projection at higher definition, you may prefer to play the films from the FILMS DVD.


Resource Overview

PACE case


Ecosan Toilets
Environmental Engineering and Pollution Control Organization, Tanzania

Exercise to evaluate the advantages of Ecosan toilets, critically exploring the potential disadvantages and then creating a marketing campaign to encourage people in Tanzania to invest in Ecosan toilets rather than regular pit latrines. Additional opportunities include considering the possibilities of Ecosan in the UK context and sharing information on sanitation with international partner schools.

Urban Greening
Food and Trees for Africa, South Africa

Lesson drawing on students’ geographical imaginations of place and the impact positive human action can have, socially, environmentally and economically. Considers a case study in Johannesburg and offers ideas for action closer to home.

Plastic Bag Project 
So Af Eco Women's Group, South Africa

A study of the South African Eco Women's Group in Obanjeni, KwaZulu Natal who have found a way to profit from the proliferation of plastic bags. Students weigh up the negative impacts of plastic bags against the economic advantage to the women’s group. The ICT continuation looks at the issue from a global perspective, discovering what the rest of the world is doing about the problem of plastic bags.

Elephant Chilli Project
The Elephant Pepper Trust, Zambia

Critical thinking to explore alternative solutions to crop-raiding elephants, after working through the film and examining the problem that needs to be solved. Extension or homework investigates an example of human wildlife conflict in the UK and how it was resolved.

Making money from trees (Microcredit)
Muthanjala Women's Society, Zambia

Enquiry into Microfinance, using ICT to plan and carry out the investigation. Students can practice presenting their findings and writing geographically about the issue.

Good Woods
Akamba Handicrafts Co-op and CFFA, Kenya

Interactive sequence of lessons investigating the benefits of trees and the use of forest stewardship certified ‘Good Woods’ at Akamba Handicrafts Co-op, finishing with students designing material to promote the initiative to different target audiences. Students can also research FSC labelling from a UK consumer perspective.

Harvesting the Rain
Machakos Rural Development Programme and Practical Action, Kenya

A data analysis exercise compares climates in the UK and Kenya to explain the need to harvest the rain. Includes use of graphical skills to present climate data. Rainwater harvesting in the Machakos region is studied, focusing on three methods of harvesting the rain, with ICT investigation options. Opportunities for rainwater harvesting at school and at home are investigated.

Cleaner Cooking (Fuel Efficient Stoves)
Keyo Women's Group, Kenya

Mystery activity to explore the personal impact of fuel efficient stoves in Kisumu, Kenya. Additional opportunities to adapt energy saving tips from the PACE project to a UK kitchen.

Making Water Safe to Drink
Solar Cookers International, Kenya

Enquiry over several lessons into the value of a clean and safe water supply, beginning at the student’s personal level and progressing to investigate the impact of solar water pasteurization in Kenya through a mystery activity. The UK context in this lesson focuses on the energy cost of centralized water treatment in the UK and the consequent importance of water conservation in the home.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya

Role-play exercise set in the wildlife conservancies of Northern Kenya, considering the political issues involved in the sustainable development of tourism.

KS3 National Curriculum Links Geography.pdf

GCSE Links Geography.pdf



Steven Puttick
Steve Puttick is Head of Geography at The Warriner School; a comprehensive school in Oxfordshire.  After a BSc (Geography with Mountain Leadership) from Staffordshire University, he completed a PGCE at Oxford University and is currently doing Masters studies part time at Warwick University. He has co-ordinated a link with Kigezi High School, Uganda for several years. Through several reciprocal visits, Steve has helped the partnership grow, increasing the number of students and staff involved. His commitment to enhancing the Global Dimension across the curriculum has contributed to the Warriner School's successful 'International School Award' status. 

Nancy Gladstone
Nancy has an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College, London, and several years practical conservation experience in Madagascar. She researched the original PACE resource pack, collating and editing technical information sheets on 80 different environmental problem-solving techniques. To road test and develop the PACE UK resources, she has taken the PACE films into classrooms around Oxfordshire and surrounding counties.

Diana Bierschenk
Diana Bierschenk has a B.A. in Environmental Science from Boston University in the US and a MSc in Conservation and Biodiversity from the University of Exeter in the UK.  She has previously worked as an environmental educator for The Audubon Society and been a research assistant in various capacities in the US.  She now works for Earthwatch Institute, a non-profit environmental organization which engages people in scientific research and education. 

Malene Friis Hansen
Malene is a primatologist who has carried out research into effective environmental education in Denmark, Britain and Java. She developed the Ecotourism roleplay for PACE as coursework for the MSc in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University.


PACE Films

Directed by Miriam Lyons, Jenny Sharman and Fonny Lane
Produced by Sarah Watson
Camera by Scott Drummond and Richard Jones
Sound by Tony Bensusan, Ashley Waring and Nick Bullock
Edit by Max McGonigal
Sound mixing by Richard Evans
Equipment and edit suite supplied by The Creation Company
Subtitling and Cover Design by Susan O’Reilly
Project Still Photography by Sarah Watson

The PACE project is a collaboration between Tusk Trust and Siren Conservation Education. The PACE resources were produced by Charles Mayhew MBE, Sarah Watson, Dr. Sasha Norris and Nancy Gladstone with funding from the Vodafone Group Foundation.



Learning Activities

The Development Compass Rose was originally developed by Teachers In Development Education – TIDE

The learning activities are designed to promote thinking skills and many of the ideas used, such as Mysteries and Odd One Out, were originally developed and promoted by David Leat and his co-authors in:
Thinking Through Geography by David Leat and contributing authors

Reading International Solidarity Centre is a development education centre in the Southeast. Their approach to auditing understanding and changing attitudes was used in PACE Case: Making Water Safe to Drink.

How Do We Know It’s Working? - A toolkit for measuring attitudinal change in Global Citizenship from early years to KS 5

WaterAid provided additional materials for PACE Case: Making Water Safe to Drink.


Country Information

CIA World Factbook

World Health Organization (WHO). 2006. World Health Report 2006: Annex Table 4. Geneva: WHO. Available online and in the Global Atlas of the Health Workforce.

Development Data Group, The World Bank. 2002. World Development Indicators 2002. Available online. Washington, D.C. The World Bank

International Telecommunication Union (ITU). 2007. World Telecommunication Indicators 2006. Geneva: ITU. Available online

World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF). 2006. Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Target: The Urban and Rural Challenge of the Decade. Geneva: WHO and New York: UNICEF. Available online

World Resources Institute. 2007. EarthTrends: Environmental Information. Available online. Washington DC: World Resources Institute.


Copyright Statement

Published by Siren Conservation Education and Tusk Trust

© Siren Conservation Education and Tusk Trust

The moral rights of the authors have been asserted.

The authors have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and currency of the information in the PACE Virtual Explorer. The authors disclaim any liability, loss, injury or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of the contents of this resource.

UK Government Statistics reproduced under the terms of the OPSI Click-Use License.

A catalogue record for this resource is available from the British Library
ISBN 978-0-9555682-1-3

Designed and produced by Sam Willmott for Oxford Cartographers Ltd.