For Instructors

"Blue Planet Prize Story" contains three supplementary units on environmental issues: "Guide to Understanding the Story, " "Reference Information, " and "For Instructors. "
This contains useful information that instructors can use to help students understand the content.
Please use these during classes and for self-learning by students.

[Target Audience: Teachers, parents, and others who are engaged in education]

Summary of the Story

Prof. Markus Borner has been engaged in the wildlife conservation at Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Africa for decades.
From the time he started studying to become a zoologist, he wanted to work with wild animals. His first studies were on rhinos in Sumatra, Indonesia. Following this, he developed national parks in Africa.
He realized the importance of cooperating with local residents, and asked for their help in preventing poaching and changing road construction plans, activities that extend beyond his work as a zoologist.
He has also worked to cultivate young researchers for future preservation work.

Teaching Examples

Useful information for teaching


Examining wild animals living in Africa
1. Ask students to look up wild animals living in Africa.

Write the major animals and their categories.

2. Ask students to present information that is different from what they had thought or believed.

People often mistakenly think that tigers and bears live in Africa.
People are often surprised that

  • The rhinos living in Africa and in India, Nepal, and Indonesia are completely different.
  • Elephants living in Africa and Asia are completely different. They look different too.
Important points!

Students come to understand that wild animals differ depending on where they live.
This process helps students to learn that animals differentiate into many species, and develop depending on regional properties so that environmental change may influence their survival.


Considering the relationship with animals and plants that we are familiar with in our day-to-day life
1. Find problems that threaten the habitats of animals and plants around us

First, students try to find the problems by themselves.
The problems are not necessarily the major ones that are reported in the news. Examples are listed below.

  • People who fish in the Xxxx River have noticed that there are fewer sweetfish.
  • People have noticed that the lotus in the reservoir did not bloom this year.
2. Select some problems that are described by each student as themes for discussion by everyone

Teachers give advice and ask students to select themes (problems) whose causes and measures they seem to be comprehending.
With the teacher's advice, students express why they have chosen as themes. This helps them to identify solutions to the problems, and makes discussion on the themes easier. Students can choose more than one theme.

3. Consider causes and measures

Students work in small groups to consider the causes of and measures for the themes they have chosen in 2 above. Each group should have 5 to 6 students to facilitate discussion.
Each group can choose the same or different themes.
Each group should gather information on the themes and write down causes and measures on large sheets of paper for presentation.

4. Presentations

Each group should make a 5- to 10-minute presentation on their theme.

Important points!
  • Students should gather data, interview people, or observe actual states, and then summarize the content of their survey.
  • Students should not only observe the phenomena that affect animals and plants, and change their living environment, but also consider human behaviors that are related to those phenomena.
  • If students survey resident lifestyles and major industries in the region and consider balance between these and preservation, they will better understand the overall features of regional society.


Prof. Markus Borner