Bio-Cultural diversity (BCD) is all about the interconnection between culture and biological diversity. Research findings are showing that there is an inextricable relationship between biological diversity in a given area and the culture of the community inhabiting it. The more there is a cultural and linguistic diversity in an area, the more it is likely to be rich in biological diversity. And the more people are aware of the linkage between their culture and the natural environment, the more they exert effort for sustainable conservation of their natural resources. That is why the idea of Bio-cultural diversity should be incorporated in school programs.
A one-day workshop on the need for incorporating Bio-cultural diversity and environmental education in school programs has been organized for students, teachers and representatives of relevant stakeholders from Asosa, Bambassi and Mao-komo woredas of Benshangul Gumuz woredas. The workshop was organized on the 26th of May 2018 at Bambasi town. The workshop is part of the project called ‘Contributing to sustainable natural resources management and Climate change adaptation in Selected woredas of BG regional State’ that is being funded by GIZ and implemented by MELCA-Ethiopia
The objective of this workshop was to raise awareness of youth in schools, from primary to university level, and their teachers as well as relevant stakeholders on the interconnection between biodiversity and the culture of communities and appreciate the value of incorporating the concept in school programs so as to create youth who are aware of bio-cultural diversity and measures for its sustainable conservation. The workshop is also aimed at creating eco-advocate youth who understand their culture and are open to new ways of thinking and acting beneficial to their community and the earth.
The concept of Bio-cultural diversity, the notion of environmental education and the need for incorporating bio-cultural diversity and environmental education in school programs were among the core topics raised and discussed during the workshop.
It is believed that participants of the workshop have deepened their understanding of the connection between the natural resources (biological diversity) in their area and the culture of their community and the importance of conserving their cultural values, traditional governance systems, traditional knowledge and practices for sustainable conservation of nature and creation of resilient communities. In addition, the participants, and the youth in particular have got insight in to the value of traditional knowledge and learning from elders to be citizens who understand the existing social, ecological and economic potential and foster development from within.
A total of 65 people (45 male and 20 female) representing relevant sectoral offices from three woredas, namely, Asosa, Bambasi and Mao-komo as well as representatives of relevant offices at regional level have participated on the workshop.