Celebrating a Cultural Biodiversity (CB) day, on which the youth show their commitment and urge other community members for conservation of their culture and nature, has become an exciting event at all MELCA’s project areas.
SEGNI schools in the Holeta area cluster have celebrated the 2013 Cultural Biodiversity (CB) day phrased as “Cultural Biodiversity and Foata Mountain Rehabilitation day” on the 29th of June 2013 in Holeta Town stadium. The event was celebrated gloriously with various shows and traditional artifacts staged and exhibited by SEGNI club members of the different schools in the Holeta area cluster.
The event was also attended by thousands of community members of Holeta Town and its surroundings including government officials of Oromia National Regional State, Finfinne area special zone administration, Welmera woreda administration as well as Holeta Town administration.
Ato Gonfa Anbessa, Vice Mayor of Holeta Town administration, who welcomed organizers and attendants of the event to the venue, stated that the SEGNI program and the regular Cultural Biodiversity celebrations relating to the program and are being carried out by MELCA-Ethiopia in collaboration with schools are playing a remarkable role in educating the youth about culture and biodiversity as well as the interconnectedness of these two social and natural elements.
In his welcome speech, Ato Gonfa also said, “…the government of Ethiopia is committed to bring about a sustainable development. We cannot think of sustainable development without working on conservation of natural resources, which are the basis for sustainable development. And we know that MELCA is really standing by this core initiative by educating about and working on conservation of nature and also culture of the community, which is considered a pillar for conservation of nature. Above all, MELCA is working on producing a future generation that are aware of and feel responsible for conservation of their culture and nature. So MELCA deserves acknowledgement and credit for the crucial role it is playing in support of the overall development goal that the Government is pursuing.”
Ato Mesfin Muse, Head of Finfinne area special zone Culture and Tourism Office and a guest of honor to the event, also stated, in the speech he made on the occasion, that every one who attended the event should learn, from the various shows and exhibition of traditional artifacts presented by the students, the importance of conserving culture and nature and play his/her part by spreading and implementing the idea outside of the schools. He also mentioned that the traditional artifacts exhibited by the students are things that show the relationship of the community with their environment. So it is important to document and keep these things in schools so that children keep on learning from them about the culture of their community and how they lived in harmony with nature.
SEGNI club members from 29 schools have staged and exhibited the variety shows and cultural artifacts they have brought to the event. Accordingly the event is conducted magnificently with poems, dramas, traditional dances and other shows staged by the SEGNI club member students. The dramas, poems and songs were all focused on the theme of conserving environment and culture of the community, which is vital for conservation of nature. Traditional artifacts collected from within the community and exhibited by the students also accompanied this.
Initiating a movement for rehabilitation of the Foata mountain range was also part of the theme of the occasion. Foata Mountain is a mountain a few kilometers to the north of Holeta Town. The whole mountain range was covered with dense forest some two decades back. But currently, the mountain is totally bare except patches of agricultural plantations that emerge seasonally. As a result, the mountain is degrading at an alarming rate and the rivers and springs running from the mountain have dried. So, on this occasion, the students have showed up their commitment to rehabilitate the Foata mountain range and called up on all community members to participate on this movement for rehabilitation of the mountain.
More than 2000 people, including students and teachers from participant schools, community members in and around Holeta Town and invited zonal and woreda level government officials have attended the celebration.