Today(June 23,2014;Monday), I was the chief guest at an event organized by UNESCO , New Delhi , City Montessori School , Lucknow and SEED India Ltd.It was the inaugural session of three days national teacher training workshop on multiple perspective approaches to biodiversity.Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director ,UNESCO , New Delhi was the guest of honour .Below is a summary of what I spoke:
(2005-2014) has been the UN decade for education for sustainable development(ESD).Sustainable development means a model of development which conserves and preserves ecology,environment and biodiversity.In this context ,education for biodiversity becomes extremely important.Biodiversity is an idea whose time has come,and we can neglect its education only at our own peril. It is important to focus on Biodiversity because of several threats to it, as described below.
- Habitat loss and fragmentation.
- Over exploitation of natural resources.
- Climate change and Global warming.
- Growth of human population
- Hunting and illegal trade
- I.A.S.( invasive alien species)
- Lack of efficient protection to threatened species
- Oil spills
- Coastal/ agricultural development
- Land diversion
- Fuel wood removal
- Forest fires
- Illicit felling
Climate change and global warming result in destruction of biodiversity and also bring in the risk of disaster,therefore along with education on biodiversity we also need to impart education on climate change, global warming and education on disaster risk reduction(DRR)
Many types of diversity exist in nature which are inter-related.
- Geo diversity
- Cultural diversity
- Linguistic diversity
- Gender inequality, etc.
Accordingly there are a number of perspectives on biodiversity. For example gender inequality perspective focuses on the number of women engaged in the study of biodiversity as compared to men and other such issues.
Under Article 51A of Indian Constitution , it is the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the environment including forests ,lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.
I express the hope and the confidence that this first of its kind National Workshop will go a long way in preparing teachers and through them students and parents and citizens to contribute to preserve our ecology, biodiversity and environment. I thank UNESCO for having taken the initiative to organise this National Workshop of education of biodiversity. I also thank TERI,CEE,Wild Life Institute of India and other eminent speakers who agreed to become a part of this global learning experience. I congratulated City Montessori school for hosting this workshop along with SEED India .