Atualizado: 23 de out.
Biodiversity conservation is one of the most frequently discussed topics in environmental education. However, often the focus of educational initiatives is on scientific knowledge about living organisms, their characteristics, behaviors, and ecological relationships.
All of this information is useful and necessary for educational processes, but we must remember that we need to balance this content by adding values and participation dimensions. One way to work with the participation dimension is to show people how they can contribute to environmental causes, specifically, biodiversity conservation.
In order to present these potential actions to our audience, we also need clarity about what these actions are, which are not always obvious when we think about biodiversity. So, with this FubáZINE, we invite you to practice this with us.
1. Consume more sustainably
Sometimes we forget that what we buy can benefit or harm biodiversity. When we avoid single-use products and reuse packaging, we reduce the risk of plastics polluting rivers and oceans and harming the animals that live there. When we choose to buy organic foods, we help reduce toxins in rural environments and promote agrobiodiversity.
There are also more naturally-based cleaning products, things made from biodegradable materials, clothing made from natural fabrics, and brands that donate to conservation projects. In other words, our daily choices can help conserve biodiversity.
2. Avoid purchasing wild animals to discourage the illegal wildlife trade
One obvious action in this regard is to not buy illegal or unknown origin wild animals. However, we can go a step further. Ethically, keeping a wild animal as a pet can be questionable, since these animals often suffer outside their natural habitat. There are also cases where legal breeding centers receive animals from the illegal trade and sell them as if they were born in captivity.
Another interesting change in behavior is to avoid sharing images of direct human contact with wild animals, even if they are your own images in a work environment. While these images are beautiful and inspiring, they can encourage others to buy wild animals as pets. Have you ever thought about this? If you do choose to share this type of image, be sure to explain in the caption the context of the photo to avoid encouraging people to have wild animals as pets.
3. Support conservation projects through donating, volunteering, and spreading the word
There are many trustworthy conservation projects with teams dedicated to research, environmental education, the restoration of degraded areas, and the empowerment of local communities. Getting to know these projects and supporting them through spreading the word about their work, making donations, or volunteering are some of the ways that you can contribute to promoting biodiversity.
As educators, we can introduce these projects to the people we work with, helping them to engage with this cause.
4. Understanding and appreciating local biodiversity
Getting to know the life that surrounds us is an important step to understanding how our actions make a difference in the lives of other beings. Participating in local cleanup efforts, birdwatching groups, nature hikes, as well as planting in degraded areas can provide opportunities for direct contact with local biodiversity.
Our role as educators is to present all this local richness to people that may not be aware. We can encourage people to appreciate and value their local biodiversity by showing them that there are organized groups already engaged in contemplative, educational, and mobilization activities.
5. Stay informed about political developments on the topic, take a position and get involved.
This may require some effort, especially given the political climate we are experiencing, but the fact is that the actions of people in positions of power have a significant influence on conservation. Each individual can find a way to participate politically in the way they see fit.
And our role as educators is to guide people in this process. One way to do this is to share our own experiences, political views, and actions, without imposing our ideas, but instead, seeking dialogue.
Each of the possibilities mentioned here can be broken down into more specific actions. There are also a number of other attitudes we can adopt. The process of recognizing how our daily choices and behaviors influence biodiversity can be surprising, and many are still unaware of this.
However, it's important to make sure that this newly assumed responsibility doesn’t become a burden. Caring for life on this planet can be light and enjoyable if changes are incorporated gradually and in a way that’s in line with each individual's reality. How can you get started on this journey? Or perhaps continue what you’ve already begun?