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World Heritage in Young School Children's Hands

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World Heritage in Young School Children's Hands
Case Study Session
Mr Hamisi T. Mkuzi, RCE Greater Pwani
9th African Regional RCE Meeting
5-7 August, 2019, Luyengo, Eswatini

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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World Heritage in Young School Children's Hands

  1. 1. 8/12/2019 1 9th African RCE Meeting, Eswatini RCE-Greater Pwani Presentation by Hamisi T. Mkuzi World Heritage in Young School Children’s Hands Monday, August 12, 2019 World Heritage in Young School Children’s Hands UNDP -GEF SGP (United Nations Development Program - Global Environmental Facility Small Grant Program) The project is related to what RCE - Greater has been doing over the years; educating the community through ESD with a view of ensuring sustainable future. 2,000 students Funding: Relationship to other RCE activities: Size of academic audience: Contributing Organizations • RCE-Greater Pwani • Kilio Cha Haki Youth Group (KCHYG) • Kilifi County Natural Resources Network (KICORNET) • Coastal Forest Conservation Unit (CFCU) Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area • The community in the area mainly consist of the Mijikenda group which is a composition of 9 tribes. • The common and main socio-economic activities practiced by all 9 tribes is subsistence farming. • Each of the 9 tribes are uniquely identified by an indigenous forest called 'Kaya Forest' where their ancestral parents used to live. • However, due to changing climate, people have started spreading out in search of fertile grounds to practice farming which has become unpredictable due to poor rainfall. Sustainable development challenges in the project areas • Hotspots of biodiversity and culture within Coastal Kenya. • Forests midst of densely populated rural poor communities with a high dependencyon them for their livelihoods. • Despite their protection as NM, FR and WHS, they face a number of challenges Sustainable development challenges in the project areas…. 1. Sacred kaya forests largely threatened by encroachment and overexploitation of resources 2. Poor connection with children, youth and women. 3. The kaya elders’ institution is weak to enforce the rules in the society. 4. Kaya elders who manage the sites on a day to day basis are becoming fewer over the years due to natural attrition, killing by youth. 5. Low interest by the youth to take leadership roles. The youth have a low understanding of the value of the forests and the important roles the elders play in their conservation. 6. The cultural beliefs and folklores that sustain the forests resources are no longer revered and senseless destruction characterizes the Kaya forests. This creates a knowledge gap among the youth and women resulting in the destruction of the forests and loss of important biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  2. 2. 8/12/2019 2 Significance of the project • The youngergeneration make an important demographicproportion in the societyand whose potentials can be harnessed for substantialcontribution in the conservation of the kaya forests. • Most of the kaya forests destruction is by the youth and women. • The sizeof the forests is progressivelydecreasing and most plant speciesdisappearinghence affecting the animal diversity that highlydependson these ecosystems. • This coupled by the fact that these important forests have for a very long time been left in the custodyof the elders. • While the old agecould have been the best match for such an important resource largely linked with cultural importance, there has not been any deliberateefforts to recruit more eldersand or youthful custodians. • The youngergeneration and women have a low understanding and interest of the kaya forests and the value of these precious heritages. • There has not beenenoughawarenesscreation to children in schools,youth and women with regards to the importance of these resources. Knowledge Gap • Previous work with school children has been at a lower scale - involved only talks and visits to kaya with no linkage to tree growing in their schools and homes by the students. • Knowledge gap is evident between the older generation and the younger generations with misconceptions, suspicion and mistrust on any older persons associated with the Kaya forests. • The knowledge gap continues to widen as the older generation (custodian of IK) become fewer and the younger generation least interested in the knowledge. • There seems to be a total disconnect between the elders and the society with regards to knowledge transfer. • The future of the kaya forests relies on a highly sensitized youthful citizenry and this is achievable through a sustained educational and awareness campaign to the lower class students in primary schools within a 5 km radius of the Kaya forests. • This will heighten the understanding of the values of the forests in order to guarantee sustainability of conservation interventions of the kaya forests. Objectives: 1. To develop a colorful picture book to enhance awareness and understanding among school children on the values of kaya forests in order to be exceptional stewards of the land and natural resources. 2. To bridge the knowledge gap between kaya elders, Children, youth and women 3. To promote planting of useful indigenous trees in schools and at home Results: 1. A colorful picture book for school children awareness produced and distributed to Kaya cluster schools. 2. Established woodlots in target schools. 3. An essay competition for Kaya conservation undertaken and winners prized Lessons learned: • Investing in children on conservation matter is the only surest way of ensuring a sustainable future. • As they grow, such knowledge becomes part of their life and beneficial to the environment for both their generation and the future. UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) • SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all -Direct • SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts -Direct • SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss -Direct
  3. 3. 8/12/2019 3 Themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) • Traditional Knowledge -Direct • Forests/Trees -Direct Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – PriorityAction Areas • Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy -Direct • Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments -Direct • Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers -Direct • Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth -Direct • Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level -Direct Key messages: • The project will enhance understanding and inculcate a culture of tree growing and good guardianship to young people in the community and help raise the tree cover in the landscape. • The project period is 18 months but will be continued every year with support from our partners and the network.

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