ESD and biodiversity education in a youth community-based programme
A community-based project for young people to access employment through the biodiversity sector whilst educating the community was identified as an opportunity. A key task that the interns had to perform was to identify opportunities to make the science of biodiversity more accessible to communities. Due to the varied contexts at each national botanical garden and its surrounding communities, the project had to be responsive to the varied circumstances and realities. The main objective of the change project was to establish a monitoring and evaluation system which would provide valuable insights to inform future capacity development approaches of interns engaged in community initiatives.
During this project the BEPE team focused on training and professional development of interns to introduce the youth to possibilities and opportunities in the biodiversity sector and to create opportunities for them to access employment. Internal and external training was provided (eg. facilitation of all the BEPE programmes, computer skills, developing lessons, iNaturalist training, financial management, CV writing, interview preparation and career planning). On conclusion of this programme at the end of April 2021, nine interns were employed elsewhere; eight interns studied further and two interns started their own business. The interns were able to propagate over 600 plants, start at least eight community biodiversity gardens, communicate environmental messages to the communities from the National Botanical Assessment 2018 and reach over 1500 beneficiaries.
Another component was to explore the feasibility of these interns to be based off-site within their local communities, however this proved to be difficult due to the short timeframe, training and support required as well as varied COVID-19 regulations restricting the interaction with the communities.
The way forward includes a detailed analyses of the monitoring and evaluation data collected. The BEPE team needs to establish a consolidated approach for future community-based programmes and revise the current training for new staff in the BEPE Directorate. We will also update a database of all interns working at the BEPE Directorate and track their professional development and the learning and employment pathway of the interns.
News & Events
In early March 2020, the Lesotho and Zambia country workshops were successfully held in Maseru and Lusaka. However, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the South African in-country workshop planned for April has been postponed until May. The regional Training of Trainers Course, earlier scheduled for July 2020, is now scheduled for September 2020 at Rhodes University, South Africa....