‘One School, One Tree, One Gift to Nature’
Over 700 Belizean primary school children from the Belize River Valley area and the communities in north western Orange Walk gathered at the Belize Rural High School and the Belize High School of Agriculture to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) by participating in the Green Wave Initiative held on 22 May, 2009.
Every year, the world joins the United Nations and the Convention on Biological Diversity in celebrating the International Day for Biological Diversity. This year, the focus was on invasive alien species to raise awareness about the rapid increase of biological invasions by alien species due to global environmental change and the transportation of animals and plants by humans.
In Belize we have seen the effects of invasive alien species such as Tilapia which displaces the local bass snook and the water lily that is clogging up water drainages. We are all being encouraged to plant native species and to keep non-native plant and animal species away from our pristine ecosystems.
As part of the awareness campaign, Programme for Belize staff visited 15 primary schools to give presentations on topics such as biodiversity and invasive alien species. The students were provided with materials to produce posters and poems as part of a national competition where the best poem and poster will earn the student a brand new laptop. The students also planted a tree within the school compounds that were visited.
Short ceremonies were held simultaneously at 9:00 am on 22 May 2009 at the Belize Rural High School in Double Head Cabbage, Belize District and at the Belize High School of Agriculture in San Lazaro Village, Orange Walk District. The activities carried out at the ceremonies included:
- A display of each schools best poster/poem on biodiversity and invasive alien species.
- A presentation of gardening tools for each school.
- A presentation of awards for the best poster and poem for each school.
- The planting of a mahogany tree by each school.
Photos of the event were uploaded onto the Green Wave Initiative website at http://greenwave.cbd.int.
Funding for this initiative was provided by GEF/SGP and Programme for Belize. Other local partners, who carried out similar activities in other regions of the country, for this year’s event included the Belize Audubon Society, Friends for Conservation and Development and Sustainable Harvest International.
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Article from Guardian