From 15 to 30 September 2016, BIOFUND held an interactive exhibition/fair in Gaza Province, entitled “The Culture of Conservation and Sustainable Development”.
Exhibition/fair on the Conservation of Biodiversity in Gaza (September 2016)
About 3,000 participants, including primary, secondary and university students and future teachers from Gaza province were present at this event. Based on 3 main themes (aquatic, terrestrial and themes relevant to Gaza – Soils of Gaza, Chirindzene sacred Forest; monitoring of turtles in Gaza) the exhibition once again gave the public great visibility and knowledge of the objectives of BIOFUND’s work, and lifted the awareness of society, particularly at the level of the provincial and district governments, to the importance and challenges of the conservation of biodiversity.
Apart from the children and young people who attended the event, also present were a variety of figures, including Ministers, former Ministers, Vice-Chancellor, Provincial Governor, District Administrators, Provincial Directors, diplomats, activists and specialists in matters linked to conservation.
The event was organised with the Ministry of Education and Human Development and the Gaza provincial government, and co-organised by the University Foundation for the Development of Education, the National Administration of Conservation Areas ANAC) and the Pedagogic University Foundation, with the participation of the Eduardo Mondlane Teacher Training Institute in Xai-Xai and the Chongoene Teacher Training Institute.
The objective of this project was to share information and knowledge about the importance and need to conserve the biodiversity of our country, stressing in particular the existing riches, risks and challenges in Gaza province, identifying and involving partners and beneficiaries from various sectors.
The Gaza Provincial Governor and the Minister of Education and Human Development spoke at the opening ceremony held in the Chongoene IFP. It dealt in depth with the following 5 themes:
- Conservation and Education;
- The biodiversity scenario in Gaza;
- Sacred forests in Gaza;
- Bantu cultural landscape: deconstructing conservation paradigms;
- Conservation in Gaza province, its implications, challenges and opportunities
The following days (16-30 September) were also marked by showing films on biodiversity and conservation, by forums and debates on the themes: Conservation and Agriculture in Gaza province; Biodiversity, flora and fauna in Gaza province; Biodiversity and the communities, and a fair (15-17 September) where 16 stands were exhibited from local institutions and NGOs, showing projects under way in Gaza.
The exhibition and fair showed with great quality the different habitats and species in Mozambique, and laid special stress on some aspects relevant to Gaza province, which had a great impact on visitors. The holding of lectures including the scientific knowledge of studies carried out in Gaza and the main results obtained, as well as the potential following steps, had a multiplier effect on the benefits of this event.
During visits by children to the event, educational activities were undertaken and included competitions with various prizes useful for school, financed by MINEDH. The winner of the first prize received a two day visit to the Limpopo National Park, with the support of BIOFUND and of the Eduardo Mondlane IFP in Xai-Xai.
This event encouraged better understanding of the need to preserve biodiversity in favour of sustainable development, identifying problems and challenges to be faced in the short, medium and long term. It also helped to identify, join and strengthen synergies among organisations that work in inter-connected and often inter-dependent areas.
The event was financed by the projects that support BIOFUND, namely the World Bank/IDA (MozBio project) and UNDP/GEF (ProFin project) as well as sponsorship from Austrian Development Cooperation and from the Sir Motors School Bus.
As a result of the event, a documentary film was produced.