We are all connected
March 11 2015
Biodiversity is a vital part of life on Earth, but it is not just the variety of species that is important, it is also the interdependence of all these living things that is key. The diversity of living organisms both create and maintain ecosystems, but rely on them as well, for survival.  This concept is vital to conservation because if an organism’s environment is compromised, so are its chances of survival, with knock-on effects on other species, including humans, that are reliant on the services that ecosystem produces.  The children attending the Conservation Club at Mukamusaba Basic School in Livingstone recently learned the importance of conserving entire biomes to ensure the survival of the creatures that inhabit them.
 
 
The Mukamusaba Conservation Club is run for ALERT by staff and volunteers from Lion Encounter, since 2012. Children at this project are provided with knowledge and are encouraged to reflect and discuss related topics on wildlife conservation.  
 
On the 18th of February, Dabwiso and Duncan, two interns who have joined the Livingstone project from Zambia’s Copperbelt University, stood alongside staff and volunteers to deliver a lesson on African Habitats and Biomes.
 
With the rate at which habitat loss and fragmentation are occurring, it is important that we impart knowledge of the importance of these habitats to children. We need them to actively take part in conservation as they are our future leaders. After a recap of the previous lesson which focussed on habitat, environment, and ecosystems. The children were asked why these things were important to conservation, they answered strongly, and this laid the foundation for this week’s lesson: Biomes.
 
To provide them with an understanding of what a biome is, the children were asked to draw an illustration of what their communities are like in terms of individuals being part of families that live in separate households, in villages of many households.  After they finished their drawings, the children were told that a biome is an area where several habitats share a common environment.  Having already reflected upon their own communities, the children seemed to successfully grasp the concept. Their understanding was then broadened by a task that required them to identify any living organism outside the classroom and to draw it within its biome. They were then shown the connection between an environment and a biome, and told them the importance of conserving these biomes for the sake of the creatures that depend on them. 
 
This was a very valuable lesson, and one in which we can all learn from. 
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