GOBABEB – The 2019 Youth Environment Summit (Yes), which is hosted by the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre (GRTC), kicked-off on the 12th of April and a total number of 29 learners from nine secondary schools in Kavango East and Kavango West are participating in the event.
This is the 10th Yes and according to the researcher at the Gobabeb Martin Handjaba, the learners have been split into three groups and each group was given a project to undertake. He said Yes is one of their flagship training programmes, which take place annually during the April/May school holiday.
He said the goal of the week-long Yes is to increase learners interests in environmental science and related fields, while teaching critical thinking will allow them to apply the scientific process through hands-on field projects and exposing them to future career opportunities by working alongside Gobabeb-affiliated researchers.
Handjaba explained that the projects for the three groups were on Food for Life, Nature’s Bank and Nature’s Cities. Learners given the Food for Life project were tasked to establish the food types and sources of the local community as well as elsewhere and to determine the impact on biodiversity it has.
The project on Nature’s Bank seeks to determine the types of seeds in the Namib Desert as well as to determine seed dispersal mechanism. The project on Nature’s Cities will look at what animals use the Stipagrostis grass in the Namib Sand Dunes.
He said the learners will use pitfall buckets and Sherman trap to different organisms that may be using the Stipagrostis grass. Findings of the three projects will be presented at Gobabeb on Sunday this week (21 April 2019).
Handjaba said the theme for the 2019 Yes is aligned to that of the 2019 International Day of Biodiversity, which is “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health.’’
The participating schools from the two Kavango regions are the Kandjimi Murangi Seconday Schools, Dr Romanus Kampungu Secondary School, Rundu Secondary School, St Boniface College, Etosha Secondary School, Angelina Matumba Ribebe Secondary School, Noordgrens Secondary School, Max Makushe Secondary School and Rukonga Vision Secondary School.
Yes is annually organized by the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the GIZ-funded Biodiversity Management and Climate Change II project, under the ministry.
The summit is increasingly becoming a staple in the environmental education field in Namibia as more and more learners gain from this unique exercise to work alongside scientists and explore their country’s biodiversity.
Handjaba said so far, 300 learners from schools across Namibia have participated in the Yes. Established by an Australian entomologist Dr Charles Koch in 1962, GRTC is an internationally recognized centre for dryland and research in Southern Africa, doing research in the fields of climate change, ecology and geomorphology. Since March 1998, it has been operating as a joint venture between the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN) and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
2019-04-17 10:07:15 4 months ago