“The role of youth and media in conservation of biodiversity”

Under the theme titled “The role of youth and the new media technology in conservation of biodiversity”, Rwanda Biodiversity Media Group (RBMG) in collaboration with University of Rwanda, Huye campus organized a public lecture on Wednesday, 1st April 2015.The gathering was richly diverse and very interacting; undergraduate students, Master students, university of Rwanda staff, and senior lectures. The welcome remark was given by the Head of Biology Department; Joseph Nsengimana who then introduced Jean Claude Dusabimana, RBMG’s Executive Director.

After a short introduction, Jean Claude proceeded with the presentation which last about one hour and followed by an interaction session within which all participants shown their interest about the theme. During his presentation, he focused on how the present situation will impact the future, youth responsibilities and the media implication in conservation of biodiversity. In fact, youth, especially fresh graduate in biology and conservation should play key role to prevail biodiversity crisis! They have to be activists and use media and technology to shape biodiversity conservation in Rwanda. It was in that context that four fresh graduates in biology and conservation created RBMG two years ago; He then seized the opportunity to share the vision and mission of RBMG, the success stories and the milestones as well before focusing on the role of youth and media in conservation of biodiversity.

During the interaction session, most of the participants were amazed by RBMG’s initiative. Among others Mr. Erasme Uwizeye, Assistant Coordinator of RNCEAR Network and Mr. Charles Birasa, Transboundary Field Officer at IGCP, both saluted the initiative as well and gave constrictive feedbacks. “I am very very happy for what you did…you have changed your status from students to self employees … you are giving example that our students should become someone in the future… you are creating job from nothing….  Nowadays, many people are watching movies which are destroying their mind … for instance you are able to produce interesting documentaries which should change their mind and their behavior as well…” quoting Dr. Donat Nsabimana, Senior lecturer at University of Rwanda. He then called RBMG to expend its activities by involving other youth while collaborating with local institutions. This interdependence aspect will be proactive on all stokeholds in conservation sector.

Youth,  the hope of the future and future decision makers, have to change their way of using social media and play their role in conservation of biodiversity. “Most of our discussions and debate are based on entrainments and movies, if we should change and talk a bit about conservation during our discussion, the message should be quickly spread and reach many people…” said Jean Damascene Nsekanabo, third year student. It should be great if Rwandan youth watch documentaries on conservation and environmental in general according to the presented youth.  And Miss Yvonne Hashakimana, third year student concluded: “… we have different groups either on whatsapp or on facebook and we should use those groups to share our thoughts so that other youth should have an advanced  understand on conservation issues”.

In fact, if Rwandan youth understood that it is their heavy duty to conserve the whole biological diversity, there would be hope of a bright future! It is not matter of funds, but time, dedication, creativity, and passion. We, youth, have all this and even much more than anyone else! In fact, everyone should be implicated as conservation issues are everybody’s concern and what we have must not be taken for guarantee. Once Aristotle said that excellence, is not an act, but a habit so we have to developed conservation so that it become a habit.  Through excellent communication materials, media can shape the conservation of biodiversity.

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