Manila, 8 July 2020. Increasing knowledge and awareness on conservation of water, soil, and biodiversity resources and mitigation of climate change require a targeted but inclusive approach in engaging multiple generations or ages of actors (i.e., youths, adults, and elderly).
This was one of the highlights of a recent study published by FEED Scholar and now-Partner Researcher, Mr. Elson Ian Nyl Galang, at the highly respected Asian Journal for Agriculture and Development. His study aimed to understand how age, as an important variable in conservation of natural resources, influences the local ecological knowledge on ecosystem services or “natural benefit” of a watershed in his hometown in Cotabato.
“While this study’s scope is limited in the context of my hometown’s watershed, I think this has a lot of implications on how we see multi-actor engagement and community education for conservation of critical landscapes, especially when engaging with both the younger and older generations. My hometown’s watershed maintains clean water sources for almost half a million people and protects more than 20 villages from floods. I believe this is also the case for all watersheds around the country. Hence, conserving or restoring these landscapes should be a participatory process among local communities, NGOs, LGUs, and other equally important stakeholders”, Elson shared with FEED.
Since its founding, FEED has been a lead NGO in Luzon for bringing multiple stakeholders in the conservation and restoration of landscapes and seascapes such as the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges which provide important ecosystem services in both Southern Luzon and Metro Manila. Through FEED’s various programs and activities, FEED has engaged a spectrum of age groups, from children to elderly, on tree planting, mangrove planting, and forest and biodiversity education among many others.
These activities of FEED have recently been recognized by the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative, a global platform among institutions and organizations that are leading the protection of critical landscapes. Through this study of Elson, these commitments of FEED to a more participatory and inclusive reef-to-ridge approach on conservation and restoration has been further validated and strengthened.
Other key points of the study highlighted the importance of intergenerational transfer of knowledge within family members. This means that older members in the families or households influence how the younger members will view and utilize their environment. Thus, it is essential that these older generations are exposed and educated on sustainable and pro-environmental values so these can be shared to their children and grandchildren.
From 2015 to 2016, Elson was an undergraduate research scholar at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. In 2017, he was further supported by FEED at the premiere Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability of the United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan.
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