Israel-Rwanda School Biodiversity Pilot Program Official Launch Report
May 26, 2021 | Last updated June 7, 2021, 3:16 PM ET
On May 25th 2021, The International Rwanda Youth for Development (IRYD) in collaboration with This Is My Earth (TiME) with the support of Harmony Foundation of Canada (Harmony) officially launched the Israel-Rwanda School Biodiversity Pilot Program in a virtual ceremony. The goal of this program is to create cooperative student learning and action between junior-high school students in Rwanda and Israel for conservation of biodiversity. The event was open to the public, the attendees were able to share their opinions, suggestions and ask questions.
One of the special speakers was the Ambassador of Israel to Rwanda H.E. Dr. Ron Adam who offered his support to the initiative and emphasized on few points some including the importance of protecting biodiversity and nature, Ambassador Adam shared with us some of the initiatives he has been a part of in raising awareness of Earth Day and to biodiversity conservation, Ambassador Adam said, “Biodiversity is essence for the future of the earth, for the future of plants and especially under the backdrop of the heat of the climate change less and less species are surviving. I am happy for this specific project that connects students from both countries. It holds many components which are very good for the children’s education.”
The other special speaker was the High commissioner of Rwanda to Canada H.E. Prosper Higiro. He started by thanking all the participants and collaborators. H.E. Higiro said, “this initiative is a clear demonstration of how a committed youth can contribute greatly to the world’s sustainable development. Biodiversity is very important in human management as well as natural ecosystems, biodiversity is the foundation of ecosystem services to which human beings are very well linked. That is why we are all grateful for this collaboration which led to the launch of this pilot biodiversity program.”
The other key speaker was Mr. Michael Bloomfield who is the Founder and Executive Director of Harmony Foundation of Canada. Mr. Bloomfield expressed his gratitude and enthusiasm of being part of such a great and important cause. He underlined the importance of working together to maintain biodiversity conservation.“People to people cooperation is the best way to achieve a peaceful, just and healthy world. Biodiversity is a very important part of that puzzle,” he said.
Prof. Uri Shanas who is the CEO and Founder of This is My Earth (TiME) highlighted different challenges affecting biodiversity and also provided ways to work towards sustainable solutions for biodiversity conservation through TiME. The organization’s programs give the opportunity to each and everyone to contribute to this great cause starting from children in pre-school to university students.
IRYD, TiME and Harmony have selected Rogozin school in Kiryat Ata Israel and Shelter Them – Batarure (Shelter Them) and Groupe Scolaire Rugando (GS Rugando) in Rwanda to participate in this implementation phase. The three collaborators are pleased to work together on this great initiative which will positively impact the communities in both countries and contribute to an ecologically responsible and sustainable development.
Report by Doriane Kundwa, Vice-President, IRYD Canada and Miss Rwanda 2015.