Why we are doing it
Consequentially, there is an increasing need for people to understand the issues and opportunities in the field of biodiversity and biodiversity protection. The European Union has created the framework for this, mainly through the Biodiversity Strategy 2030.
Protecting biodiversity is a key aspect of protecting the environment, and climate change has a major role in biodiversity degradation, even more so on the biodiversity of islands in Iceland and Madeira, Portugal, where two of the partners of this project are located. Islands are places that are by nature more vulnerable to biodiversity loss.
The Convention on Biological Diversity states that “The unique characteristics that make island biodiversity so special also leave it particularly fragile and vulnerable. Despite the high levels of biodiversity and the prevalence of endemism, island species are present in relatively small numbers, making them very vulnerable to extinction.” In this area, we believe that Common Values, Civic Engagement and Participation have a significant role to play when protecting biodiversity, particularly at the small-scale locally. Lastly, to increase Civic Engagement and Participation, the project will see the creation of pedagogical tools and methodologies that will result in improving the competencies of educators and other of educators and other adult education staff. Involving more people through civic participation, knowledge and skills, is essential to speed up this process and ensure that wider European policies are implemented in the medium and long terms.
What we want to achieve
We want to train participants of project activities in the knowledge of biodiversity issues and the skills necessary to protect biodiversity locally at a small scale. To train participants in the knowledge of biodiversity and the skills to protect it, the educational and pedagogical materials of the project will be structured into 2 main Intellectual Outputs
The Biodiversity Illustrated Handbook and the Biodiversity Illustrated Curriculum. The Illustrated Biodiversity Handbook will cover 36 of the world's "key" global ecosystems, sometimes referred to as "biodiversity hotspots."
These are places that are relatively small in area but host the most biodiversity. Examples are the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes Mountains Tropical Hotspot.
Information about these 36 ecosystems will be supported with the use of strong artistic content: illustrations, short stories and photography.
The artistic elements are one of the most important innovative aspects of this project. There is growing evidence that shows that including visually appealing content when informing people about a certain subject raises a wider interest in the subject.
Information about the 36 selected ecosystems will be supported with 72 illustrations and 54 high-quality photographs to make them more visually appealing. Furthermore, the Handbook will also include a series of short stories that want to engage participants through the power of storytelling in the subject of biodiversity and biodiversity conservation. Lastly, the Handbook will include 3 documentary videos that cover the main ecosystems of the places where the partners are based. These include 2 island ecosystems from Iceland and Madeira, where most species of plant and animals are endemic and only exist there, and the contrasting ecosystems of Spain, the country in the European Union with the largest national network of terrestrial Natura 2000 sites.
Civic Engagement will complement the need to increase the competencies in the knowledge of what is biodiversity, what constitutes and healthy ecosystem, and what people can do locally and/or regional at a small scale to protect biodiversity.
The Curriculum will include the experience of the partners in the subject and the pedagogical tools and methodologies necessary to achieve project goals.