Need of environmental literacy for biodiversity conservation

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THE IMPACT of climate change is clearly perceptible through extreme weather events and with a deteriorating situation anticipated for the future. The key to build climate resilient agriculture, providing ecological and economic stability to countries is in genetic wealth of biodiversity. Media plays a vital role to convince policy makers to highlight the worth of biodiversity, its conversation, and its sustainable use. It is a matter of accumulative environmental literacy through effective communication and outreach. The responsibility of environmental literacy lies on all of us, particularly media, faculty, and students to work towards filling the gap between knowledge and action. It is grave concern to engage both traditional and non-traditional audiences on priority bases for environmental scientists. Many people obtain limited information about environmental issues through biased sources; predominantly the media, leading to misconceptions. Thus the environmental scientists need to be much more intensely active in approach to communicating to diverse audience. Explaining and communicating science to non-scientists is vitally important task by which they go about this communication. The passion for nature is a must for creation of environmental literacy, this passion if linked with effective and genuine communication will positively help to reach out to people across multiple audiences. Evolving passion in how we communicate ideas can supplement the capability for people to not only understand the main ideas, but also grasp the philosophy and ethics of conservation in an essentially more thoughtful manner. Media rather than scientists have represented as the bridge between science and the public. However, this may leads to inadequate reporting, with a tendency to sensationalize results. To solve this issue, academia should publish outside scientific journals more often and be more vocal in public domain media. Advocacy for environmental literacy at all levels in education system, especially at grass root level is need of the time, where their environmental knowledge is found missing. In academia, changes are needed so to enable scientists to take more active roles in science communication. Courses should be incorporated into existing curriculum for graduate or undergrad students to help them develop skills in teaching and interpreting scientific information across disciplines. Environmental scientists should categorically seek multidisciplinary collaborations to publish from outside the scientific journals and find solutions to the social extents of biodiversity issues. In addition, Higher Education Commission must begin to value public and policy participation on par with publishing of high impact journal articles, and not see it as interruption to real academic work. Media and scientists need to be more proactive and purposeful in the way of communication to create an environmentally literate society that performs decisions based on both sound science and the needs of humanity.


Published in: Volume 06 Issue 21

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