The Youth, Culture and Biodiversity (YCB) thematic area of ABN aims to deepen peoples’ sense of belonging, with one another and with the earth in order to restore confidence eroded over years of marginalisation of indigenous ecological knowledge and practices. The strategies being used to achieve this are to bridge the gap in knowledge between elders and youth on indigenous ecological knowledge, and lobby for inclusion of this knowledge in school curricula. In the past three years, the work has grown in its effectiveness and complexity and has been refined enough to be used in a wider context. Children and youth are now taken to experience nature and culture and connect with themselves and engage through a range of proactive endeavors in both their schools and communities.
In Ethiopia and South Africa, respective government offices are consulting ABN partners to advice on how to integrate traditional ecological knowledge in to the school system. Celebrations are happening in partner countries involving local communities and decision makers and building both the confidence and the identity of the community, which are some of the basis for resilience building. Youth are actively involved in healing ecosystems and in campaigning when degradation happens due to various forces. In Ethiopia, youth who came out of this process are demonstrating credible leadership in critical positions in various government institutions and universities. Their confidence was build and their relationship with the earth strengthened.