The Mucura Award for Wetland Conservation incentivizes knowledge and recognizes the commitment of rural children and youth to the conservation of wetlands in provinces, each year. We launched a first pilot on the province of Sugamuxi (in Boyaca, Colombia) which consists of 13 towns with a geographical area of 2.230 km2, but are willing to spread this over into other provinces and regions. In simple terms, this initiative rewards positive actions on local rural wetlands made at an early age.
Our regular educational system and way of living are causing in children and youth a progressive detachment from nature, and this is sadly also happening in rural areas. Wetlands, in turn, despite of their connection to all of us in one way or another by its multiple services and being so fundamental for our living, are getting gradually destroyed all over and, pressure to the remaining sources is higher year after year. There is a link between detachment and destruction, by losing awareness.
We are confident that rewarding children and youth in rural areas for their positive actions on local wetlands is an important driver to recover awareness and contribute on avoiding that progressive detachment from nature. Having a yearly award to recognize those actions might not be a solution by itself, but rather a contribution to it and a platform for new opportunities in life that could potentially help the future of rural communities by stimulating new leaderships on nature conservation.
When Pres Obama asked Sir David Attenborough: "How did you get interested in nature, to such a deep fascination?" (from this 2015's dialogue: https://youtu.be/MsoPOQE5ass), his answer reveals the background for our Mucura Award initiative: "Well, I've never met a child who's not fascinated in natural history... so the question is, how did you lose it? how did anyone lose the interest in nature?, but if you do lose it, you've lost a great treasure". So we aim to help a bit on avoiding that lost.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Project-site Mucura Award for Wetland Conservation
Press article at B7D about the Mucura Award
Video with supporting messages by three entities
YEW / Youth Engaged in Wetlands' article