The International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) has been celebrated in Eritrea since March 1996 - Eritrea’s accession to the Convention on Biological Diversity. In 2008, the theme of the IBD on Biodiversity and Agriculture coincides with the Government of Eritrea's priority of food security through agricultural activities.

This year in Eritrea, the Department of Environment of the Ministry of Land, Water and Environment, in collaboration with major stakeholder organizations, celebrated the IBD through the participation of students in environment sensitive activities. On 22 May 2008 students throughout Eritrea were engaged in tree planting, watering and environmental sanitation in their schoolyards and their neighborhood. All schools in Eritrea were involved.

The Ministry of Land, Water and Environment prepared an official message on the occasion of the day, which was distributed to all schools and posted in the national media. School Directors/Administrators read the official speech to their students on 22 May 2008 before starting the day's celebrations. The message emphasized the need to conserve biodiversity in general and agricultural biodiversity in particular in order to ensure food security. It also highlighted the role of sustainable agriculture in biodiversity conservation. The message concluded by requesting students to plant trees in their schoolyards and environs.

Most schools in Eritrea have established environmental clubs (Green Clubs) involved in environmental activities and building knowledge and awareness on environmental issues. These clubs facilitated the IBD activities in their respective schools and the teachers played a lead role in organizing the students’ activities on the day. The habit of tree planting and taking care of them will instill a culture of conservation in the students, who will be the future conservation leaders of the country.

Celebration was made possible through the participation of many actors including the Department of Environment, the Ministry of Land, Water and Environment, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Governors of the six zobas, and all schools, teachers and students. FAO Eritrea provided 300 T-shirts with slogans reflecting this year’s theme and the World Bank granted access to its Public Information Center for staff of the Department of Environment to download documents of relevance to the day.

To view or download the report on IBD 2008 in Eritrea