Present day youth are increasingly at risk of getting detached from nature. Agrobiodiversity (ABD) walks are targeted particularly at such groups and takes place at school or colleges to nearby forests. The knowledge holders of the communities guide these walks and introduce their group to the various edible and medicinal plants. They pass on their knowledge of wild edibles and herbs and their uses. Through these walks at myriad number wild plants are documented and catalogued. The activity is a good tool for practical education and is connected to local knowledge bank systems. This is also a form of intergenerational transfer of knowledge. At present, a total of 37 ABD walks have been conducted in 37 villages, viz., Khweng, Madanrtiang, Liarsluid, Khliehumstem, Plasha, Umsawnoldhi, Mawhiang, Laitsohpliah, Laitumiong, Pyrda, Dewlieh, Umsawwar, Nohron, Pashang, Iewrynghep, Mawlyngngot, Mawpynthymmai, Pyngka, Khapmaw, Nongpriang, Thawkong, Nongmawlong, Langshongthiang, Dombah, Nongtraw, Mawmithied, Lummawsiang Umdum, Mawlum Mawjahksew, Chandigre, Rangwalkamgre, Selbagre, Dura Kantragre, Megonggre, Ganol Songma, Samingre, Ganol Apal, and Nongprut in which 1175 people participated. Many of these walks are part of the Nutritional Campaign while at other times they were done as a separate activity. In Laitsohpliah and Selbagre, ABD walks were conducted as part of the Biodiversity Day celebration program. A total number of 36 people took part in the activity. Local plants were documented which especially among children led to increasing appreciation of the riches of local agrobiodiversity. With this knowledge the youth especially have become more confident in terms of their knowledge about their local landscape.
NEN conducted Biodiversity walk with 21 students & two teachers at Mesulumi village, with eight youths at Phek village, with 12 students, two teachers and one community elder from New Phor.
What happens in a biodiversity walk:
- Mobilization: Under this process, it involves a number of activity that a facilitator needs to keep in mind. Some of them include:
- Initial meeting with the community to explain the rationale of organizing a biodiversity
- Selection of a target group, location and a guide (local knowledge holder)
- Group Division: The process of dividing the group during ABD walk, is to save time and trying to finish off the ABD walk within the set time frame. Grouping system helps to get access more knowledge about biodiversity.
- Collection of Species/Plants with a proper labeling: During this process, it also allows the students to keep in their minds those the plants that can be grown within the school garden.
- Identification &Classification of Species/ Plants: ABD walks enable the X, Y, Z to identify the particular species / plants through placing or classifying certain edible and medicinal plants on the table / floor and naming them accordingly. By displaying the plants practically students and youth are able to build-up knowledge from the knowledge holder about its benefits.
- Recording: Usually recording is a key point to maintain and recover the extinct plants through documentation. Recording is useful for future reference.
- Celebration: Biodiversity walk doesn’t only allow the inter-generational knowledge sharing it also brings the nutritional diversity into a single platform e “PLATE”