Understanding the Knowledge and Awareness on Biodiversity of Tertiary Level Students in Bangladesh

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Since we are living in the era of Anthropocene where human impacts towards natural resources are inflating over time due to the excessive progress of economy, ecologically sustainable approaches are gaining more momentum nowadays to attain sustainable development. Biodiversity being one of the three principles of ecological sustainability, playing as a hub for other principles. The ongoing biodiversity degradation stands as a major hurdle in the way of attaining sustainability. Unfortunately, the existing biosphere is degrading at an alarming rate which is disrupting the balance of the natural systems. The level of knowledge and awareness among students towards biodiversity is essential for biodiversity conservation. Considering the conventional education structure of Bangladesh, tertiary level education has been playing an important role in generating new knowledge in a particular field. Interestingly, we have identified a serious gap in terms of research endeavor which addressed the magnitude of awareness and knowledge on biodiversity of tertiary level students in Bangladesh. Thus, this study attempts to find on how much our young generation knows about biodiversity. This study, first of its kind, is the initial step towards this direction. The study focuses on the response of tertiary level students which was documented using a closed format questionnaire. Consulting the available and relevant literature and discussion with the experts in this field, weight (score) was assigned to each option based on its merit. We have assumed that the students having the background of natural science have better awareness and knowledge on biodiversity than that of their non-natural science counterpart. One of the major approaches of this study was to figure out whether there are any substantial differences among the level of knowledge and awareness between these two clusters. The results indicated that there are significant differences (p<0.05) among the knowledge and awareness scores between the two clusters viz. natural and non-natural science students. However there are no significant differences when it comes to the basis of gender or the type of university (public and private). The main implication of this study suggests increasing or adding courses on the broader spectrum of environmental science and management in the curriculum of non natural science students to enrich the knowledge and awareness regarding biodiversity.
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Environmental Science and Management
North South University
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