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Online EcoHackathon: Biomes Not Borders

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” —Albert Einstein

The Earth is our home that has a protective ceiling from sun’s harm radiation, suitable climate to our bodies, suitable mixture of gasses to breathe, and sustenance-full lands and seas. But the Earth is not our home alone, we share the Earth with all living organisms and the astonishing fact is that we are connected to these organisms and every element in the Earth in interdependent relationships. So, The Earth with living nature and non-living nature constitutes a complex system that we are part of.

Humans’ selfishness, and greed fueled with the arrogance resulting from the view that Humans are superior to all other living things because of our intelligence, thus everything in nature is there for the sake of humans’ benefit only, have led to the overexploitation of natural resources, and devastation of natural habitats to serve humans’ benefits. This resulted in loss of biodiversity, ecosystems imbalance, extinction of many species, deforestation, and pollution. All these consequences backfired on humans since we are connected to every element in nature in a complex network of relationships.

The “Biomes Not Borders” Hackathon gives you the chance to create a change in the values and beliefs about nature in kids’ minds as an endeavor to affect their actions, choices, and decisions in the future in a manner that contributes to conserving and protecting nature and the Earth. You will learn a new perspective about nature based on Biomimicry principles and Islamic theology and teachings that grant intrinsic value to nature regardless of its benefit to humans and determine ethics to deal with nature. Then you will convey these values, ethics, and principles to kids in an interesting story E-book.


Conscious emulation of nature’s genius – Janine Benyus

Biomimicry is a discipline that emerged in 1997 by Janine Benyus based on the fact that nature (the living nature) does the same functions that humans want to achieve, and nature has been on Earth for 3.8 billion years, so nature is sustainable. According to that, Janine introduces a paradigm shift from striving to fit on the Earth to fit in within the Earth in harmony with all its elements and systems as a part of nature not dominant of nature. She argues that by mimicking the design principles of the strategies by which nature does its functions, we can become sustainable since nature uses these design principles and is sustainable. There are three levels of emulating nature: emulating nature’s forms, processes, and systems through considering nature as our model, measure, and mentor. In the biomimicry thinking process, the designer studies deeply nature strategies and mechanisms and distill design principles that can be applied in a solution to a relevant human design challenge.

The Biomimicry 3.8 institute investigated the ubiquitous design principles in nature that apply to 99.9% of organisms’ strategies and identified 7 deep pattern principles that they call Life’s principles. They consider these principles the ultimate sustainability standards that can be used as guidelines for human design to ensure the fulfillment of the ultimate goal of Biomimicry.

Biomimicry is an integral way of thinking, so it embraces the ethos of respecting nature for that it has been our mentor, and learning of nature’s survival strategies makes practitioners believe that nature’s elements have good, interests, and values of their own. So, the Biomimicry ethos entails the protection and conservation of all nature.

Nature in Islamic theology and teachings:

The Islam holy book “the Quran” confirms that the whole universe including the Earth and nature on it and the heavens have been created for purpose and has value. God in the Quran asks humans to reflect and contemplate nature to figure out nature’ value and purpose. When we contemplate nature, we realize that Nature is created for several purposes from which it takes its value:

All forms of nature, living and nonliving, hold signs to humans of God’s existence and Hereafter.

All forms of nature, living and nonliving, manifest God’s names and qualities

All forms of nature, living and nonliving, glorifies and praise God, prostrate to and worship Him.

In the hackathon we will discuss and prove by evidence these three values of nature and we will experience how Biomimicry can be a method to ponder on nature and investigate nature’s signs which was encouraged in the Quran verses.

The Quran and the prophet’s sayings oriented Muslims on the limits and rules that must govern humans’ actions toward all living beings and clarified the rewarded deads toward all living beings to help humans to live in harmony with everything on earth and enjoy the blessings of God that He has created for them on the Earth and thank Him for that.

In the hackathon we will learn all the Islamic ethics toward nature and the Environment and we will compare it with the Life’s principles.

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