Category: Blog – So What?

Our blog is the So What? part of Earth’s Cool. Read our stories and discover the reasons, the answers, the deepening questioning and thinking we are trying to promote.

Our blog is for you, our reader and fellow environmentalist. Follow our daily movements, from the classroom into the garden and out into the real world.

Bring on the Kids we say! It is time to take action for our futures on Planet Earth. Every step we take from NOW counts. Every action we take from NOW counts.

Environmental EducationEnvironmental Education

What is it and Why do we need it?

Environmental education (EE) is just what the phrase says it is: education about (and for) the environment.

Environmental education practitioners focus on how educational activities can address the current environmental crisis. We look at the huge melting pot of socio-ecological concerns, how politics dominates the natural landscape, global economics and the concept of environment as percieved by the world’s diverse cultures.

Where does Education Fit In?

Those in environmental education also focus on the history of education and how this has influenced where environmental education is going. Education, as we know, has emerged from many old, deep-rooted ways of teaching and thinking. ” Lifelong learning” is becoming a buzz word as education is forced to adapt to ongoing change.

It is important to note that environmental education is not ” a thing to be implemented” but rather a range of diverse educational processes that respond to environmental issues and risks in different settings.

In 1991, environmental education was defined by Huckle like this: “Education for the environment should be a shared speculation with pupils on those forms of technology and social organisation which can enable people to live in harmony with one another and with the natural world”.

In 1999, a workshop organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Environment Programme (UNESCO/UNEP) declared that environmental education should consist of:

  • awareness – an appreciation of, and sensitivity towards, nature (biodiversity), as well as for total environment and associated problems
  • knowledge – of ecological and other scientific foundations, socio-political foundations, environmentally-related problems and issues, alternative solutions to them and action to be taken
  • attitudes – concern about problems, values, ethics, moral reasoning, moral efficacy (the power to produce a desired result or effect), personal responsibility, willingness to participate or act
  • skills – critical thinking, problem-solving, implementation and evaluation of action plan
  • participation – personal and community-based involvement in environmental issues.

In today’s rapidly changing world of Covid 19, climate change and over-population leading to ecological collapse, the United Nations has formed an environment strategy for environmental education and training.

In this strategy, environment is understood to encompass the natural and built environment, socioecological and economic aspects of environmental issues, and political dimension of environmental protection. In this context, environmental education and training includes aspects related to a wide variety of environment and development issues that affect and are affected by human activities and natural phenomena.

Recognising that the capacity of human society to address environment and development issues and risks differs according to context, culture, skills and patterns of environmental change, this strategy recognises the need for appropriate education and training, skills, technology, infrastructure, access to resources and information for enhanced environmental management capabilities.

” The condition of the environment (human and non-human) is increasingly subjected to degradation. As a consequence, the sustainability of life on our planet is under threat. The reasons for human exploitation of the environment are manifold and complex. However, it is only the actions of human beings that can ensure that all future generations (of all life forms) derive benefit from our environment in ways we do today. Education can and should play a role in bringing these realities to learners who will become our future scientists, politicians, businessmen, lawyers, teachers, engineers and so on. More importantly, education can contribute in learners to take action towards environmental improvement.” (Lesley Le Grange Department of Didactics, Faculty of Education, University of Stellenbosch).

… ” in many countries, globally, the implementation of EE is a prerogative of individual teachers. At the same time, it appears that as it is the case with South Africa; school curricula do not guide teachers on which topics to select or how to select and use them for the purposes of implementing EE. More importantly … [there is a dearth] of research that focuses on the identification of topics that could enable EE implementation in the school curriculum. “

What do we Need in South Africa?

We need better implementation of EE in South Africa where teachers are uncertain what to teach and how to incorporate environment into their classroom subjects. Teachers are under huge stress and have little time to invent new lessons for huge classes of learners. EE should be incorporated into each and every subject in a way that teaches the children about the situation they face in reality.

Our children need to learn how to survive in an ever-changing world where climate is getting wilder, resources are thinning out and space is dwindling. Technology can assist, as can a positive attitude to tackle change in extraordinary ways.

It is great news to hear that UNESCO is trying to reform education globally: UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative aims to rethink education and shape the future. The initiative is catalyzing a global debate on how knowledge, education and learning need to be reimagined in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and precarity. 

With accelerated climate change the fragility of our planet is becoming more and more apparent. Persistent inequalities, social fragmentation, and political extremism are bringing many societies to a point of crisis. Advances in digital communication, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology have great potential but also raise serious ethical and governance concerns, especially as promises of innovation and technological change have an uneven record of contributing to human flourishing.

Vision: Knowledge and learning are humanity’s greatest renewable resources for responding to challenges and inventing alternatives.  Yet, education does more than respond to a changing world. Education transforms the world. 

Earth School wants to be part and parcel of these forward-thinking processes. If you read our website, you will know that we promote an holistic comprehension of the Earth and our place as humans on the Earth. Environmental Education weaves through all subjects including science, biology, geography, history, mathematics, English and more.

Earth School chooses to act, to turn the tide.  We all need to find and implement new systems and – most important of all – bring on the kids! What do we do when top experts from all over the world keep telling us that the world is at a tipping point? And that humanity needs to act now to save our futures, all of our dreams, our connections to Nature…

We take this message to heart. We are teaching our pioneering group of children, aged 9 to 15, in one of the greatest classrooms on Earth – South Africa’s natural environment. We film relevant issues in our context, lessons learned and ways to take action. We invite collaboration!

Vote for Nature!Vote for Nature!

It is World Environment Month

What does “ENVIRONMENT” mean to YOU?

  • It’s where I live
  • It’s everything familiar to me
  • It’s everything green around me – plants and nature
  • It’s all the living things and non-living things in the world
  • It’s Biodiversity
  • It’s the man-made things and the Earth we live on

ENVIRONMENT in academic terms

  • For some people, ‘environment’ means ‘nature’ – the natural landscape and all of its non-human features, characteristics and processes. Ideas of wilderness and of pristine landscapes that have barely been influenced by human activities.”
  • “For other people, ‘environment’ includes human elements. Agricultural and country landscapes – including urban areas… changed by humans in some way”
  • So the ‘environment’ exists in some kind of relation to humans. We see it as the ‘backdrop’ to our human history. It’s the habitats and resources that humans exploit. It’s the wilderness surrounding human settlements that humans have yet to dominate…

“Each year, World Environment Day is a powerful platform to accelerate (speed up), amplify (magnify) and engage (involve) people, communities and governments around the world to take action on critical environmental challenges facing the planet.”

What is Going on this World Environment Month?

  • The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced that Colombia would be hosting World Environment Day 2020 in partnership with Germany.
  • 2020 is a year for urgency, ambition and action to address the crisis facing nature.
  • A special time for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment.

More about Colombia

  • Colombia is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries with the second-highest level of biodiversity in the world. 
  • It boasts Amazon rainforests, highlands, grasslands, deserts
  • It is the only country in South America with islands and coastlines along both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
  • Colombia is the fourth-largest country in South America, after Brazil, Argentina and Peru. It is also the 25th-largest country in the world.
  • With over 50 million people, Colombia is the third-most-populated country in Latin America.

It’s Time for Nature

  • Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on land and below water.
  • It affects every aspect of human health: clean air and water, nutritious foods, scientific understanding and medicine sources, natural disease resistance, and climate change mitigation.

What can YOU do?

This World Environment Day, learn how all living things on Earth are connected in the web of life and how we can act: #ForNature

TASK 1

Take a walk outside your home or open your window. Sit and listen. How many different animal sounds do you hear? If you live in a city you may hear cats, dogs, squirrels, bees, flies, mosquitoes and several different birds. If you live in the countryside you will probably hear more. List your sounds here. If you hear birds, try to identify which species they are; if you hear insects, try to identify them too.

TASK 2

Find out what one thing (ISSUE) that is harming nature in your neighbourhood. The issue could be dumping, road building, developments, pollution, plastic, you name it. Are people using pesticides near you e.g. farms, wine farms, etc? Do a bit of research and find out what is going on around you.

TASK 3

Food Webs – draw a food web based on an ecosystem in your area. Answer these questions:

  • Explain why humans are at the top of the food chain.
  • Give 3 examples of producers.
  • Give 3 examples of consumers
  • What does a scavenger member of the food chain do?
  • How is a food chain different from a food web?

TASK 4

Give 5 reasons why South Africa is so MEGA BioDiverse? Draw something to illustrate this.

The best thing you can do is ENJOY Nature while she is healthy and here. Take care and become a Nature Custodian. NOW!

Water Water Everywhere…Water Water Everywhere…

Water, water everywhere – but for how long? The Earth consists mostly of water – consider the many huge oceans and seas, the rivers, streams, glaciers, dams and lakes. These water sources are all part of something Greater – the miraculous water cycle!

Choosing a Water Theme for a Biodiversity Party is therefore a great idea! We can imagine that there is indeed water, water, everywhere, but this is a myth. The Earth has finite water resources. We need to save water! Climate change means change for humans too. It means adaptation is key to saving our Earth.

Save Water!

Leeya Van Reenen is an Earth Kid who wants to address the issue of general water use and water saving. Her Biodiversity Party – to celebrate Earth Month (April), Biodiversity Month (May)and Environment Month (June) – is a water party with the loud and proud message: Please do NOT waste water and only use it if it’s necessary!

Leeya describes her ideal Biodiversity Party, with a water theme: “We will walk around in the river and we will play a game I like to call ‘Touched or Not’. This is when one person has a blindfold on and the others touch that person. But here is the tricky part: the person blindfolded can touch you too and if you get touched, you have to do a dare from the IT person,” explains Leeya with a glint in her eye.

Talking about water, the UN World Water Development Report was released in March this year and this is what it had to say:

Water use has increased sixfold over the past century and is rising by about 1% a year. However, it is estimated that climate change, along with the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events – storms, floods and droughts, will aggravate the situation in countries already currently experiencing ‘water stress’ and generate similar problems in areas that have not been severely affected.

Celebrate Pure Drinking Water Today

This should make every one of us sit up and think: “What can I do about water in MY area?” Leeya said that she will not have a speaker at her party but she chooses live entertainment. She wants her friends to celebrate the mere existence of water, right here, right now.

Leeya knows that so many of us come from privileged backgrounds and homes: we turn on a tap and water comes out. We have a hot shower whenever we feel like it. We drink water when we are thirsty. BUT how many people in the world do NOT have access to clean drinking water? Millions and millions. These people may share one tap to a street, or they have to walk for kilometers to find water in a stream to take home. They will then have to boil the water before consuming it. Many people live in such dry regions that they do not have rain for months.

Did you know that 1 in 9 people still have no access to clean water worldwide? Lack of water is a daily and crippling reality. Without water, people cannot grow food, they cannot build houses, they cannot build strong and healthy immune systems, they cannot go to school and they cannot keep working. So many people are running out of hope in more than half of the developing world’s primary schools which have NO access to water and sanitation!

A Watery Party with a Waterfall Cake

Leeya is celebrating the fact that she has water in her taps and a stream running through her garden! She is excited about her Biodiversity Party:

“I am having a river cake! My cake will be a 4-layered cake that will look as if water is dripping down its sides. But it will actually be ice cream!  We will also have cookies for rocks. There will be a lake made out of fondant that will run down this cake. My cake will be a vanilla cake – and then there will also be a chocolate one, a lemon one and a colorful one – made with blueberry, strawberry and mint.”

Have YOU thought about water today? Are you saving water and making sure that there is still some for tomorrow?

Take a look at these water saving tips:

Stop Importing Birds!Stop Importing Birds!

People must stop importing exotic birds, says Jeremy Schack. This causes an imbalance in the food chain when exotic birds disrupt the very existence of indigenous birds. These visitors force native birds from their ecosystems, threatening their livelihoods.

Jeremy is an Earth Kid who has been stuck in France during the global Covid 19 lockdown. He decided to hold a Biodiversity Party for the Rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri) which are part of the Collared Parakeet family. Jeremy did some research and shared it with his peers.

Rose-ringed Parakeets are Exotic Invasives

Jeremy discovered that these birds, now found in France, are actually an invasive species which are disrupting indigenous birds in the country. How did they get to France when they originate from Africa and Asia?

Well, it so happened that there was an accident when apparently “a few individuals escaped from planes that landed at Orly and Roissy airports in the 1970’s and 1990’s respectively. The birds smoothly transitioned to the temperate climate of the region, in which temperatures are mild year round, and in the absence of competition and predators on the newly conquered range, they rapidly spread to most parts of the urban area, inhabiting its numerous parks, woods and private gardens.” Yalakom website highlights how well the birds are now doing in France.

“Rose-ringed Parakeets are a danger for birds and animals that are protected and threatened with extinction – such as bats and tits (mésange), ” said Jeremy.He found out that they eat buds from trees and chestnuts – chasing other species like the red squirrel from these foraging areas. “In large numbers they are a threat to nature.”

Jeremy’s Findings about Parakeets

  • The Rose-ringed Parakeets are tropical birds.
  • They originate from tropical forests in Africa and India.
  • They have a bright green colour.
  • They have a high-pitched noise.
  • There were about 50 of them left in 1970.
  • 50 years ago, many of them flew out of their cages at the airport.
  • Now there are about 8,000 to 10,000 in France.
  • They live for about 40 years. Today owners who are bored of looking after their birds, let them fly away. This affects different endemic species as the Parakeets multiply quickly.

These parakeets are predators for the local birds, added Jeremy. “They hatch their chicks in December, much earlier than the local birds. They steal other local birds’ nests to lay their eggs. When the local bird comes back to its nest, to lay its eggs, it has been stolen. Then it does not have enough time to make another one.”

These birds are remarkably loud, a trait amplified by their highly gregarious behavior. They can form flocks of a few hundreds while night communal roosts often count dozens, to the dismay of locals―relentless aviary noises are not to the taste of everyone―and much to the detriment of their cars parked under the gathering trees.

Jeremy has invited the legendary scientist, Oliver Païkine, to be guest speaker at his Biodiversity Party. Jeremy learned from this bird researcher that even if these birds become over-populated, there is still a free space available in France for them in the ecological system. “There are already too many to get rid of them. We’ll have to adapt to them,” said Païkine.

He added that the presence of Rose-ringed Parakeets in French cities does not currently pose a global problem of cohabitation with other species. “For the moment, they occupy a vacant place, an ecological niche that is still unoccupied,” he said. They like plane trees in the cities where they find holes to nest in.

Jeremy Makes a Good Smoothie!

  • Biodiversity Party Theme: The Rose-ringed (Collared) Parakeets (Perruches) invasion in France.
  • Place: Private garden, Paris surrounds, France.
  • Food to share: ‘Biodiversity Smoothie’ & light salads.
  • Everyone is welcome.
  • Talk by: ‘Oliver Païkine’, in charge of the birds’ protection.
  • Main message: ‘Save the birds’ in Europe and surrounds. Stop importing tropical birds.

If you were to hold a Biodiversity Party, who would YOU invite and who would be YOUR guest speaker?

It is very sad that illegal trade in parrots (parakeets are part of the parrot family) is so rife. It is great that Jeremy has highlighted this issue. Organized-crime rackets that have made billions of dollars trafficking animals such as elephants and rhinos have added parrots to their repertoire. Australian palm cockatoos have been known to fetch up to $30,000 a bird on the black market. The illegal parrot trade is rampant in Latin America and the Caribbean, where laws against it can be lax or difficult to enforce.

It seems that birds are very valuable pets to have. Earth Kids would much rather save a pet from an animal charity then buy a bird at a pet shop where they have been trapped illegally as part of the wildlife trade!

Join the Movement – No More Wildlife Trade!

Dear David AttenboroughDear David Attenborough

Dear David Attenborough. Please will you come to my Biodiversity Party as my guest speaker and as the most famous, most kind man on the Planet? I want you to give the main speech at my party for Nature.

Amelia is an Earth Kid and this was her message to the man himself, last week, during World Biodiversity Week. A letter to someone who cares. If there is a man who truly loves Nature, it must be David Attenborough. A man who throws his heart and soul into wildlife conservation.

A Special Biodiversity Ambassador

“I love David Attenborough because he is very smart and I love his voice. He explains things very nicely and clearly,” says Amelia. She chose to invite this famous conservationist to her Biodiversity Party to celebrate International Biological Diversity Day on 22 May.

—”I will invite a group of my friends who will have to use make-up or face paint to show which Ocean animal they are coming as,”said Amelia. She researched her guest speaker, David Attenborough.

He was born in 1926 in London and is known as Sir David Frederick Attenborough. He is a renowned naturalist, celebrated for his exceptional educational films and series about Nature’s diversity and innate wisdom.

Attenborough presented Blue Planet II , broadcast in 2017. It is said that some 14 million Brits alone watched this series! A documentary that has been widely acclaimed for its passionate dedication to all creatures on Earth. Attenborough also narrated Our Planet, an eight-part documentary series, for Netflix in 2019.

Nature Documentaries

He was recently quoted as saying: “As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world – but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day: the loss of our planet’s wild places, its biodiversity. I have been a witness to this decline… if we act now, we can yet put it right.”

Amelia agrees! Her message to all her party guests would be that the earth is dying. “We need to help our planet as much as we can before it’s too late. —We need to stop polluting because all of our litter ends up in our oceans and our animals die.”

My Ocean Biodiversity Party

—She added that the theme of her party would be the ocean. “There will be ocean-themed snacks and decorations. We will have meat including fish, fish cakes, mussels – and if someone doesn’t eat meat, there will be sushi, etc”.

—My Ocean Party will be in my garden. There will be a fire pit and some lights on the trees. There will be a table for snacks and drinks and there will be speakers to play some music. The party will start at 4pm through to 8:30pm. It will be on a Saturday, some of my friends would maybe sleep over.

Did you know that in the past 7 years, David Attenborough has collected 32 honorary degrees from British universities, more than any other person? Wow! No wonder he has been called “the great communicator, the peerless educator” and “the greatest broadcaster of our time.”

Amelia recognises his goodness and his intelligence. She loves watching his wildlife films such as The Truth About Climate Change.

https://theconversation.com/do-david-attenborough-documentaries-help-the-natural-world-new-research-gives-cause-for-hope-125077

Do take a look at David Attenborough’s achievements. Then take a look within and see how committed your own heart is to saving our Nature on Earth!

Once Upon a TimeOnce Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a little girl with long brown hair who lived in a beautiful old house with her 12 brothers and sisters, her mom and dad, a hutch of rabbits, 4 dogs and some cats too.

This little girl was called Sophia. She loved animals (especially bunnies!), her garden and baking cookies with her mom. In fact, this story is about Sophia and her baking – she creates Nature cookies. You see, Sophia is an Earth Kid at Earth School. She was busy with her Biodiversity Party. She chose a Forest Theme for her party. Let me tell her story here…

The children were asked to plan and actually hold a Biodiversity Party at their homes. The entire country is in Lock Down thanks to Covid 19. So what better way to spend a weekend than in party mode? This was the request from the teacher (me!):

Let’s Have a Party for Nature!

  1. Who will you invite to your Nature Party? Think here in terms of Biodiversity – ants, scorpions, moss, mushrooms, frogs … Think of a food chain in a habitat you love. A habitat can be a grassland, wetland, ocean, mountain, forest, desert…
  2. Where will the party be?
  3. What will be your theme for your party? Anything you love: flowers, trees, cookies, even Minecraft!
  4. What will you eat? Make something for real that you can share with us! It can be a green cake or a healthy smoothie or a vegetarian meal.
  5. Which famous person will give the main speech? Think in terms of Biodiversity – David Attenborough, for example?
  6. What is your main message to all your guests at your Biodiversity party?
  7. Do something to illustrate your party. A poster, a Powerpoint presentation, a painting, make something from nature or to do with your theme…

Sophia’s Biodiversity Party

Who is invited? Bees; Butterflies; Ants; Beetles; Squirrels; Owls; Hedgehogs; Deer; Rabbits; Mice; Rats; Woodpecker; Wolves; Fox; Bear; Snake; Badger; Frogs; Mushroom; Moss.

Where will the party be held? In a clearing in Cecilia forest, after sunset.

Food: ◦Edible Flowers ◦Honey ◦Berry Juice ◦Carrot Cake ◦Sophia’s Forest butter cookies ◦Strawberries

Guest Speaker: Bindi Irwine – a conservationist from Australia.

Bindi Sue Irwin is a passionate wildlife conservationist, who has inherited her parents’ love for wildlife and wild places. Born to Wildlife Warriors Steve and Terri Irwin, Bindi is a determined soul, destined to make a positive difference on the planet.

Message: “We need to protect the forest biome from many threats such as forest fires, logging and pollution.”

Sophia Made Nature Cookies!

Sophia is a very lucky little girl: she has a kind mom, she has a huge kitchen and she has lots of time to make gorgeous biodiversity cookies! Did you share those delightful cookies, Sophia? Just checking!

The moral of the story? We can all be part of Nature, humans ARE part of Biodiversity – and we can eat cookies to celebrate this.

Biodiversity is our LifebloodBiodiversity is our Lifeblood

Earth Kids concentrated on Biodiversity during May – the month of Biological Diversity. We set them a series of tasks to do, which you can see below. The more we sit in Nature and admire her perfection, the more we will love her. We need to re-instill a respect for Nature that we take into the future.

What is Biodiversity?

  • Biodiversity means all the living things on Earth.
  • Biodiversity is the biggest things down to the very tiny things.
  • Living things work together.
  • Every living thing depends on another.

Biodiversity is a compound word: Bio is a Greek word. It means life. Diversity means many different kinds. Biodiversity means many different kinds of life.

TASK 1

Take a walk outside your home or open your window. Sit and listen. How many different animal sounds do you hear? If you live in a city you may hear cats, dogs, squirrels, bees, flies, mosquitoes and several different birds. If you live in the countryside you will probably hear more. List your sounds here. If you hear birds, try to identify which species they are; if you hear insects, try to identify them too.

https://earthkids.tv/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/backyard-science-biodiversity-activity.pdf

TASK 2

Environmental Issues

Find out what one thing (ISSUE) that is harming nature in your neighbourhood. In Welcome Glen we know that the pollution of the Else River has a huge impact on the water quality, the animals that depend on the river, our dogs and our health. This water ends up in the wetland then in the ocean so affects everything in the catchment. The issue could be dumping, road building, developments, pollution, plastic, you name it. Are people using pesticides near you e.g. farms, wine farms, etc? Do a bit of research and find out what is going on around you.

TASK 3

Ecosystems and Food Webs

An ecosystem is a community of living and non-living things that are inter-connected. In a healthy ecosystem, the biodiversity is rich. Every living thing in the ecosystem interacts and all play a vital role to keep the system working.

The producers are the first group in an ecosystem. These are the green plants which make their own food using photosynthesis. They use energy from the sun and water in the soil.

The consumers eat the plants. This is the second group – animals that get their energy from eating producers or from eating animals that do. Consumers are herbivores or carnivores.

Decomposers, the third group, are animals or plants (such as fungi) that break down dead animals or plants into organic materials. These then return to, and enrich, the soil. This is known as a food chain, or a food web.

http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/nwepecosystems.htm

Food Webs – draw a food web based on an ecosystem in your area.

  • Explain why humans are at the top of the food chain.
  • Give 3 examples of producers.
  • Give 3 examples of consumers
  • What does a scavenger member of the food chain do?
  • How is a food chain different from a food web?

TASK 4

Mega Biodiversity

Did you know that 17 countries are classified as Megabiodiverse? What does this mean? Megabiodiverse countries boast numerous and different indigenous and endemic animal and plant species.

The 17 megabiodiverse countries are: Australia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, South Africa, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, USA and Venezuela.

https://earthkids.tv/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/t-l-526348-the-cautious-caterpillar-life-cycle-of-a-butterfly-powerpoint-english_ver_2.ppt

Give 5 reasons why South Africa is so MEGA BioDiverse? Draw something to illustrate this.

https://www.ket.org/education/interactives/KY-Bio/levels/biothreelevels.html

(Try this interactive activity! Click on the tabs at the top).

What is this picture above trying to tell us?

Look at this infographic below. Which threats do you think are the greatest to Biodiversity? Why do you say this?

Take Action to Save Biodiversity

Yes! You can start to make a difference! Take Action Now.

START – Read true stories about young people like you who made a difference. They saw an environmental issue in their neighbourhoods and managed to solve them. Research your area and your city and your province – make a list of all the environmental issues you can try to solve.

PREPARE YOURSELF – Go to libraries, museums or onto other “green” websites to find information on how to protect the environment. Find out more about other environmental organisations and individuals in your area and country.

GET HELP – Ask family, friends, teachers, mentors and youth leaders for help.

ACT! – If you notice an environmental problem in your neighbourhood, start to fix it. Don’t wait for others to get ready. Use your innate wisdom to help make the Earth a better place for all biodiversity.

Let’s Have a Party for Nature!

  1. Who will you invite to your Nature Party? (Think here in terms of Biodiversity – ants, scorpions, moss, mushrooms, frogs, etc – think of a food chain in a habitat you love. A habitat can be a grassland, wetland, ocean, mountain, forest, desert, etc).
  2. Where will the party be?
  3. What will be your theme for your party? (Anything you love: flowers, trees, cookies, even Minecraft!)
  4. What will you eat? Make something for real that you can share with us! It can be a green cake or a healthy smoothie or a vegetarian meal! We will share our creations on Skype!
  5. Which famous person will give the main speech? (Think in terms if Biodiversity – David Attenborough, Steve Irwin, or other?)
  6.  What is your main message to all your guests at your Biodiversity party?

Do something to illustrate your party. A poster, a PowerPoint presentation, a painting, make something from nature or to do with your theme…

https://earthkids.tv/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Summary-Biodiversity-Day-1.pptx

“Our solutions are in Nature”“Our solutions are in Nature”

“Our Solutions are in Nature”- the theme for this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May. The Convention on Biological Diversity has set this day aside every year to celebrate Earth’s incredible and myriad miracles – big and small, huge and minute.

As the global community is called to re-examine its relationship to the natural world, one thing is certain: despite all our technological advances we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our health, water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy, just to name a few. The slogan “Our solutions are in nature” emphasises hope, solidarity and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.

Why Do we Need Solutions?

What on Earth does it mean? Our solutions are in nature? Solutions for what? Why should we care? Well, human beings have caused the biggest crisis of all time on Earth: climate change and global warming. Huge environmental issues are linked to this: the plastic pandemic, the Covid 19 pandemic, the trade in wildlife pandemic, the rainforest destruction pandemic – and so the list goes on. What on Earth are we doing?

A solution is like an answer – what you decide to do to solve a problem. We have a problem! So, let’s try to solve it together. And we can do this by looking after Nature and learning from her…

How Do Earth Kids Respond?

Earth Kids respond by taking small steps. They participated in the IBDD by creating a video! They all had something to share about their understanding of “our solutions are in nature”. What do you think it means?

Earth Kids spend the week leading up to the International Biological Diversity Day learning about Biodiversity and doing some tasks.

We learned what Biodiversity really is…

https://earthkids.tv/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Why-is-Biodiversity-so-Important.pptx

And we learned about Ecosystems and Food Webs

https://earthkids.tv/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Biodiversity-Food-Chains.docx

Amelie knows her food web connections well:

https://earthkids.tv/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/food-web-2.docx

Jeremy shared with us a wonderful picture he draw to illustrate Mega Biodiversity in South Africa!

Jeremy: South Africa is so Mega Biodiverse

  1. South Africa is one of the top three biodiversity-rich countries, with Brazil and Indonesia.
  2. South Africa has one of the world’s biggest flower kingdoms.
  3. South Africa is on a high plateau and has two different oceans: the Indian Ocean that is warm and the Atlantic that is cold.
  4. South Africa has millions of creatures ranging from the smallest insects to the largest animals.
  5. South Africa has lots of game parks and lots of protected marine areas.
  6. South Africa is one of the countries that has the most different and diverse populations.

Sophia was very artistic in her depiction of her garden biodiversity:

Amelia was very conscientious in her duty to listen to all the wonderful life in her garden, from the tiny insects to the birds and the trees.

Biological Diversity keeps human beings alive – and that means you too! What are YOU going to do about it?

25 Things to do in Social Isolation25 Things to do in Social Isolation

Start with this list of 25 things to do in social isolation and then make your own list. Once you start to think about what you CAN do in nature in strange circumstances, you discover there are myriad ways to do it. If you live in an apartment or a flat, then you can replicate the nature you see from your window. Or when you go on your daily walk, head for a park or a field or a bit of nature.

With thanks to Nature Play WA Inc., an incorporated not-for-profit association established to increase the time Western Australian children spend in unstructured play outdoors and in nature.

  1. Camp out overnight in your own backyard! Pitch a tent or sleep under the stars.
  2. Start a nature journal – sketch or paint leaves, fungi, flowers or other nature finds.
  3. Collect leaves and make a nature crown or necklace. Pointy leaves are perfect!
  4. Try star gazing – what’s the first star you see in the night sky? How many can you count?
  5. Make a “campsite” in your backyard with a cubby (try and make it waterproof) and pretend campfire.
  6. Get on your bikes or scooters and head out for a family ride, around your neighbourhood.
  7. Plant out the vege patch with seasonal vegetables.
  8. Go on a photo safari. Choose a subject (or colour scheme) and see what you can “capture”.
  9. Go geocaching around your neighbourhood ! if you’ve never tried a digital treasure hunt before, visit the “Things To Do – Geocaching” section of our website.
  10. We’re going on a bear hunt! Place a teddy in your front window so passersby can see them. How many can you see in your neighbourhood?
  11. Get artistic with sidewalk chalk. Draw a hopscotch or rainbow on the footpath outside your house!
  12. Use a notebook to press nature treasures. Collect leaves or flowers, and write notes to remind you of when and where you found them.
  13. Discover more fun ways to play outdoors. Download the Nature Play WA app to get started.
  14. Break out the card & board games. Snakes & Ladders, Monopoly, UNO and Pictionary: let’s play!
  15. Learn a new skill. Who in your family can teach you how to knit, sew, bake, garden or build?
  16. Go on a bug hunt! What creepy crawlies can you find in your very own back yard?
  17. Create a “boho” picnic experience in your backyard – use couch cushions and floor rugs, with bedsheets hung off your swing set as a canopy.
  18. Learn how to service your scooter or bike. Check for damage, punctures & give it a good clean.
  19. Create a living tepee. Fasten together sticks or bamboo & plant a climber (peas or beans).
  20. Cook on backyard fire pit. Snags in a frypan or toast on a toasting fork. And who can forget the toasted marshmallows? (Check for fire bans first!).
  21. Go on a family bushwalk. Check the “Things To Do – Hiking” section on our website for trails. Be sure to check for any park closures before you go.
  22. Write a letter. Find out your friends’ addresses, write to them, or send a picture you’ve drawn.
  23. Try cloud watching. Can you see animals or shapes? Tell a story about them as they float across the sky.
  24. Cook together. Make jam or preserves using seasonal fruit. Design your own label for your jam.
  25. Try mindfulness. Choose a spot outside to spend 5-10 minutes each day. What sights & sounds do you experience? Do the change from day to day?

https://earthkids.tv/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/25-Things-to-do-in-Social-Isolation-Resource.pdf

https://earthkids.tv/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/t-l-526292-the-cautious-caterpillar-differentiated-talk-cards.pdf