Climate Action

This Week on Earth: The World Pushes for Climate Literacy

Good morning, and welcome back to This Week on Earth. Each week, we highlight the latest environmental news and what it means for our planet.

Climate change education vital for sustainable future

A recent piece in the The Statesman affirms that enhancing environmental literacy through education and training is imperative in dealing with the challenges of climate change.

Environmental education plays two roles. One is to empower people to participate effectively in environmental decision-making, environmental governance, climate mitigation and climate adaptation. The second is to develop a cadre of professionals who can play an effective role in environmental governance and sustainable development.

Arctic sea ice is a sensitive indicator of climate change and has strong retaliatory effects on other components of the climate system. (Photo: iStock)

In Mexico, fighting climate change could soon begin in the classroom

The World Economic Forum argues that the role of children as climate change educators is often overlooked in policy – but it can play a significant role. By strengthening the teaching of environmental issues in classrooms, children become empowered as agents of education about climate change – and this drives greater participation by their family.

“The fight against climate change must be strengthened through basic education in classrooms” — Mexican Senator Clemente Castañeda Hoeflich

Read the full story here.

Children can take what they have learned about climate change back to their homes.
Image: Luis Ramirez

Citizens are demanding environmental education

As detailed by Malay Mail, a recent report from Australian research platform Glow questioned 5,256 citizens across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and the UK about their level of trust and satisfaction with governmental response to climate change. Building on recent momentum in climate education and literacy efforts, over 50 percent of citizens favor educating people about environmental issues rather than other measures to fighting climate change.

An activist holds a placard depicting planet Earth during a “Youth Strike 4 Climate” protest march in Bristol, south west England on February 28, 2020. – “Activism works, so I ask you to act”: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg called on young British people to rally during a climate march. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK / AFP)

The Benefits of Outdoor Science Education and COVID-19 implications

Environmental and outdoor learning boasts an array of scientifically-proven benefits for students, from increased environmental stewardship and awareness, to improved social, academic, physical and psychological health. Nature deficit disorder, as coined by author Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods, is the idea that many behavioral problems and challenges facing our students, such as reduced attention spans and obesity, are actually caused by lack of time outdoors. Nature-based learning has shown to be more effective than traditional teaching, to increase attention spans and to reduce stress. It’s no surprise then that pediatricians have started prescribing time outdoors to children.

Read the full story at Smithsonian Magazine.

A survey of nearly 1,000 environmental education and outdoor science schools that serve primarily K-12 learners shows that 63 percent of such organizations are uncertain whether they will ever open their doors again, if pandemic restrictions last until year’s end. (Dan Squire)

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