While government negotiators, NGO staff and business delegates are assembling at COP twenty-two to talk about taking action to limit global warming to 1. 5 degrees, we need to ask themselves what policy measures will be most effective for reaching this goal. Intended for one, we need to speed and scale up the transition to totally renewable energy to avoid the most damaging influences of climate change that help address the needs of the very most vulnerable. But another part of this work to turn the pledges of Paris into action and flesh out what the fine print of the offer actually means will give attention to education, specifically Education for Sustainable Advancement (ESD).
Exactly why is this so crucial? Because climate change is at its basic a crisis about disconnection; from nature, from the impacts of our day-to-day actions and from each other. In very functional and tangible ways environmental education can resolve this disconnection and deliver real and widespread within knowledge, behaviour and on-the-ground action.
The link between our well-being and the environment is actually beyond doubt. Gain access to a healthy environment is essential for ourphysical and mental health. Studies have shown increased skills and more positive thoughts after even brief spells in character. Studies in numerous nations show that children’s games are more creative in inexperienced places than in solid playgrounds. Environmental experts such as Jonathon Porritt go even further to say that exposure to the natural world is the most effective route to wellbeing we have.
This can be all the more true for teenagers. Sadly children throughout the world are experiencing the adverse effects ofliving in degraded environments and are in risk of living with chronic diseases caused by air pollution or publicity to environmental toxicants. In extreme cases communities areexperiencing the loss of their natural environment through sea level rise, flooding and natural disasters related to local climate change. Western countries have seen an impressive collapse of children’s engagement with characteristics as described in Rich Louv’s book Last Kid in the Woods. In one generation the amount of children regularly participating in wild places in the UK has decreased from more than 50 percent to fewer than one out of 10. In many countries we are witnessing the first era of kids largely growing up indoors, disconnected from the natural world.
How do we expect young people to acquire the defence of nature if they have less and less regarding it? Put simply, we can’t. You do not protect what you do not know.
Which brings us to Maryland. In 2011 it became the first US State to make environmental literacy an important high-school graduation need, an insurance policy which earned the State the near future Policy Award in 2015. The ground breaking environmental literacy requirement pioneered in Baltimore has helped secure the mixing of environmental content in varied ways across the curriculum from Jardнn de infancia through to graduation. This has also strengthened the cooperation between outdoor education providers and schools to ensure that every child has regular meaningful experience in nature.
From 12-14 October the World Potential Council hosted a 3 day field visit to Annapolis for legislators from education and environmental ministries from around the world, to research the positive influences of the state’s Environmental Literacy (E-lit) Standards. Individuals from five continents came up together to see Maryland’s pioneering policy for. With its give attention to hands-on outdoor learning the policy offers a wide variety of benefits for students – boosting engagement, raising test scores, and increasing wellbeing. While in Maryland delegates had the chance to join an extraordinary range of field activities with university kids testing river air pollution levels and relating the findings to surrounding land use, identifying wildlife and plant species in the Chesapeake bay ecosystem and conducting experiments to learn about the value of oysters for water quality. Within the curriculum, students regularly take part in wetland restoration efforts, woods planting and other local conservation activities.
It’s not hard to understand why many of the supporters of this sort of environmental education see a strong link between these education efforts and the increasing state of the local environment which has seen a flurry of positive trends lately.
This brings us back to Marrakesh COP 22 and how to deliver on the Paris Agreement. One of the rare hopeful occasions in Leonardo DiCaprio’s recent climate documentary Before the Flood comes during a conversation how to change the climate trajectory wish on. “I have beliefs in people” says Piers Sellers, Director of the entire world Sciences Division at NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA) Sellers. “Once people come out from a fog of confusion on an concern, realistically prefer the risk and are informed of what the best action is to deal with it, they get on and do it. What seems impossible to do becomes possible. ” If perhaps we want to see the lastest tackle the climate and environmental difficulties facing us we must give attention to providing these important interactions with nature, a good grounding on the fundamentals of sustainability and a high level of environmental literacy. Proven plans like those in Annapolis offer the way ahead.