smallWe were pleased to see that spending time in nature was in the list that the Duke of Edinburgh Award put forward as its definitive list of character hacks for teenagers today – 25 experiences every young person should have the chance to try.  This is based on ideas “vital for building character” put forward by over 4,000 people, including young people, members of the public, parents, business leaders and teachers.  The DoE says:

How often to you spend time outdoors? Our research shows that a fifth of teenagers (20%) have never been for a walk in the countryside.  If you live in a town or city, it might be difficult to connect with nature but you really should – it can have an extraordinary impact on your body and your mind as you focus all your senses on the birdsong, flowers or waves.

In fact, experts say that spending time on a river, in the sea, up a mountain, in woodland or in other wild places not only promotes physical activity (think canoeing, surfing, running, cycling…) but can also help with your mental health.  What’s more, spending time in nature will remind you of its fragility and might encourage you to be more active on environmental issues“.

Indeed it might.  ∫∫∫

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At the other end of the Earth the New Zealand Department of Conservation [DoC] asked young people to share their favourite outdoor activities – at the beach, the river, local parks and backyards.  The 50 winning entries are being used to create a ‘50 things to do before you’re 12 ¾ activity sheet’ for all New Zealand families to get outdoors and connect with nature.  The winning entries are here, and the final resource will be available on the DoC website from Autumn 2020. ∫∫∫

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The NAEE blog on January 23rd was the text of the letter sent by Zamzam Ibrahim, the President of SOS_UK and the NUS to the Prime Minister reminding him that, thirty years ago, Mrs Thatcher called for urgent action on the greenhouse effect at the UN General Assembly.  The letter asks for the Prime Minister’s personal help in ensuring that the education system is a central pillar of the Government’s strategy on climate change.

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The Sustainability Horizons monthly research roundup brings you the latest reports and innovations across the sustainability spectrum: from natural capital and ecosystems to strategy innovation.  This month, features include:

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The Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity has published the initial draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.  This will replace the Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed in 2010, and set the agenda for the conservation of biodiversity globally for the next few decades.  This draft outlines a new 2050 Vision, 2030 and 2050 Goals, a 2030 Mission and set 2030 action targets to achieve those goals.  The TRAFFIC website notes that the zero-draft includes a target to “Ensure by 2030 that the harvesting, trade and use of wild species, is legal and at sustainable levels.”  The aim will be for the document to be finalised and agreed by government representatives meeting at the CBD CoP15 in Kunming in October – assuming that travel to China has been re-normalised by then.

TRAFFIC also has a feature on the wildlife markets at the heart of the Coronavirus outbreak. ∫∫∫

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Tomorrow’s Earth Stewards web magazine is a resource with various types of media, articles, reviews, and research written by or about stewardship experts in the hopes of helping to develop stewardship worldwide.  The website has a video introduction.  Although this has a North American base in Tuft’s University, the focus is global.  ∫∫∫

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There will be a meeting of the Global Learning Network for England on 12 March 12th (1330 – 1600) in London.  This informal network has been established following the closure of Think Global, to provide networking and sharing opportunities for organisations involved in the promotion and delivery of global learning in England.  If you want to attend, or to join the network list, please email Kester Muller by March 5th.  ∫∫∫

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The deadline for proposals for the 2020 NAAEE Conference and Research Symposium is March 23rd.  The meeting is from 13 October to 17 October in Tuscon.  Details here∫∫∫

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The 50th anniversary of Earth Day will be on April 22.  There’s a new website and a new monthly newsletter is here∫∫∫

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The TEESNet conference in 2020 is on Thursday 17th September at Liverpool Hope University.  Details to follow about what will happen this year after a 2019 lay-off.   ∫∫∫

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Images for the Eden Project in Morecambe are available here.  Eden says that its Project North will be designed to help the regeneration of the area socially, economically and environmentally.  If they build it, will you will come?  ∫∫∫