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NAEE was at the Association for Science Education annual conference in Birmingham running two workshops on environmental education through STEM and taking part in a Teachmeet.  One of the most valuable parts of the day was considering with interested and informed colleagues how to bring the 17 sustainable development goals, environmental education and STEM subjects together.  Very stimulating; we’ll be saying more about this at a later date, and in next journal.

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Last week’s NAEE blog was by Joyce Hallam, retired Head Teacher of Hawkshead Esthwaite Primary School.  Joyce set out a sample of statutory statements in three subject areas of primary and secondary education which provide huge scope for developing concepts, ideas, knowledge, skills values and attitudes that relate directly to global citizenship education and have the potential to provide a starting point for linking to, and exploring, the sustainable development goals.  Joyce’s post links to an article that she has written for NAEE’s Spring 2019 journal (EE120) which has a focus on the goals and learning.

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The Institute for Sustainable Futures and ILAS invites us all to a talk by Jonathon Porritt, co-founder of Forum for the Future, and Chancellor of Keele University.  His theme is: 2020-2030: The Most Critical Decade in Humankind’s Short History.  This is on Wednesday January 16th in Keele Hall at 1715.  Refreshments will be available from 1645 and the Nesfield Bar will be open after the lecture.  Porrit writes:

2018 was a shocking year for humankind in terms of accelerating climate change, loss of species and habitats, worsening pollution problems, and serious setbacks on governance, human rights and poverty alleviation issues. Plus an extra 75 million people by the end of the year.  To point out that this is literally ‘unsustainable’ is blindingly obvious – but politicians are still not in listening mode. So how can we, in Higher Education and elsewhere, double-down on today’s inspiring solutions agenda? And should we now be embracing a new era of much more radical direct action?
Don’t worry if you can’t get there as there will be a video available after the event – details will be announced here.
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The Government published its Environment Bill just before Christmas to ensure we have legislation in place post-Brexit. Its principle is restoration rather than just limiting damage and there is detail about restoring biodiversity, peatlands, water quality, etc..  Also, there is likely  to be statutory targets for improvement, and an independent scrutiny committee, as the Climate Change Act requires.

NUS has published research that shows that 90% of FHE students want the UK to have at least as good, or better, environmental regulations post-Brexit with 50% wanting higher levels of protection than current EU laws.  It is worth a look to just to see what students what MPs to spend more time talking about. Good news is it isn’t Brexit, or immigration! There is lots of interesting insights in there on the priorities of students.  NUS is planning work with WWF and The Wildlife Trusts, engaging MPs in on-campus debates to help lobby for strong, restorative environmental legislation.

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Aston University has become the second University to get Plastic Free status from Surfers Against Sewage. Here are two of Surfers’s short films about plastic: Film one – Film two.

And here’s a link to Lucie Parsons telling us all we need to know about Christmas (and other) wrapping paper and recycling.  Do take note.

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The West Midlands Sustainable Schools Network recently highlighted the following:

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The latest Forest of Avon Trust newsletter given an insight into activities in and around Bristol.  This includes details of iTree Bristol, along with the Talking Trees Bristol campaign that is informing the Action Plan for Bristol’s Urban Forest.  This will make the case for trees across the city, engage a wider range of people in being supporters of trees and provide a mechanism through which to access a wider range of funding for existing and new trees. Click here for a summary of what partners are working to achieve.

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There’s more here from the Science Geek – this time about the Chinese Moon landing.

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A recent Environmental Audit Committee report says that the Government has failed to recognise and respond to the issues of hunger, malnutrition and obesity in the UK and should appoint a minister to ensure cross-departmental action.  The report, Hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity in the UK, focuses on the Government’s commitment to deliver UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: Zero Hunger.  The second half of the report reviews its broader progress against the domestic implementation of the SDGs.