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The Green Schools Project is launching a new ‘Climate Action’ programme in September and is looking for a small number of schools to run a pilot. This is a series of CPD sessions that focuses on building a whole-school ethos that addresses the climate crisis and allows schools to respond to it through a creative and purposeful curriculum. Full details of the programme can be found here.

If you know of any schools that might be interested in this please get in touch at henry@greenschoolsproject.org.uk 

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Today is Earth Overshoot Day is the day when humanity reaches a deficit in its ecological spending.  This deficit is maintained by humanity in a number of ways, such as accumulating waste (especially carbon dioxide) and liquidating ecological resources.  From an ecological perspective, EOD represents the day when humanity simply exceeds the environment.  In 2018, EOD occurred on August 1st.

Organisers say that, ideally, Earth Overshoot Day should occur on the last day of December, meaning that resource spending did not exceed Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources.  This ideal date was nearly attained in 1970, when EOD occurred on December 29, just two days before the end of the year.  In the following years, the date has steadily pulled away from December, as humanity’s resource spending increases.  In 1975, 1980, and 1985,  EOD occurred on November 30th, 3rd, and 4th, respectively.  In 1990 and 1995, the date occurred on October 11th and 5th, respectively, and then on September 23rd in 2000. Since then, Earth Overshoot Day has occurred in August.  This is a not a good trend.

More details here.  

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Butterfly Conservation says can you spare 15 minutes to take part in the Big Butterfly Count?  It’s easy to identify the butterflies you see and submit your sightings with the free App and ID chart.  Every count helps us asses the impact of environmental change on wildlife and identify the fastest declining species.  Butterfly Conservation asks us to tell them how butterflies are faring where we live so that they can target research and conservation work where it’s needed most.

Details here. 

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Harwood Education has teamed up with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to develop and deliver a Climate Change Education Programme for primary and secondary schools in the UK.  This multi-annual project will develop a comprehensive package of interactive classroom materials on climate change for school teachers and children:

1) UN Climate Change Learn: Specialist E-Course for Teachers
2) UN Climate Change Learn: Interactive Teaching Programme for Children

One of the programme’s goals is to kick-start an international climate change youth dialogue that fosters direct discussion between school children around the world through the concept of ‘Climate Change Diaries’. The UN Youth Climate Dialogues-inspired documentary TV series will showcase how children around the world are coping with climate change in inspirational ways. The campaign will be promoted internationally through online channels and on social media.

Details here. 

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The Churchill Fellowships are now open for applications.  A Fellowship is a life-changing opportunity to spend 4-8 weeks anywhere in the world, researching a cause that you care about.  You can visit the world’s leading projects and professionals in your topic, and help you to share your insights when you return home.  The aim is to empower individuals to learn from the world and transform lives across the UK.

Details here. 

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The National Lottery has launched a new £100m Climate Action Fund.  Whilst types of activities will differ from place to place, they will have one thing in common: the ability to deliver high impact community-led climate action.  This includes in areas such as sustainable energy, sustainable transport, consumption, food and protecting and regenerating spaces and habitats. 

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In a victory for hedgehog conservation, new planning laws require small holes be included in the base of fences in new developments, creating ‘highways’ that enable hedgehogs to roam freely.  There’s more information about this on the BBC’s Discover Wildlife website. 

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17 non-governmental organisations have launched a social media campaign highlighting the links between the EU and Japan’s legal ivory markets and the poaching of elephants.

The campaign aims to inform a CITES meeting in Geneva next month where a coalition of 32 African countries – the African Elephant Coalition (AEC) – are calling on all counties to close their ivory markets as a matter of urgency. Tens of thousands of African elephants are slaughtered every year for their tusks fuelled by the demand for ivory across the world, including the EU.

Further details here. 

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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has resources on its learning hub to expand our understanding of the circular economy and learn how the concept can be applied to different parts of the economy. 

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There’s a Climate Activism Education Saturday  in London on October 12th sponsored by NUS, UCU and NEU.  The organisers say:

Student strikes have inspired a generation of new activists and pushed the climate emergency to the top of the political agenda.  The latest UN report on the climate emergency said:

  • Without urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero carbon there will be dangerous temperature rises above 4 degrees by 2100 – in the lifetime of young people alive today.
  • 1 degree rise above pre-industrial levels has already led to an increase in fires, hurricanes, floods and droughts
  • The transition to a zero-carbon society to keep below a 1.5 degree increase is the most urgent problem facing humanity and is technically feasible
  • The obstacles are entirely political

This one day conference is aimed at workers and students from across the world of education to discuss, in plenaries and workshops, how we can work together to bring about the change we so desperately need.

For details click here. 

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Finally, today is Global Tiger Day.  WWF says that there are only around 3,900 wild tigers left in the world and that since the beginning of the 20th century, we have lost over 95% of the world’s wild tiger population.  In the circumstances, “Lost” seems a wholly inadequate word.  