smallNAEE, the Savers charity, and Heart of England Rotary invite you to the launch of the Cut Down on Plastics exhibition of children’s work at Holy Trinity Church, Broadgate, Coventry on Friday 28th June at 1030.  Councillor Linda Bigham, the Lord Mayor of Coventry, will launch the exhibition.  RSVP to gabrielle@back.f9.co.uk

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The Great Science Share for Schools allows children to communicate something that they have been investigating which started with a question that they were interested in.  By promoting child-centred learning in science, the campaign provides opportunity for young people to communicate their scientific questions and investigations to new audiences – in their own words and ways.  More than 58,000 children will take part this year.

More than 58,000 children will take part this year.  At the University of Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery on Tuesday, 18 June hundreds of children from 45 primary schools across Greater Manchester will be demonstrating their own science investigations to each other.  For example, children from Park View Community School will consider what a non-plastic world might look like. The organisers say that this year it’s evident that children are concerned with the environment and how they can use science and engineering to improve lives.

For more information on the event you can visit the website, watch the video Introduction, or follow them on twitter @GreatSciShare using the hashtag #GreatSciShare to ask your questions and share your experiences. You can also read the Great Science Share for Schools FAQs.

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The BBC reports that scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Stockholm University have found that 571 plant species have disappeared in the last two and a half centuries.  This is more than twice the number of birds, mammals and amphibians recorded as extinct (217 species).  The report says that the data suggest that  plant extinction is happening as much as 500 times faster than what would be expected normally, if we humans weren’t around, and the researchers believe the numbers might underestimate the true levels of ongoing plant extinction.

The researchers are calling for a number of measures to stop plant extinction:

  • Record all the plants across the world
  • Support herbaria, which preserve plant specimens for posterity
  • Support botanists who carry out vital research
  • Teach our children to see and recognise local plants.

The research is published in the journal, Nature Ecology and Evolution.

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These are links to a range of International Biodiversity resources:

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Earth Overshoot Day is July 29th this year.  The organisers say that if you’re a US or EU citizen, you can sign a petition to demand that leaders manage ecological resources responsibly.

  • In the EU, we want to increase pressure on decision makers.  Why now?  The recent elections saw a surge of green votes and of voters’ concerns about environmental issues in general.
  • In the US, we want to build up visibility of environmental issues. Why now? Democratic candidates are positioning themselves and adjusting their political platforms during the early phase of the primaries campaign.

Both US and EU petitions have reached the 30,000-signature mark in just a week.

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Commenting on the Government’s new net-zero carbon 2050 target, James Robottom of the Institution of Engineering and Technology [IET] gave a welcoming word of warning:

Committing to net-zero by 2050 is a very ambitious and complex challenge but one that engineers have to be at the heart of.  The technology and approaches that will deliver net zero are now understood, which is crucial, but will need strong policy leadership to ensure they are implemented.  Progress has been made in transport and electricity but this needs to continue at a great pace and significant challenges remain in decarbonising heat and industry.  80% of the homes we will be living in, in 2050, have already been built, meaning foremost a national retrofit programme has to be seriously considered and implemented to bring these into net-zero targets.”

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The next meeting of the recently formed Global Learning Network for England will be on July 3rd (1345 to 16:15), at CAFOD, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London.  The main focus of this meeting will be the Advocacy strategy that Oxfam are developing on behalf of the network.  If you have not attended one of these meetings before, this 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, please email Doug Bourn

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A new study reported by The Ecologist considers the most likely ways the world will end, including disease, nuclear war, natural disaster and asteroid impact.  It is not a cheerful read; this is how the Ecologist’s feature begins:

Climate change poses a significant threat to humanity, as a rise in sea levels would lead to an increased incidence and intensity of natural disasters, including floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, storms and drought.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines catastrophic climate change as a temperature increase of 1°C to 3°C above pre-industrial levels.  If the earth’s climate temperature increased by 2°C, subsequent floods would eliminate 280 million people, earthquakes would wipe out 17.6 million and drought/famine would result in 230.8 million fatalities, scientific studies have shown … .”

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On Wednesday 26th June, there will be a mass lobby outside Westminster, calling on politicians to pass a strong Environment Act that not only protects wildlife but restores it too.  The Time is Now campaign is being organised by Greener UK – a coalition of UK environmental charities including The Wildlife Trusts – and The Climate Coalition.

There’s more details here.

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The House of Commons debated the UK’s contribution to meeting the sustainable development goals last week.  You can read the contributions to the debate here.

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The YHA (England and Wales) is the lead sponsor of the CLOtC national conference and is offering free membership to all delegates attending the conference.  You can find out more about YHA membership here.  Confirmed speakers are

Phil Minns HMI, Ofsted, Specialist Adviser for Early Years and Primary who will talk about ‘Bringing an ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum to life – an Ofsted perspective.’ and Harry Bates, #iwill Ambassador and Member of Youth Parliament for Blackpool who will share his thoughts on the value of learning outside the classroom.

The conference will be hosted by Paul Rose, adventurer, TV presenter and learning outside the classroom ambassador. Paul is former vice president of the Royal Geographical Society and is currently Expedition Leader for the National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions.  Discounted tickets are available if booked before 31 July 2019