NEW Forest School movement launched

On July 7th the Forest School movement reached a milestone in its history in the UK.  After two years of consultation and many years talking, the new independent Forest School Association was launched.  The first Directors were duly elected, there was a healthy debate about the name of the organisation which has now been decided on, and it is the Forest School Association, there was the usual networking and a variety of workshops.  The day had a real celebratory feel to it along with a sense of ‘pulling together’.  The association will be a voice for Forest School, support practice, ensure quality training and push forward on research.  It has been welcomed by many including patron Tim Gill who said:

I am very honoured to be asked to be the patron of the first national association for those working to take forward the Forest School movement……………… For me, the potential of Forest School is built on two vital foundation stones: the intrinsic qualities of natural places, and the intrinsic motivations and learning impulses of children. If Forest School is to leave a lasting impression on the lives of the children and young people who experience it, these two need equal emphasis…………. I look forward to following and cheering on the work of the Association, and I am happy to do whatever I can to help take the organisation forward.”

Source : http://www.outdoor-learning.org/Default.aspx?tabid=104

Forest Schools have featured in many articles in Environmental Education journal – https://naeeuk.wordpress.com/naee-journal-and-publications/environmental-education-journal/

Compiled by Henricus Peters, Co-chair of NAEE

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Launch of the new ‘Forest School Association’

Saturday 7th July 2012 saw the launch of a new national body for those working in UK Forest School settings – the ‘Forest School Association.’ The launch event was seen as a milestone in the growth of Forest School in the UK with almost 200 participants braving the elements to undertake workshops and networking sessions, which all took place outside. The event saw the first Directors elected, a group of whom will function as Officers to the body and aim to represent the variety of those involved with Forest School. The association will be a voice for Forest School, support practice, ensure quality training and push forward on research.

(Information taken from www.lotc.org.uk)

 

The new association will take time to develop and more information will be available on the IOL website in coming weeks, see: www.outdoor-learning.org/Default.aspx?tabid=104

Hidden rift valley discovered beneath West Antarctica reveals new insight into accelerating ice loss

Scientists have discovered a one mile deep rift valley hidden beneath the ice in West Antarctica, which they believe is contributing to ice loss from this part of the continent.

Experts from the University of Aberdeen and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) made the discovery below Ferrigno Ice Stream, a region visited only once previously, over fifty years ago, in 1961, and one that is remote even by Antarctic standards.

Their findings, reported in Nature this week reveal that the ice-filled ancient rift basin is connected to the warming ocean which impacts upon contemporary ice flow and loss.

 

To read the entire press release visit www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=1866

Bringing Education to the Jungle

In the 1980s a handful of Bolivian street children were taken on a field trip into the Amazon Basin.  These children were blown away by what they saw – the trees, the flowers, the animals – but also by devastation from farming and illegal logging.  When they saw a spider monkey, malnourished and trapped in a cage, the children rescued the monkey.  Then they began to campaign; eventually they raised enough money to open the first sanctuary for wild animals in Bolivia.  They called it Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi, which means sun, moon and stars in Quechua, Aymara and Chiriguano Guarani, symbolising hope for unification between Bolivia’s environment and its people.  Now CIWY runs three refuges in different parts of Bolivia, rescuing exotic animals from captivity, rehabilitating and releasing where possible – where not, offering damaged creatures dignity and respect in environments as wild as possible.

I started working with CIWY in 2007 and, like countless other international volunteers, my experience (including the totally unexpected relationship I formed with a female puma) changed my life.  But CIWY not only takes in animals and raises awareness with their volunteers; they also help underprivileged young Bolivians by providing them with safe homes, educations, the chance to learn about their environment and, ultimately, the chance to make a difference on their own.  CIWY take their work out into local communities, and they are just beginning to bring the jungle into English speaking classrooms.  We have created an educational resource pack that tells the story of CIWY – how it is possible for paws, claws, boots, roots, feathers and tails to live together, in harmony.  If you are interested, please visit www.ciwy.org

Image

Laura Coleman, CIWY

Earth Hour Reflections

I celebrated Earth Hour for the first time at the RIBI assembly dinner on 31st March: the lights were switched off and hundreds of candles illuminated the area. This was my first experience to a beautifully simple idea that has become a massive global phenomenon, which has successfully united an extraordinary number of people across the globe. This simple symbiotic act carries a huge environmental message.

Hundreds of millions take time to switch off their lights for an hour on the last Saturday in March as they are driven by the thought of positive action to help tackle climate change and protect the natural world from the impacts of our ever consuming lifestyles. This is fantastic and inspiring and NAEE encourages people to go beyond just the hour and extend energy saving that can make such a difference into their daily lives.

The way we live has impacts that we can not always determine or haven’t yet experienced: these can range from weather changes such as droughts and flooding to food shortages, loss of species and deforestation. So, Earth Hour is not just about saving electricity, it is much greater than that. It is about realising that the actions we take; to the energy we use; the food we eat and the water we drink – all have an effect on our planet.

We all depend on our amazing world and need to care and look after it, not just for an hour, but for every single day of the year.

The analysis after tracking the total electricity demand during the day and comparing it with the corresponding profile of previous Saturdays in the UK showed that there was indeed a significant reduction in the mid evening peak when people often switch lights on. Overall, this translated to a massive saving of around 2,850 tonnes of CO2, an impressive figure

WWF reported that hundreds of millions of people in a record 150 countries and 6,434 towns and cities across the world took part to show they care about our brilliant planet. In the UK, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Clifton Suspension Bridge, HMS Victory, Edinburgh Castle, Parliament Building in Northern Ireland and the Welsh Assembly were just a few of the landmarks that took part.

Communities across the country also ran local events and thousands took part making this year’s Earth Hour the biggest yet, with an estimated 20,000 visitors per minute on its youtube channel and by the time the switch off had reached South Asia, Earth Hour was trending on twitter.

Gabrielle Back, CoChair, NAEE.

How to create resilient agriculture

Nature (journal)

Nature (journal) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the UN Conference on Sustainable Development comes into sight, the very real challenge of balancing the needs of the world’s food need with the environment rears its head… The Environmental News Network reports. Comments below or at Learn From Nature 

Read the full post – read http://learnfromnature.net/agriculture/836

Source :

http://www.scidev.net/en/agriculture-and-environment/opinions/how-to-create-resilient-agriculture-1.html

Sustainable buildings? Schools need to show more…

London ....

London .... (Photo credit: D3.)

Energy ‘hub’ school, London

Ashmount Primary and Bowlers Nursery are part of a £13m Crouch Hill Park development, which is transforming unkempt land in north London. The site will absorb more carbon dioxide than it produces, and will feed energy to nearby homes. The artist’s impression above shows cold and warm airflow into and out of the building.

Read other examples of green design – click here… Then comment below or at NAEEUK on facebook

Nature deficit disorder – a sense of place ….

English: Atlantic salmon. Salmo salar.

Image via Wikipedia

Wild salmon can navigate through oceans and fresh water because of their well-developed sensual memory of place. This sense of place drives the salmon deeper into the watershed. From fresh water to the ocean and back again to the creek of its origin, the sense of place and smell drives the salmon upstream to cross the artificial and natural boundaries that exist along its way.

There is no place on earth with more resources than this community. This region can forge a more sustainable and intimate relationship between human beings and the natural world — the mountains, river and creeks, and ocean. But it will require a serious commitment toward a new era of greater ecological awareness.

Read the whole post – click here 

National Environmental Education Week is April 15-21

National Environmental Education Week (EE Week), the United States’s largest environmental education event held each year the week before Earth Day, inspires environmental learning and stewardship among K-12 students. EE Week connects educators with environmental resources to promote K-12 students’ understanding of the environment. EE Week is a program of the National Environmental Education Foundation.

*** To register to take part in EE Week , click here 

*** To download resources for EE Week, click here

‘Environmental education’ celebrates 100th milestone edition!

The summer issue of ‘EE’ will be a bumper harvest magazine! 

As the current Curriculum Review in the UK debates the very essence of what people think about environmental education and its close cousin ‘education for sustainability’ (ESD), as well as what the future of ‘EE’ is within the
curriculum – the timing of this special edition could not be better.

EE100 will focus on ‘the state of environmental education’ in the places NAEE covers – All of the UK plus supporters and partners in China, United States and Pakistan.  We aim to include all sectors – the Early
Years/Foundation Stage, Primary, Secondary, Higher Education, Further Education, Continuing Education, as well as community and youth groups fostering a connectedness between children and their natural and built
environments.

We are inviting ‘you’, to contribute to will be a very special magazine.
We are well into planning for this special milestone magazine, and now
wish to ensure we include the widest possible range of ideas from you, our
members. 

We are giving away 2 FREE memberships in a draw. 

What we are looking for…

*  a very short comment (100 words maximum) or report (500-words or more) on
what is happening in your work place – what is working, what’s not…

* your favourite website and/or book about the
environment/education, children and nature, the outdoors

* if you are a member already, your favourite article or case study from a past edition of ‘EE’

When sending photographs to accompany these items, remember to gain
permission and follow NAEE’s guidelines about files explained in the e-journal.

As this is a print magazine with a potentially wide reach, partners or
groups who would like to sponsor pages, should please contact
info@naee.org.uk for more details.

The deadline for copy is Easter.

Please send queries in the first place to Henricus Peters, NAEE CoChair and Managing editor, via comment