20 per cent of world’s invertebrates, are now endangered

Zoological Society of London

Zoological Society of London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

International Union for Conservation of Nature...

International Union for Conservation of Nature logo in 2007, before “World Conservation Union” was dropped as an official name. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Invertebrates, the key monitors of the health of habitats, are – still – in trouble … When will those with backbone – us – ever learn?  Your thoughts here or at NAEEUK

A startling 20 per cent of world’s invertebrates, including insects and worms, are now endangered. The Independent’s Michael McCarthy reports

One-fifth of the world’s

Cover of "Animals Without Backbones (New ...

Cover via Amazon

, “the little things that run the world,” may be heading for extinction, according to the Zoological Society of London.

The society (ZSL) suggests that about 20 per cent of the world’s insects, spiders, worms, crustaceans, molluscs and other animals without backbones are endangered, for reasons ranging from pollution and over-harvesting to the effect of invasive species.

The report, entitled “Spineless”, and produced in conjunction with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which compiles the Red List of threatened species, is the first attempt at estimating the global conservation status of invertebrates.

Read the full article at Learn From Nature by Henricus Peters, NAEE Co-Chair

 

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

‘Only biofuels will cut plane emissions’ –

Per capita anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissi...

Per capita anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by country for the year 2000 including land-use change. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We need something that can deliver emission reductions from existing fleets of planes – and the solution already exists. Ben Caldicott gives his views in The Guardian 

As a small, maritime trading nation Britain has always been some distance from big international markets. Our ability to visit far-off places and people, and their access to us, has always been at the heart of our ability to punch above our weight in the world, whether that’s commercially, culturally or diplomatically.

In the past we were dependent on ships, now we are reliant on commercial airlines, as well as the Channel Tunnel and secure data networks. This infrastructure is critical for our future, particularly as we look to major economies like India, China and Brazil for export opportunities. But it is also vital for sustaining our outward facing society and culture; one that’s confident engaging with the world and welcoming of its diversity.

Rail and video-conferencing will help, but air travel will remain absolutely essential and more people are going to fly, especially to and from a networked, diverse, outward-facing island nation like our own.

We should embrace this, but we must also recognise that flying more will also have negative consequences, in particular greenhouse gas emissions. The positive progress on including aviation in Europe’s carbon trading scheme this week is welcome, but neither that nor more efficient aircraft will deal with the industry’s climate problem. As I will argue, only biofuels can do that. Aviation currently accounts for a relatively small proportion of global carbon emissions: 6% of UK, 4% of European Union and 2% of world. This will change fast though, with global aviation expected to grow at 5% a year for at least the next 15 years. If so, by 2050 aviation emissions will account for up to 20% of global emissions, making tackling global warming significantly harder.

Though new airport capacity in the UK is essential, plans for it must convincingly address this important pollution challenge.

Including aviation in the Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme is a step in the right direction, but at current carbon prices it will not spur the innovations needed to cut pollution. Some say the aviation sector has a good track record of improving the fuel efficiency of new aircraft, achieving an average annual improvement of about 1.5%. But these emissions savings will be completely overwhelmed by growing global demand for aviation.

So we desperately need something that can deliver a step-change in emission reductions from existing fleets, particularly as planes built today will be in service for many years to come. The only option is to replace existing jet fuel (kerosene) with an alternative that can deliver deep emission reductions and be used to current aircraft. Fortunately, this technology exists: sustainable bio jet fuels. Made from advanced feedstocks and able to provide significant life-cycle emission reductions and meet other stringent sustainability standards, these fuels can be produced today and have already received certification for use in commercial jet aircraft. They can also be produced now at costs not far above the high and volatile price of jet fuel, with Bloomberg predicting that they could potentially reach price parity with kerosene in 2016.

There is an opportunity for the UK to align its need to develop new airport capacity with the development of sustainable bio jet fuels at scale. We should work to ensure that any new airport provide airlines with the best biofuels available.

Airport operators should have to provide airlines with a blend of jet fuelthat has a significant and rising proportion of sustainable bio jet fuel. This would significantly reduce emissions from flights. The mandate should start at an achievable level, say where the blend would have to be 15% less polluting than jet fuel today based on the strictest sustainability standards. It could then ratchet up to reach a point where the blend was 60% less polluting within a reasonable time-frame.

Airlines would benefit from a genuine and cost-effective emission reduction strategy, which might even attract environmentally conscious flyers. Not many hubs would need to follow the UK before the majority of international flights used sustainable bio jet fuel blends, perhaps only New York, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore need change, in addition to London.

An ambitious blending mandate would send exactly the signal required to accelerate the development of sustainable bio jet fuels. Airport operators would be required to demonstrate they had a plan to meet the incoming mandate and would sign supply contracts with developers, which would spur innovation and investment. The UK government could also ensure that our leading biotech, aviation and university sectors work in unison to create solutions, through targeted research programmes and tax relief for collaborative work.

The luddite wing of the environmental movement will think such proposals sacrilegious – their only solution is to stop flying. But the reality is that there will be and should be more international travel, particularly to and from the UK. The challenge is to make this as least polluting as is possible, while also minimising local airport impacts. By aligning the debate about airport capacity sensibly with environmental objectives, we can make a significant dent in aviation emissions globally as well as guarantee sufficient airport capacity to keep UK plc open for both business and pleasure.

 

• Ben Caldecott is head of policy at Climate Change Capital and co-author of ‘Green Skies Thinking: Promoting the development and commercialisation of sustainable bio-jet fuels

Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/may/16/only-biofuels-will-cut-plane-emissions

 

BIRMINGHAM CHILDREN : NEW OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD FROM ‘NAEE’

Many Birmingham school children are being denied the opportunity to experience learning about their
environment due to school funding cuts. Schools report finding it increasingly difficult to find money within their budgets to take classes out to Environmental Education Centres where charges have risen recently due to cuts from local authority funding.

The National Association for Environmental Education (NAEE) is now stepping in to help schools by providing bursaries to enable these key activities to continue within the city.

A local Birmingham family, with a long history of supporting education in the area, is concerned that city children should not be deprived of the opportunity to experience a more natural environment away from the city streets. They have awarded NAEE funding from the Kenrick Trust to enable pupils from nine schools annually to visit Environmental Education Centres, covering all costs involved. These visits will give our young citizens the opportunity to learn and understand about the natural world,
leading to fostering more responsible and caring attitudes.
The Hugh Kenrick Days was launched on Monday 14th May.
Lozells Primary School and St. Paul’s School, Balsall Heath, are amongst the first to benefit from this much needed project. Lozells Primary will be visiting Bell Heath Education Centre, run
by Birmingham City Council.

Minibeast art competition with Nature Detectives

Get inspired by brilliant bugs and

create a marvellous mini-beast masterpiece!

Great prizes up for grabs in Nature Detectives‘ national
art competition for children, schools and
groups in the UK.

Prizes

 

trophiesBrilliant minibeast-themed goodies up
for grabs.

Butterfly houses, bug magnifiers, nature
detectives CLUB membership and I-Spy
in the Countryside
 books.

 

How to enter

  • Print a minibeast colouring outline
  • Transform it with colour, pattern and texture
  • Print an entry ticket and fill in your details
  • Post both bits to us by 29th August 2012
    (one entry per class/group)

Full details – click here http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk/art/

Posted by Henricus Peters, Managing editor

GET OUTSIDE! The United States celebrates ‘National Parks Week’ …. and its ‘Arbor Day’

This week in the United States it’s time to celebrate all things green and leafy with it being both National Park Week and Arbor Day this coming Friday.

Read more here  

Posted by Henricus Peters, NAEE Co-chair 

Nearly half of pre-schoolers not playing outside…

From Children and Nature via NAEE UK

The early childhood years are crucial for learning and development. That should involve a great deal of outdoor physical activity and playtime, but that’s not always the case. Nearly half of 3 to 5 year olds are not taken outdoors by a parent or caregiver every day, according to research presented in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine this week. “There’s a big room for improvement in how parents prioritize their time and what they’re doing in the time they’re spending with their pre-school children,” said lead study author Dr. Pooja Tandon of Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

Read the full post at : http://www.childrenandnature.org/news/detail/no_outdoor_play_for_many_kids/

Posted by : Henricus Peters