“Every 20 minutes one species disappears from the surface of the Earth. Currently, one in four mammal species and one in eight birds is threatened with extinction. Although the term “biodiversity” is unknown for children, they should know how much nature can give them,”says the Polish Minister of the Environment Maciej Grabowski.
This provided the impetus behind the project “The protection of biological diversity and ecosystems” carried out by the Polish Ministry of the Environment. The project tries to instill positive attitudes towards the environment in children in the hope that this will carry over to adulthood. By explaining the interdependent relationship between humans and nature, the project hopes to make the children more curious about their natural environment and willing to contribute to its protection.
To this end, the project launched a publicity campaign called “Big or small we need them all”. As part of the campaign, a series of cartoons about biodiversity were broadcast on Polish TV. The project also created a website for the campaign where children can play online games. The games feature the same characters as the cartoons.
Another important element of the project was a training programme aimed at primary school and kindergarten teachers. The participating teachers took part in a series of training sessions held in Polish national parks. Here, surrounded by nature, they learned about innovative teaching techniques, and took part in developing various teaching tools for teaching school children about biodiversity.
The teachers involved in the project were very happy with the experience, and several of them, have asked about a possible continuation of the project. Many of the teachers also highlighted how beneficial the training they received through the project would be for their students.