Mark Nolan came to talk to the classes about biodiversity. His website describes what the loss of biodiversity means:
Biodiversity in Schools’ is a project set up to encourage young people across Ireland to take an interest in nature and help conserve it. We created the initiative as we felt the best way to ensure a more environmentally-friendly future for Ireland was to engage with the next generation. While there is outstanding environmental work being done in schools across the country, time pressures often push nature to the bottom of the pile. We aim to make it easier for schools to teach children about this important topic.
Also, with young people's increasing access to technology there is a growing detachment from the outdoors and a consequent nature-deficit. To reset the balance of indoors and outdoors, 'screen-time' and 'real-time', it is essential that we encourage children to engage with the natural world.
And it's not just about the children, there's serious nature conservation to be done too!
Sadly, since 1970 over half of the earth’s wildlife has been lost; 60% of all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are now gone. Every single day our planet's population grows by 246,015 people. Every 3 seconds a forest the size of Croke Park is lost.
The pressures we are putting on nature are immense and the losses to date are a very sad reflection on our society. According to the UN, we only have 11 years left before we reach the crucial tipping point. In recognition of this, in May 2019 the Irish government declared a Biodiversity and Climate Change Emergency.
It is a tough task ahead but young people across Ireland and the world are a beacon of hope as they continue to take to the streets in the School Strike for Climate, standing up for the environment.
We need to do our absolute best to stop biodiversity loss or future generations will pay the price, as David Attenborough so concisely and accurately points out:
"Right now, we're facing a man-made disaster of global scale... If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon." David Attenborough, December 2018