Approximately 25 percent of species are now facing extinction and the health of ecosystems around the world is in severe decline. Why does this matter? What impact do disappearing species and ecosystems have on humans? March 3rd, 2020 is World Wildlife Day, and this year, the focus is on the need to preserve biodiversity for humanity’s survival. How is your class marking the occasion?
The United Nations have declared 2020 the “biodiversity super year,” and with this year’s theme of “Sustaining all life on Earth,” World Wildlife Day is a great way to introduce the concepts of biodiversity, sustainability, and the importance of wild plants and animals to your classroom. What species are threatened in your local area and what is causing that threat? What can your community do to help these species? Visit The Canadian Wildlife Federation Endangered Species and Biodiversity webpage to learn more about species at risk across Canada and how you and your students can help.
This day also presents an opportunity to discuss the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals with your class. There are many people around the world whose lives depend on wild plants and animals. Sustainable human interaction with these ecosystems is essential for reaching specific goals, such as Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, Goal 14: Life Below Water, and Goal 15: Life on Land. Use World Wildlife Day in your classroom to promote global citizenship and to inspire students to take action against the global decline in biodiversity. For more information and resources on introducing the Sustainable Development Goals into your classroom, visit the World’s Largest Lesson webpage.
There are many ways that you can continue to celebrate wildlife and teach students about the importance of biodiversity beyond World Wildlife Day. Take your class outside and explore the native plants and animals your community has to offer! Have students learn about these species through apps like iNaturalist. Integrate art into outdoor learning by having students draw changes in the plants of the schoolyard throughout the seasons. Create a “sound map” by having students draw what they hear on a map of the schoolyard—how many sounds belong to nature and how many are human-made?
This World Wildlife Day, inspire students to stand up and take action to preserve biodiversity. For more information on this day, visit https://www.wildlifeday.org/.
World Wildlife Day. (n.d.). Social Media Kit. World Wildlife Day 2020. https://www.wildlifeday.org/sites/default/files/PDF/WWD2020_SocialMediaKit2.pdf.