This Goal incorporates a range of targets that aim to: ensure conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands; halt deforestation and restore degraded forests; combat desertification and restore land and soil degraded by drought or flooding; reduce degradation of natural habitat, halt biodiversity loss, and prevent extinction; and end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna. Read more on the UN SDGs website…
You could use this three-minute film clip from Perennial Plate to introduce a lesson exploring ‘life on land’. Bhaskar Save is an Indian known as ‘the Gandhi of natural farming’. He talks about soil being ‘a holy thing’ and says farming should be ‘non-violent’. What do your pupils think? What makes farming ‘violent’ or ‘non-violent’? Which do they think is more sustainable and/or more suitable to feed the Earth’s growing population?
Here are some teaching ideas for exploring this Goal through different subjects:
English / Mother tongue: Students could role-play a selection of the people involved in and affected by logging and deforestation, for example farmers, logging companies, politicians, a forest animal, people in other countries buying the products made from the trees or the land, etc to explore their motivations and intentions. They could then decide who has the most power, rights and responsibilities. To finish they do a piece of writing that explores both sides of the argument but they must conclude with whether they think deforestation is good or bad.
Maths: Pupils could create charts to show how the populations of animals that are affected by poaching or the total area of forests, are decreasing, over time.
Geography: Students could investigate an area that has suffered from desertification, such as the Sahel, and look at the causes, effects and solutions.
Science: Students could explore food chains and webs and consider what impact the removal of one animal species as a result of extinction may have on a particular ecosystem.
Lesson plan: The Impact of Pollution on Our Planet and Our Lives – 60 mins, ages 11 to 14. Suitable for Geography, Science, Language comprehension.
Read through our feature article: Soil means life
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