Worldwide, children are making an impact as they enter into conversations and take action on climate change.
Schools, too, are playing an important role in providing access to facts and building knowledge about our environment and the impact of human behaviour.
In NSW, students start learning about the environment in kindergarten, with specific content included in the k-10 geography and the k-6 science and technology syllabuses. There are also opportunities to learn about sustainability in all NSW syllabuses in line with the requirements of the Australian Curriculum.
We must also to look to our First Peoples for guidance and knowledge regarding responsible stewardship of our earth. Cultural knowledge is a vastly under-appreciated resource, and we could all learn much more from generations of experience of sustainable land management if we listen. In doing so, we also have an opportunity to create a more just and sustainable world.
A vital and unifying aspect of achieving change is the capacity to talk, plan and take action alongside others who have differing points of view or experience from your own. Talking together allows us to challenge long-held beliefs that may be rooted in inaccuracy, to bring fresh ideas into the conversation, and to consider how choices we make, whether personally or at a policy level, impacts others and our environment.
“How to talk about climate change (without losing friends)” was a talk given last month by year 7 student Belle at her local climate action meeting.
In her talk, Belle emphasises the importance of engaging in conversation, and particularly in respectful disagreement, with others.