C4C with the WANE project to preserve biodiversity

March 2022 saw the start of the partnership between the WANE – We Are Nature Expedition project and C4C. The aim of the partnership is to promote biodiversity education in schools by spreading among students not only knowledge of the ecological principles behind conservation but a critical awareness and emotional and empathetic intelligence towards nature.

The pilot project, currently in its first phase, involved a third grade class at the Avogadro Institute in Turin. The pupils initially participated in an interactive workshop aimed at:

-explain what biodiversity is and what it has to do with our daily lives;

-what are the impacts of human activities on species and ecosystems;

-how to use social media to communicate science;

-how to communicate biodiversity effectively;

-how to build a report from the shared experience on how the WANE project was born and developed.

The students, divided into four groups, were able to choose from some of the species and stories that are part of the WANE project (grizzly bear, monarch butterfly, Tlalocohyla celeste, and common hammerhead shark) and, after having independently explored their characteristics, presented social content whose aim is to spread their importance globally and promote their conservation.

Starting in January 2024, the second phase will see the class engaged in transferring the knowledge they have learnt to the local context, creating a virtual ecological corridor between species, communities, cultures and ecosystems of the North and South American continents, and the reality they see every day. In doing so, they will have to transform themselves into active citizens, into reporters and communicators capable of finding a captivating story and triggering empathy, as well as making them understand how each element of the Planet is inextricably connected to another.

The project, as a whole, aims to put biodiversity back at the centre of the discussion, explaining how Homo sapiens, who represents only 0.01% of the species we know, actually started what is now called the Sixth Mass Extinction but can also be a driver of change. In doing so, we can and must also start with the stories of those fighting for the planet, how we communicate them, and a new way of being human.

In this, education plays a key role in ensuring the emergence and development of the next generation of decision-makers and citizens who are informed, critical, competent and consequently able to act in favour of biodiversity.

photo by Davide Agati for WANE – We Are Nature Expedition project

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