Covid-19 highlights the importance of our Global Citizenship and Development Education. The second in a 3-part series, Colm Regan introduces 3 teaching strategies for adapting and exploring with learners. (see part 1 for ideas 1-3)
7. Support Sustainability
Obviously one of the key challenges we face today is that of climate change. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we keep our focus on climate and environment and that we continue to campaign for the changes that are urgently needed.
- The climate strikes organised by young people on Fridays has received widespread international coverage. The Fridays for Future website offers a wide range of ideas, materials and suggestions plus detailed suggestions on ‘how to’. On the link with COVID-19 see this article.
- Trócaire offers opportunities to become involved particularly on fossil fuel divestment. The site includes video and education resources as well as those for faith based groups.
- Check out One Future – Ireland’s coalition for tackling climate change. The site includes video materials as well as the opportunity to join up.
- Earth Day is a global initiative to mobilise millions of people to demonstrate their concern for our planet by insisting on an end to inaction and through demanding change at the polls.
There are very many sites and resources online focused on the issue of climate change – far too many for us to list here. For a series of environment focused talks (by speakers on many topics and from around the world), we recommend TED and for ideas on campaigning specifically, check out Friends of the Earth Climate Change Campaigning Guide.
Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign which aimed to provide people who buy and enjoy these products with the information they need to hold the Big 10 food companies to account for what happens in their supply chains.
Do something ridiculously simple – when buying paper products (including tissues and toilet paper), make sure it has the FSC logo. The Forest Stewardship Council offers consumers (including businesses) the opportunity to make sure the timber-based products are produced sustainability.
If you want to research this area further, check out the Ethical Consumer’s list of issues, campaigns and boycotts.
Check out the following selected campaigns to get a flavour of what you can do:
As the UN Secretary General António Guterres is calling for a global ceasefire and for conflict to end in this time of pandemic, it’s time to once again don our stop the arms trade hats and go to it. Here’s a starter list of reference points worth checking out.
- Amnesty International is campaigning to stop the unregulated flow of all weapons, whether that be an unregistered hand-gun in the United States or combat aircraft in Yemen or Syria.
- Reaching Critical Will is the disarmament programme of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and is promoting feminist and antimilitarist perspectives on the outbreak of Covid-19.
- The UK-based Campaign Against Arms Trade challenges activities and spending in the arms trade from a UK context, such as comparing spending on climate change against military expenditure.
- Watch doctor Samantha Nutt on TED exploring the arms trade and why its easier to get an automatic rifle than a clean glass of water
- Check out 10 classic Wilfred Owen poems ‘everyone should read’, from the Interesting Literature blog.
- Trócaire is campaigning to protect people under attack from big business and for an international treaty on business & human rights. Find out about the impact of businesses such as mining, sugar and Palm Oil; join the campaign and sign up for campaign information.
- COVID-19 has once again highlighted the issue of debt particularly with reference to Developing Countries. The UN is calling for debt cancellation for those most seriously affected. Financial Justice Ireland offers you the chance to engage with this key issue (and with many other finance-related issues); check out its campaign pages.
- Go to Change.org and explore the urgent issues surrounding refugees on the borders of Europe at this particular point in time. Check out the #LeaveNoOneBehind petition urging the EU to provide a safer space for refugees particularly those on the crowded refugee camps in Greece. Take it further by visiting Amnesty International’s call to action for the European Union leadership to upload dignity and human rights for all refugees and people seeking asylum in refugee camps.
Before you move on to Part 3:
Journalist and activist Naomi Klein argues that
‘shocking events that fill us with dread today can transform us, and they can transform the world for the better… But first we need to picture the world that we’re fighting for. And we have to dream it up together.’
Listen to her inspiring 15-min TED talk How Shocking Events Can Spark Positive Change
It’s really worth a watch.
Tune in next week for more materials, exercises and ideas are explored in part 3 in the series. (in the meantime, check out part 1)