Environment
 Canada
Project #11485

Empowering Youth Environmental Action

by Taking IT Global
Vetted
Hindu Temple
Hindu Temple
Building on the momentum generated by the Paris Climate Agreement, TakingITGlobal is continuing to support environmental action on a global level. 
We are preparing to support an international youth delegation to COP22 in Morocco this December and are collaborating with leading organizations like the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition to strengthen the presence and impact of youth on the ground during (and leading up to) negotiations. 
Advancing the educational outcomes realized through the #Decarbonize program, we are in the planning phases of a global mobilization to explore water issues from a youth perspective. Water is crucial to life on this planet, and connects every facet of our world. From plastic pollution in the oceans, to protecting sharks and whales, to aquaculture, floods and drought  there are so many elements of this complex issue to explore! We are very excited about the synthesis and collaboration we will enable from different student perspectives around the world.
We recently implemented an Interfaith Sustainability bus tour in the Greater Toronto Area bringing together the vast spectrum of cultures and beliefs to collectively explore our responsibility to our planet. Based on the premise that misunderstandings, intolerance and prejudice occur when groups do not have contact and meaningful interactions with each other, we came together to explore, to share and to learn about our common environment and how different faiths orient themselves towards ecological issues. Visiting five different faith sites allowed us to connect a dialogue about interfaith contact and to understand cultures and faiths outside of our own experience. One of the participants commented: "This tour has enabled me to see the presented religions in a new light; the speakers have sure put a new spin on their respective doctrine, explaining how religious texts can be used as a guide to how we should all treat the environment. As stated by other participants, interfaith programs like this one can also be useful in dispelling a few myths perpetuated by mainstream media regarding some religions, and in facilitating dialogue as well." 
  
Aga Khan Museum
Aga Khan Museum
St Gabriel
St Gabriel's Parish
Shoresh Gardens
Shoresh Gardens
BusTourPoster
BusTourPoster
Jaffari Islamic Centre
Jaffari Islamic Centre
Youth engagement at COP21
Youth engagement at COP21

In the lead up to the COP21 Negotiations in Paris in December 2015, TakingITGlobal partnered with a range of environmental youth organizations to support collective action and a stronger lobbying effort around the transition to post carbon societies.  Providing accreditation and networking support to five leading youth initiatives, TIG liaised through YOUNGO, the official youth constituency under the UNFCCC and through the Secretariat’s Joint Framework on Children Youth and Climate.

We also facilitated #Decarbonize, a global educational mobilization, which leveraged over 25,000 hours of student collaboration and the passion of over 10,000 youth. Twelve schools from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ghana, the Philippines, India, Sweden, Peru, South Africa and the United States were engaged in a focused conversation which began examining local contexts and then expanded outwards towards increasingly large segments of our world. Collaborating schools were partnered to connect in digital dialogue focused on building global connection and the creation of a globally oriented action plan to advance the transition to a clean energy world. 

The result is the #Decarbonize White paper, a youth statement, which calls for locally driven global change along the themes of energy, water and oceans, resilience and adaptation, agriculture, forests and land use, international aid, education and action.

Youth engagement at COP21
Youth engagement at COP21
Youth engagement at COP21
Youth engagement at COP21
Orangutan Keeper at Toronto Zoo video conferencing
Orangutan Keeper at Toronto Zoo video conferencing

This Fall, we have focused on growing our Environmental Action programs through the relaunch of our successful and engaging DeforestACTION program, bringing on one of our most active and recently retired educators, Mali Bickley, to help develop the program and engage more schools. We developed new educator resources and hosted several orientation sessions to engage schools from across Canada and the world in the program

DeforestACTION is a collaborative and interactive project that connects students globally to investigate the causes and effects of deforestation on local and global levels. Over the course of 8 weeks, TakingITGlobal creates, moderates and facilitates online learning activities and project planning webinars, where students and teachers take a collaborative approach to global problem solving. Students form local and global action groups and designed plans to address deforestation in their local communities. Students examine the issue in:

  • Finding ways to preserve at risk forest and creating livelihoods for local landowners
  • Creating a global awareness campaign for the destruction caused by palm oil production, building, logging and
  • Collaborating with local people and helping animals who are victims of deforestation

The DeforestACTION project links inquiry based learning principles while supporting specific curriculum goals. (math, science, social and environmental studies, media, literacy). Students meet experts in the field through video conferencing, such as orang-utan zookeepers, environmentalists in Borneo and local governmental agencies in the forestry industry. These real time authentic learning opportunities provided the students to engage with stakeholders in a global issue and engage in conversations in a multi-perspective view.

Students in the program created a variety of media that is shared on class blogs and social media channels! Some are shared in the links in this report. We also partnered with the Orangutan keeper at the Toronto Zoo, who has appeared live to speak with students about the threat posted by Deforestation to Orangutan habitats.

Telepresence session sharing across schools
Telepresence session sharing across schools
Student video
Student video

Links:

App being used on a mobile device
App being used on a mobile device

Over the 2014-2015 program year, Global Partners Junior and TakingITGlobal collaborated to expand the program to use the Commit2Act mobile app, which allows students to discover and track their actions to reduce their impact on the planet.

Across the categories of Food, Water, Waste, Transportation, and Energy, students engaged in a friendly competition in their collaboration groups to see which clusters of classrooms could make the largest impact on the environment.

As we turn to mobilizing in advance of the COP21 climate conference in Paris this December, we have big plans to scale up action and awareness towards this important global summit. We will be supporting and collaborating with several international youth delegations to provide accreditation and collaboration opportunities across sustainability education initiatives.
Working across cultures and countries, we will leverage live stream video conferencing, national strategy sessions, collaborative curricular assignments and existing networks to link young climate organizers on the ground in Paris with schools and classrooms around the planet to accelerate the global movement for climate action.

What does it take to decarbonize our lives, our countries and the systems which make our world?
Stay tuned to find out!

 

Links:

DeforestACTION Webinar - November 2014
DeforestACTION Webinar - November 2014

As we near the end of 2014, our work has only just begun. We thank you for continuing to be apart of this journey. Since our last report, we have:

  • Continued to offer our professional development mini-course for educators, designed to help educators and students work together to engage in challenge-based learning on deforestation and develop innovative solutions;
  • Continued to support monitoring of rainforest lands in Borneo through Earthwatchers, and;
  • Worked with schools across Canada to design deforestation awareness events and shared this work through webinars in October and November 2014. Our final webinar also included a celebration of the premiere of the documentary Rise of the Eco Warriors (ecowarriorsrise.com).

In thinking about 2015, we know that our work is more urgent than ever to help address, and even reverse, current global environmental challenges. Let’s work together to help the next generation develop respect and responsibility for the world they will inherit.

 

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Organization Information

Taking IT Global

Location: Toronto, Ontario - Canada
Website: http:/​/​www.tigweb.org
Project Leader:
Michael Furdyk
Co-founder, TakingITGlobal
Toronto, Ontario Canada

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