Output Title: The Learn4Earth Policy Actions

Output Type: Policy Recommendations

Start Date: 2021-05-01

End Date: 2023-05-30

Activity Leading Organisation: Health Education Trust & Washingborough Academy

Description: The world is currently facing many climate-related challenges and we need new and innovative solutions to overcome them (Nasa 2020) (NRDC 2016) (UN 2019). In recent years, the increasingly globalized food markets have seemed to reduce the distance between regions, countries and continents, causing fundamental changes to supply and demand. In relation to this, children are growing increasingly disconnected to food and food production, and have difficulties identifying different foods (Carlsen 2011). The Learn4Earth Policy Actions IO aims to develop recommendations for schools to facilitate workshops to educate pupils within the fields of Climate, Environment and Food, the human impacts on the subjects and vice versa, and to provide pupils with new and better action and discussion competencies. It is the aim that these new competencies and innovative knowledge will impact the pupils positively, and will empower them to act in more sustainable and climate-friendly directions to make them better and more sustainable consumers and citizens now and in the future.

The Learn4Earth Policy Actions IO will be led by Health Education Trust in cooperation with the Washingborough Academy, UK, whose expertise lies in the empowerment of pupils. This creates the foundation of developing tools to engage pupils to become discernible food consumers, aware of food sustainability and the impact of food on climate change. In recent years, the power of pupils has changed, illustrated by e.g. Greta Thunberg and her School Strike for Climate actions. This has not only affected pupils’ perception of environmental and climate issues, but also adults’, such as Politicians, Governments and other stakeholders. Further, this has created a heightened focus on climate, and have caused a lot of support to the mission of reducing CO2 emissions.

The Learn4Earth Policy Actions IO will develop a set of resources for schools to use as part of a School Nutrition/Climate Action Group (SNAG), in order to support schools to engage and facilitate pupil discussions on becoming more sustainable consumers. This also involves a process to audit their current school practices, securing a broader share of best practices and knowledge between several schools, enhancing community groups focusing on promoting actions for change. The Learn4Earth Policy Actions IO will, therefore, involve different fora to motivate discussions concerning Climate, Environment and Food, and develop actions to improve this, focusing on reducing greenhouse gasses and the carbon footprint. The Learn4Earth Policy Actions IO will create awareness by educating pupils on the subjects Climate, Environment and Food to ensure more qualified discussions, broaden the knowledge and increase action competencies and thereby empower pupils. Based on this, this IO will formulate a list of Learn4Earth policy recommendations. The IO will thereby secure the transferability of the Learn4Earth project and the overall aim of reducing CO2 emissions through behaviour changes and more sustainable consumerism now and in the future.

It is expected that the Learn4Earth Policy Actions IO will impact the pupils of the Learn4Earth partner schools and that they, in turn, will impact their peers, as peer-to-peer learning often increase motivation and engagement in a given subject. Further, it is the aim that the Learn4Earth Policy Actions IO will also have an impact on adults, as the young people and their knowledge, opinions and statements are seen, in recent years, to have the ability to impact the adults and create a behaviour change in both young, middle-aged and elderly people.

The development of SNAG will ensure the transferability of the concept via peer-to-peer learning, and mouth to mouth and potentially live-stream talks from panel discussions promoting not only the Learn4Earth project but also the current world issues with climate. Further, Teaching Manuals will be developed and included in the final Learn4Earth Handbook. This will ensure the project can provide teachers in other countries the possibility to transfer the different activities to their pupils, providing them with new and innovative skills to engage in discussions, nationally and internationally. Thereby securing the applicability of the activities to finally impact pupils, teachers, relevant stakeholders and policymakers and others to make a behaviour change and help to save our planet through environmental awareness and more sustainable consumerism.