USDA Forest Service Makes $1 Million Commitment to Get Kids Outdoors

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Seal of the United States Department of Agricu...
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Good news from Children and Nature USA, how money ‘can’ make a real difference to children’s lives and how they interact with their natural environment. For details see NAEE Blog

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced USDA‘s continuing commitment to get kids outdoors and connected to the natural world around them through $1 million in cost-share funding from the U.S. Forest Service to enhance children’s programs in 18 states. Vilsack will highlight the announcement later today at the Interior Department during the White House conference,Growing America’s Outdoor Heritage and Economy, which emphasizes the link between conservation and strong local economies through tourism, outdoor recreation, and healthy lands, waters and wildlife.



‘Environmental education’ celebrates with milestone edition!

The summer issue of ‘EE’ promises to be a bumper harvest magazine! We are inviting you to contribute…


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As the current Curriculum Review in the UK debates the very essence of what people think about environmental education and its close cousin ‘education for sustainability’ (ESD), as well as what the future of ‘EE’ is within the curriculum – the timing of this special edition could not be better.

EE100 will focus on ‘the state of environmental education’ in the places NAEE covers – All of the UK plus supporters and partners in China, United States and Pakistan.  We aim to include all sectors – the Early
Years/Foundation Stage, Primary, Secondary, Higher Education, Further Education, Continuing Education, as well as community and youth groups fostering a connectedness between children and their natural and built environments.

We are inviting ‘you’, to contribute to will be a very special magazine.
We are well into planning for this special milestone magazine, and now
wish to ensure we include the widest possible range of ideas from you, our

We are giving away 2 FREE memberships in a draw. 

What we are looking for…

*  a very short comment (100 words maximum) or report (500-words or more) on
what is happening in your work place – what is working, what’s not…

* your favourite website and/or book about the
environment/education, children and nature, the outdoors

* if you are a member already, your favourite article or case study from a past edition of ‘EE’

When sending photographs to accompany these items, remember to gain
permission and follow NAEE’s guidelines about files explained in the e-journal.

As this is a print magazine with a potentially wide reach, partners or
groups who would like to sponsor pages, should please contact for more details.

The deadline for copy is Easter.

Please send queries in the first place to Henricus Peters, NAEE CoChair and Managing editor, via comment

Children and Nature : ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ in Pakistan

Cover of "Last Child in the Woods: Saving...
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K2 August 2006
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From Children and Nature Network &!/NAEE_UK

It is a disease of our age. In an age crammed with TV, computers, and electronic gadgets, children are isolated from the simple pleasures of exploring nature. As it is, academics, along with classes and extra-curricular activities, leave children with little
time to play outdoors. And even if they do, there are almost no green spaces left for them to enjoy. Even parks and playgrounds are often too manicured, and do not invite curious, open-ended exploration. Children today are thus robbed of a very essential part
of childhood: of connecting on a one-to-one basis with nature.

Author Richard Louv, in his book, Last Child in the WoodsSaving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder mentions that this sense of isolation is radically affecting our children. According to him, it is harming their physical and mental
health and hampering their creativity. In fact, he has coined the phrase “Nature-Deficit Disorder” to describe this phenomenon.

Pakistan has been a victim of political and security crisis for a very long time, and ironically, they have apparently now adopted and evolved to these inevitable circumstances. Life continues seemingly uninterrupted after one turmoil
and other. Just as the other parts of the world the country has also experienced the IT revolution. With hundreds of channels on TV and access to wireless high speed internet, parks and playgrounds which were once the hub of all activity are now abandoned
and deserted. Urbanization in Pakistan is among the highest of ratios in Asiatic countries and the newly build sky scrapers and condos leave little space for the luxury that was once called a park. “Nature deficit disorder” if it may rightfully be coined as
so, is more than inevitable. The political crisis does affect this scenario to the extent that it is directly related to the economy and thereby inflation and unemployment.

As they grow older, teach children to value nature. Encourage them to adopt conservation practices. More importantly, practice them yourself. Explain to children how small things like using water carefully and keeping lights switched off when they do not
need them can contribute towards conserving nature.

Enhance their enjoyment of nature by giving them magnifying lenses, a pair of binoculars, or a simple telescope. Encourage your children to observe things they see and record them. Teach them to take notes. Get them to make sketches of what they see. Give
older children a simple camera, if they show an inclination for photography. Buy your children field guides to the common animals, birds, insects, or trees in your area; identifying plants and animals they see during their trips will help increase their knowledge
and make a fun activity into a life-long passion.

Related News:

  1. Local population left to suffer the winter vows in Gilgit-Baltistan as temperatures plummets to new lows
  2. Child labour and its effects on children in Pakistan
  3. Bridging trust deficit is the only key to improve Pak-US relations
  4. Pakistan struggles to keep fiscal deficit below 7 percent
  5. PTDC and Alpine Club of Pakistan celebrate International Mountain Day on Margallas in Islamabad


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Oilspill Update : 2325 tonnes of Rena waste processed so far

English: Waihi Beach, New Zealand
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In Tauranga, the oil spill have had ‘gone’ public minds – I have seen public beaches previously ‘closed’ and now ‘back to normal’ . The waste and its impact, however, is still being dealt with ….  This from the Bay of Plenty Times |!/LearnFromNature &!/NAEE_UK


About 2325 tonnes of waste from the stricken cargo ship Rena has been processed since it ran aground off Tauranga in October, clean-up company Braemar Howells show.

Of that, 1870 tonnes has gone into landfills while 117 tonnes has been liquid waste, mostly blood from meat freezers.

Around 177 tonnes of the rubbish was collected from Waihi Beach and 77 tonnes from Matakana Island.

About 25 tonnes of milk powder has been collected and 120 containers have been processed by Braemar Howells.

The figures include waste which washed ashore and waste collected from the sea.

Braemar Howells spokeswoman Monique O’Connor said the company was prepared to deal with the same amount of waste again, but it was unclear how much more would be washed from the ship.

“A lot of that depends on what’s happening on board, which depends on what’s happening with weather conditions. It’s in the lap of the gods really.

“The clean-up is very much an ongoing operation. Initially it focused on the western Bay of Plenty because debris was focused nearer the Rena but it’s now a far greater area, it’s spread far to the north and south.

“We have vessels and people working constantly targeting different areas at different times.”

One of the aims this week was to recover containers holding timber which had washed up at two secluded beaches north of Waihi Beach, she said.

Source :


2004 Tsunami : What did we learn from Nature and ourselves? A case for groups like NAEE…

Phuket tsunami signal
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“Teachers and schools could play a role in increasing local communities’ ability to deal with disasters”. Yes, indeed, but need to be supported to engage with adequate resources – the importance of groups such as NAEE –!/NAEE_UK

Thais and foreigners gathered in six tsunami-hit provinces 26 December to commemorate the anniversary of the deadly giant waves that ravaged the Andaman coast seven years ago, killing thousands and shocking the world. From ‘The Nation’ newspaper |!/LearnFromNature and!/NAEE_UK

Religious rituals were conducted at many sites in dedication to those who lost their lives.

“I miss my dad. I hope such a disaster will never happen again,” nine-year-old Hatchai Noophom said. His father was among at least 8,000 killed or lost in Thailand.

Grief still filled the air as relatives of the victims laid down flowers at the Tsunami Wall of Remembrance in Phuket yesterday.

The anniversary also brought attention to the need for disaster preparedness.

In Phuket’s Kathu, provincial officials and others held activities to raise public awareness about disasters and to push for better preparation.

At a seminar there, Foundation of National Disaster Warning Council chairman Dr Smith Dhammasaroj said curriculum material would ensure that students from upper |primary levels learn about disasters including tsunamis, landslides, forest fires and floods.

“Students should be encouraged to study about disasters that often |hit their area because the knowledge will raise their level of preparedness,” the disaster official said.

But Assoc Prof Dr Seree Supharatid, who heads the Centre on Climate Change and Disaster |at Rangsit University, said curricula so far failed to include disaster content. “This is despite the fact that the tsunami hit hard seven years ago.”

Seree said learning materials should equip children with survival skills, and an awareness that in times of crisis there would be no electricity or cell-phone signals to rely on.

Dr Amornwich Nakornthap, an academic adviser to the Quality Learning Foundation, said teachers and schools could play a role in increasing local communities’ ability to deal with disasters.

In Ranong, provincial disaster prevention and mitigation chief Chasan Kongruang said the early-warning system was comprehensive now following the 2004 tsunami. “If giant waves are to hit again, we should be able to avoid huge losses.”

He added that evacuation drills had also been conducted to ensure locals knew where to run for safety in times of emergency.

Source :