Ever since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the term biodiversity has been firmly established in society. Today we know that the continuing loss of biodiversity will have a significant impact on our planet, and that all living things (including humans) depend on the diversity of ecosystems and an intact environment. Because of this, learning about biodiversity is a necessary part of education, as it is essential to teach our future generations a heightened responsibility for nature.
Introduction: "If you don’t know how to fix it, stop breaking it"
At the 1992 UN Earth Summit, a twelve-year-old girl named Severn Suzuki held a very powerful and inspirational speech that can serve as an excellent introduction into the topic of biodiversity loss. The speech addresses many environmental issues from a child's point of view. The following worksheet includes some background information, a transcript of the speech as well as some discussion questions. Alternatively, students can also listen to the speech here.
The included material and worksheets regarding biodiversity aim at answering the following questions:
- What is biodiversity?
- Why is biodiversity important?
- What are the threats to biodiversity?
By addressing these questions, students will hopefully gain a new perspective on biodiversity and understand why it is worth protecting. The worksheet also explores the question of how biodiversity works - a question even today that scientists cannot quite explain. However, we do know that biodiversity is a complex system in which every little part plays an important role, which is why the worksheet compares biodiversity to clockwork: even if one single tiny part of the clockwork is removed, the clock won't work anymore.