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Environmental awareness and education are two of the keys to the Yunnan Low Carbon Schools Pilot Project, which the People for People Foundation has been developing since 2020 in the Yunnan province of China, with funding from the European Union and the collaboration of an outstanding group of local organizations.
Recently Wang Xinman, an internationally famous environmental artist, and Xiao Huang, director of the UNESCO Organizing Committee "Nature and Art 2021 - Global Art Contest for Biodiversity Conservation" were invited by those responsible for the project to carry out different conferences and talks on "Conservation of biodiversity and art". A total of 10 schools in Kunming participated: 3 nursery schools, 3 primary schools, 2 secondary schools and 2 universities.
Activities for all ages
Thanks to this program of activities, more than 2,100 teachers and students learned a new perspective on how to protect biodiversity and help to do so through art. The dynamics of the conferences were adapted to the different ages of the students, fostering a participatory and lively atmosphere.
For example, preschool children were presented with a simple story about polar bears losing their homes because temperatures rise. With this, they tried to better understand the consequences of climate change. And, with it, invite them to think about their daily actions and how they affect the environment. The illustrations, drawings and animated characters helped to attract their attention and promote their learning in a fun and entertaining way.
From art to carbon footprint
Primary school students were invited to reflect on their daily habits: the clothes they wear, their customs at home, what means of transport they use... and how this impacts the environment. The boys and girls had the opportunity to think about all this and to share with their classmates.
Xiao Huang, in addition to painting, presented several of his environmental-themed works, with which he wanted to convey an idea: waste, objects that we throw away every day, can be turned into authentic works of art by working with our hands, with the that we appeal to concepts such as the protection of the environment, life and biodiversity.
In the case of high school students, Wang Xinman worked with them to strengthen their knowledge of climate change and the worsening of the greenhouse effect, introducing the concept of carbon footprint.