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STUDENT VIDEOCONFERENCE GUIDE FOR WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 4 June 2010 Biodiversity and Climate Change Organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • Organized by the United Nations Department of
    Public Information in partnership with UNEP and
    the British Council

Table of Contents
  • Before the Videoconference
  • 1. Preparation before the Student
    Videoconference for World Environment Day (For
  • 2. About the Student Videoconference at UN
    Headquarters in New York (For Teachers)
  • Theme for the 2010 World Environment Day
    conference Biodiversity and Climate Change (For
  • Discussion starters (For Teachers)
  • What is World Environment Day? (Student Handout
  • Quotes on Biodiversity and Climate Change
    (Student Handout 2)
  • Learning about Biodiversity and Climate Change?
    (Student Handout 3)
  • Basic Facts about Climate Change (Student Handout
    4 )
  • Climate Justice (Student Handout 5)
  • Ecology and the Economics of Energy What is
    ecology? What do we mean by the economics of
    energy? (Student Handout 6)
  • Ecology and the Economics of Energy How does the
    production of energy impact biodiversity?
    (Student Handout 7)
  • Did You Know (Student Handout 8)
  • What You Can Do (Student Handout 9)
  • 4 June Programme
  • During the Videoconference
  • 15. During the video conference (Student Handout
  • 16. During the video conference (For Teachers)
  • After the Videoconference

For Teachers (pg. 1) Preparation before the World
Environment Day Student Videoconference This
resource has been developed as an aid for
teachers to use to prepare their students for the
upcoming World Environment Day videoconference.
Please note that some slides are written For
Teachers and others are to be used as Student
  • Why is prior preparation before the conference
    so important?
  • It gives students the opportunity to build a
    basic understanding of the topic they will be
    learning about, to think about how it relates to
    other content areas and how it connects to their
    own lives and circumstances. Prior preparation
    will improve students ability to react to and
    contribute to the dialogue between peers from
    different countries around the world that will
    take place during the event.
  • Before participating in the global student
    videoconference, students should be familiar with
    why we observe World Environment Day and what
    will be discussed during the videoconference this
    year (see slide on conference theme).
  • In addition, they should know the basic facts
    about biodiversity and climate change which are
    mentioned in this guide and the resources listed
  • In preparation for the theme, Biodiversity and
    Climate Change, students should reflect broadly
    on how climate change contributes to the loss of
    biodiversity and how biodiversity needs to be
    part of the solution to mitigating the impact of
    climate change.

For Teachers (pg. 2) Preparation before the World
Environment Day Student Videoconference
  • Discuss the importance of observing World
    Environment Day (see student handout 1).
  • - How do those goals relate to whats happening
    in class?
  • - This will help answer the age-old student
    question Why do we have to do this?
  • - Reviewing learning objectives with students
    helps them develop a vested interest in learning.
  • Combine whole class and small group discussions.
  • - The study guide contains questions for
    students to research, think about and discuss.
    Suggestions for discussion starters are included
    in the notes for teachers as well. You can use
    these ideas to help you lead whole class
    discussions or as activities for students to do
    in small groups.
  • - After the students have learned about
    biodiversity and climate change using this Study
    Guide, ask them what they would want to say to
    representatives from around the world who will
    be gathering in Japan for a meeting of the
    Convention on Biological Diversity in October
    2010. In addition, ask them to come up with ideas
    of what they and their peers can do to reduce the
    loss of biodiversity.
  • Use of sources for background material.
  • Resources are included throughout the study
    guide. Some focus on biodiversity and climate
    change as independent areas of concern while
    others examine the relationship between the two.

For Teachers About the Student Videoconference at
UN Headquarters in New York
  • High school and university students will have the
    opportunity to speak with their peers in Africa,
    Europe, the Middle East and North America who
    have been studying biodiversity and climate
  • These transcontinental discussions focus on the
    linkages students have uncovered between these
    two important environmental topics. Students will
    also work together to put forth a set of
    recommendations on how young people can play a
    role in reducing the loss the of biodiversity.
  • The entire videoconference will be web-cast.
    Students around the world can join in the event
    live by sending comments and questions to the
    UN Cyberschoolbus website (www.cyberschoolbus.un.o

For Teachers Theme for the 2010 World
Environment Day Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • The theme of this years World Environment Day
    focuses on Biodiversity and Climate Change. The
    student handouts will give your students a brief
    introduction to the issues as well as resources
    for them to go deeper into the topic. Students
    should begin their preparation by looking at why
    the loss of biodiversity is happening at such a
    rapid pace, what are the contributing factors and
    what role climate change is playing in this
    process. Depending on the knowledge level of your
    students you may want to first start by giving
    your students a overview of what is causing
    climate change (see Student Handout 5). A good
    introduction can be found at http//www.cyberschoo .

For Teachers Discussion Starters on the theme
Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • Here are some questions you can use as discussion
    starters on this topic
  • What does the word biodiversity refer to?
    answer the huge number of different organisms
    that share the planet and the different habitats
    and ecosystems that make up the biosphere
  • In what ways are humans dependent on other
    organisms for survival? Answer they produce
    oxygen, the food we eat, and break down waste
  • What does loss of biodiversity refer to? answer
    loss of species and loss of services vital to the
    survival of humanity
  • How many species are there?
  • Which habitats have the most species?
  • What impact does the loss of biodiversity have on
    the efficiency with which ecosystems function and
    their ability to adapt to change?
  • How has human activity changed habitats and
  • How many species have become extinct as a result
    of human activity?
  • How quickly are species disappearing?
  • Why is the loss of biodiversity happening at such
    at rapid pace?
  • Why should we be concerned about the loss of
  • Before climate change was identified as a threat
    to biodiversity, what did scientists consider to
    be the most
  • important threat? answer habitat loss
    due to large scale conversion of land to
    agriculture and urban centres,
  • introduction of invasive species,
    pollution and overexploitation of resources
  • How is climate change contributing to the
  • At the same time that the loss of biodiversity is
    a problem caused, in part, by climate change, the
    protection of
  • biodiversity is also an important part
    of the solution to climate change. In what ways
    can biodiversity help mitigate
  • the impact of climate change?

Student Handout 1 What is World Environment Day?
  • World Environment Day was established by the
    United Nations General Assembly in 1972 at the
    Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.
    Another resolution, adopted by the General
    Assembly the same day, led to the creation of the
    United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • Commemorated each year on June 5, World
    Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles
    through which the United Nations aims to deepen
    awareness of environmental issues and the need to
    take action to conserve and enhance the
    environment that is so vital to our existence.
  • Thousands of events will take place around the
    world to mark World Environment Day making it one
    of the largest environmental events of its kind.
  • Visit the WED 2010 website to see all the
    activities that will be taking place around the
    world and consider adding your own
  • World Environment Day is designed to
  • empower people to become active agents of
    sustainable and equitable development
  • promote an understanding that communities are
    pivotal to changing attitudes towards
    environmental issues and
  • Highlight that we must all work together to
    ensure that all nations and peoples enjoy a safer
    and more prosperous future.
  • Activity
  • Think of something you can do for the
    environment on WED 2010 organize a neighborhood
    clean-up, stop using plastic bags and get your
    community to do the same, plant a tree or better
    yet organize a collective tree planting effort,
    walk to work, start a recycling drive . . . the
    possibilities are endless.

Student Handout 2 Quotes on Biodiversity and
Climate Change
  • Biodiversity, the incredible variety of life on
    Earth that sustains us, is in peril. Species are
    becoming extinct at the fastest rate ever
    recorded. Most of these extinctions are tied to
    human activities that are polluting and depleting
    water resources, changing and degrading habitats
    and altering the global climate. From frogs to
    gorillas, from huge plants to tiny insects,
    thousands of species are in jeopardy.
  • Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United
  • Excerpt from message for World Environment Day
  • The most important threats to biodiversity have
    long been habitat loss, due to large-scale
  • of land to agriculture and urban centres,
    introduction of invasive alien species,
    overexploitation of
  • natural resources, and pollution. Climate change
    is now adding its effects to the cumulative
  • In the last century, we have lost 35 of
    mangroves, 40 of forests and 50 of wetlands.
    Due to
  • human actions, species are being lost at a rate
    that is estimated to be up to 100 times the
    natural rate
  • of extinction.
  • From Biodiversity, Development and Poverty
    Alleviation, 2009
  • -- With the loss of biodiversity that results
    from the loss of various natural habitats, how do
    you think this will impact food security, access
    to fresh water supplies, potential sources of
    medicines, disaster preparedness?
  • -- What can society do to address the loss of
  • -- In what way can addressing the climate change
    issue also help address the biodiversity

Student Handout 3 (pg. 1) Basic Facts about
Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • Scientists have no clear idea of how many species
    -- from algae to blue whales live on earth.
    Estimates are up to 100 million of which only
    about 1.8 million have been named so far. Humans
    are but one of those species.
  • Though the exact number is impossible to
    determine, an unprecedented mass extinction of
    life on Earth is occurring. Scientists estimate
    that between 150 and 200 species of life become
    extinct every 24 hours.
  • This mass extinction is due, in large measure, to
    humankind's unsustainable methods of production
    and consumption, including the destruction of
    habitats, expanding cities, pollution,
    deforestation, the introduction of invasive
    species and global warming.

Student Handout 3 (pg. 2) Basic Facts about
Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • There have always been periods of extinction in
    the planet's history, but this
  • episode of species extinction is greater than
    anything the world has
  • experienced for the past 65 million years the
    greatest rate of extinction since
  • the vanishing of the dinosaurs.
  • "Climate change is forecast to become one of the
    biggest threats to biodiversity," the UN
    Convention on Biological Diversity said in a
    statement issued on 22 May marking the
    International Day for Biological Diversity.
  • "Approximately 20-30 per cent of plant and animal
    species assessed so far are likely to be at
    greater risk of extinction if increases in global
    average temperature exceed 1.5 to 2.5 ? Celsius
    (2.7 to 4.5 Fahrenheit), according to a report in
    April 2007 by the UN climate panel. Beyond that,
    it said ecosystems would face ever more wrenching
    changes. If the average global temperature rises
    by 3.5 ? Celsius, the percentage of species at
    risk rises to 40-70.
  • Some plant and animal species will be forced to
    migrate because they are unable to adapt to their
    changing environment or because the ecosystem on
    which they depend will have collapsed. This poses
    a problem for the conservation of biodiversity
    hot spots listed as natural World Heritage sites.
  • Recent changes in climate, such as warmer
    temperatures in certain regions, have already had
    significant impacts on biodiversity and
    ecosystems. They have affected species
    distributions, population sizes, and the timing
    of reproduction or migration events, as well as
    the frequency of pest and disease outbreaks.
    Projected changes in climate by 2050 could lead
    to the extinction of many species living in
    certain limited geographical regions. By the end
    of the century, climate change and its impacts
    may become the main direct driver of overall
    biodiversity loss.
  • Biodiversity can help reduce the effects of
    climate change. The conservation of habitats, for
    example, can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide
    released into the atmosphere. Moreover,
    conserving mangroves can reduce the disastrous
    impacts of climate change such as flooding and
    storm surges.

Student Handout 4 Basic Facts About Climate
  • The "blanket" of greenhouse gases that occurs
    naturally in the troposphere representing less
    than one percent of the entire atmosphere
    serves the vital function of regulating the
    planets climate. When solar energy in the form
    of visible light strikes the Earth, it warms the
    surface. Being much cooler than the sun, the
    Earth emits this energy back out to space in the
    form of infrared, or thermal, radiation.
    Greenhouse gases block the infrared radiation
    from escaping directly into space. The resulting
    "natural greenhouse effect" keeps the planet
    about 30C (54F) warmer than it would be
    otherwise. This is essential for life as we know
  • The problem we now face is that since the start
    of the industrial revolution some 250 years ago
    the emission of greenhouse gases generated by
    human activity have been making this blanket
    thicker at an unprecedented speed. This has
    caused the most dramatic change in the
    atmospheres composition in at least 650,000
    years. Unless we make significant efforts to
    reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, the
    global climate will continue to warm rapidly over
    the coming decades and beyond.

Student Handout 5 Climate Justice
  • Climate justice suggests that the time has come
    to think more deeply about our conceptions of
    obligation and responsibility not just within
    nations but also beyond borders. The starting
    point is to acknowledge the clear injustice of
    the fact that many decades of carbon emissions in
    richer parts of the world have led to global
    warming and caused severe climate impacts in the
    poorest countries. We must hold governments
    accountable for putting into practice
    well-established principles such as the
    requirement that polluters pay for the
    environmental damages they cause.
  • -- Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner
    for Human Rights and Founder, Realizing Rights
    The Ethical Globalization Initiative.
  • Climate change presents a direct challenge to the
    inequality that allows the wealthy countries that
    have contributed the most greenhouse gas
    emissions to continue unchecked while poor
    countries -- who have historically contributed
    less -- bear a larger share of the burden
    resulting from the effects of climate change.
  • In 1992, the Rio Declaration on Environment and
    Development outlined the principle that as
    pollution from greenhouse gases linked to human
    activity is known to be the principal cause of
    climate change, polluters should pay for the
    damage they cause. Pollution should have a price
    that reflects the full cost of its impact on
    human society.
  • The poor cannot be expected to share the same
    burden as other groups in addressing climate
    change, since a greater proportion of their
    existing resources are necessary for survival and
    a dignified existence.
  • The heightened vulnerability associated with
    poverty means that impoverished communities are
    most at risk to the negative impacts of climate
    change. Women are particularly exposed to climate
    change-related risks because of gender
    discrimination, inequality and inhibiting gender
  • Things to Think About
  • Which groups will be affected more than others by
    the loss of biodiversity that will occur as a
    result of climate change? And how will they be
  • Do you think you will be personally affected? If
    so, how/why?
  • How is climate change a humanitarian and/or
    development issue? Is it an ethical issue?
  • How is the concept of polluter pays related to
    climate justice?
  • How has food security been threatened by the loss
    of biodiversity?
  • How has the loss of biodiversity threatened
    peoples health?
  • Although raising awareness of the loss of
    biodiversity that will occur as a result of
    climate change is important, we cannot forget
    that biodiversity is also part of the solution to
    mitigating the impact of climate change. How can
    biodiversity help address the challenges we face
    as a result of climate change?
  • How could the most vulnerable groups obtain
    climate justice?
  • Visit the UN Cyberschoolbus website
    me.asp) to learn more about how climate change
    will increase the disparities between rich and
    poor as well as between men and women.

Student Handout 5 (pg.2) Climate Justice
  • Some groups will bear the burden of climate
    change and the loss of biodiversity more than
    others. The loss of natural resources as a result
    of climate change, for example, may interfere
    with the transmission of culture passed down from
    one generation to the other in indigenous
    communities. In the words of one Inuk man from
    the Arctic region, The learning curve for young
    people is getting shorter. The less time they
    spend out hunting, the less they learn. Because
    you need to learn about the weather, the
    currents, the sea and the iceIf theyre not out
    there hunting, and the ice is not there, then
    theyre not learning what they need to learn

Student Handout 6 (pg. 1) Ecology and Economics
of Energy
  • What is ecology?
  • The first law of ecology is that everything is
    related to everything else. Barry Commoner
    (American Biologist and College Professor)
  • Ecology is the relationship of living
    things to each other and to whats around them
    the relationship between animals (including us!)
    and plants and how one species affects
    another. Ecology includes not only how living
    things interact with each other, but how they
    interact with their physical environment things
    such as climate and soil.
  • A component in ecological study usually
    focuses on the ecosystem of an area. An ecosystem
    is the unique network of animal and plant species
    which depends on each other to sustain life. The
    interactions between and among organisms at every
    stage of life and death can impact the system. An
    ecosystem can be a small area or big as the
    ocean. In fact, one can say the whole world is
    one big ecosystem.

Student Handout 6 (pg. 2) Ecology and Economics
of Energy
  • What do we mean by the economics of energy?
  • Fossil fuels power our lifestyles and drive the
    global economy. Oil, natural gas and coal all
    non-renewable sources of energy - provide lights,
    air conditioning and heat for homes fuel for
    transportation and energy that powers all types
    of production. The global economy and much of its
    infrastructure revolve around fossil fuels
    consequently, these energy sources have important
    economic impacts.
  • Economic productivity requires energy. Much of
    the energy that drives the economy comes from
    oil, natural gas and coal. The main benefit of
    these energy sources is that they are relatively
    inexpensive. The cost of fossil fuels makes
    electricity and fuel for driving, for example,
    available on a broad scale. The low cost also
    means a lower production cost for the factories
    and other businesses that produce the goods and
    services consumed by households. Low prices of
    inputs, such as energy, help keep retail prices
    down for consumers.
  • A chief drawback to fossil fuels is the amount of
    pollution they create and the damage they cause
    to ecosystems. Pollution affects the health and
    quality of life of all people and leads to costly
    regulations designed to limit pollution. Another
    drawback of fossil fuels is that they are
    limited. Every day the worldwide economy burns an
    amount of energy the planet required 10,000 days
    (27 years) to create.
  • Read the Case Study of How Energy is Currently
    Being Used in China to learn more about the
    advantages and disadvantages of different types
    of energy.
  • Some things to think about
  • Is our energy consumption sustainable?
  • How can we use energy sustainably without
    negatively affecting the economy?
  • How will the world economy be affected when the
    production rate of oil wells begins to decline?
  • How will our use of energy have to change to
    accommodate this?
  • How much of the demand for energy can be met by
    using renewable sources of energy?
  • What mechanisms can governments put in place to
    mitigate pollution and GHG emissions?

Student Handout 6 (pg. 3) Ecology and Economics
of Energy
  • More things to think about
  • A key controversy in reaching a climate change
    agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol is
    whether developing countries should be required
    to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. Since
    most developing countries produce far less
    greenhouse gas emissions than developed
    countries, some feel that developing countries
    shouldnt be required to reduce their emissions
    until their economies are more developed. Other
    rapidly developing countries (e.g., China, India)
    are now emitting more greenhouse gases than many
    developed countries, though not on a per capita
    basis. Should any of these countries be required
    to limit their emissions? Why or why not?
  • Considering that the worlds population is
    expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, how
    can we address the growing demand for energy
    that will most certainly occur and reduce
    greenhouse gas emissions at the same time?
  • While the price of a product is often determined
    by the how much energy has been used to produce
    it, the cost to the consumer does not usually
    take into account the impact that the production
    and shipping of the product will have on the
    environment. In response to this situation,
    eco-labels have started appearing on products
    since the 1970s to help consumers identify
    products that meet high production standards but
    minimize their impact on the environment. Have
    you come across eco-labels while purchasing
    products for yourself? What affect do you think
    eco-labels have on the choices consumers make
    when purchasing products? How can this practice
    become more widespread?
  • More than 2 billion people living in developing
    countries lack access to modern energy sources.
    Many of them rely on biomass sources for their
    energy needs, for example, by burning wood,
    manure, etc. What impact does the lack of access
    to modern energy sources have on the environment?
    How do you think the developed world can best
    help these people gain access to modern energy
    sources? Would it be better to increase financial
    assistance to these countries, give them access
    to newer technologies, or both?

Student Handout 6 (pg. 4) Ecology and Economics
of Energy
  • Questions and Research to Think About Think
    about the different factors affecting energy use.
    Think carefully about the considerations and
    concerns different types of scientists/policy
    makers might have and how they might decide to
    develop a plan for global energy provision.
    Devise a plan for global energy provision and
    develop an argument supporting your plan.
  • Economists
  • Protecting current and future economic growth
  • The cost of the different energy production
  • Ensuring that their country/institution is at the
    forefront of research and development
  • Social Scientists
  • Providing employment
  • Protecting communities
  • Protecting peoples health
  • Ecologists
  • Protecting biodiversity
  • Protecting the natural landscape
  • Climate Change Scientists
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Introducing low carbon alternatives for producing
  • Protecting landscapes, such as forests, that
    support the atmosphere

Student Handout 6 (pg.5) Ecology and Economics
of Energy
  • How does the production of energy impact on
  • The environmental impacts on land and
    biodiversity from our energy system are complex.
    Energy production of the scale necessary to meet
    the demand from communities and cities requires
    large facilities such as power stations, the
    construction of which alter natural habitats for
    animals and plants, for example through
    deforestation to make way for mines or power
    plants. The construction of these facilities can
    have adverse impacts on land and wildlife if not
    carefully monitored and assessed by companies,
    regulators, and community leaders. Here are some
    of the potential impacts of different types of
    power generation plants
  • Impacts on land include loss of soil
    productivity, soil erosion or contamination with
    toxic by-products and landslides.
  • Impacts on marine biodiversity hydropower plants
    can alter sizable portions of land when dams are
    constructed and lakes are created, flooding land
    that may have once served as wildlife habitat.
    Hydroelectric dams can cause erosion along the
    riverbed, which can further disturb wildlife
    ecosystems and fish populations.
  • Accidents during refining such as spills or leaks
    of residual products that occur on or off site
    during the transport process can lead to soil or
    water contamination.
  • Most generating facilities also produce solid
    waste by-products that are typically put into
    landfills, which have further negative impacts on
  • Pipelines used to transport oil and gas above
    ground may have an impact as they cross sensitive
    habitats. One of the most significant
    environmental impacts of extraction is the
    construction of access roads. Roads can disrupt
    forest areas, disrupt habitats, interfere with
    migration paths, and open up sensitive ecosystems
    to potentially damaging human activities.
  • Go to to learn more about a study
    on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity.
  • Some things to think about
  • How does our energy supply and demand affect
  • How can we protect biodiversity while also
    protecting our energy supply and economy?
  • How can energy producers and generators mitigate
    impacts on land and related ecosystems?
  • What role do we as consumers of energy play?

Student Handout 7 Did You Know
  • That world leaders had pledged, early last
    decade, to achieve by 2010. a significant
    reduction of the current rate of biodiversity
    loss at the global, regional and national level,
    as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to
    the benefit of all life on Earth?
  • Given what you have learned about biodiversity
    and climate change, what would want to tell
    government leaders who will be gathering in Japan
    in October 2010 to review progress on the
    Convention on Biological Diversity? What would
    you say to peers about what they can do to reduce
    the loss of biodiversity?

Student Handout 8 What You Can Do
  • Here are a few ideas about what you can do to
    reduce the loss of biodiversity
  • Plant local species in your garden, on your
  • Volunteer at your local nature reserve or
    botanical garden.
  • Find out if there are any local initiatives to
    plant trees in your community. If there are none,
    start your own.
  • Promote the protection of biodiversity.
  • Persuade local landowners, fishermen, farmers and
    businesses to do their part to protect those
    species affected by their line of work.
  • What other ideas can you come up with? What
    actions could and your peers take that would
    mitigate climate change and reduce the loss of
    biodiversity at the same time?

Conference Room 6 UN Headquarters, New York
  • 830 am Arrival at United Nations
  • 830 900 am Registration
  • 900 am Videoconference sites link with UN
  • 915 - 925 am Introductory remarks by Kiyo
    Akasaka, UN Under-Secretary General of
    Communications and Public Information Gordon
    Slaven, Counsellor (Cultural Relations),
    Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the
    United Nations
  • 925 -1015 am Presentation on topics by youth
    facilitators followed by QA
  • 1015 1115 am Session One discussion on
    Biodiversity and Climate Change at all sites
  • 1115 1145 am Each site presents their
    recommendations followed by QA
  • 1145am -1245 pm Session Two discussion on
    Climate Justice
  • 1245-115 pm Each site presents their
    recommendations followed by QA
  • 130230 pm Lunch
  • 300-400 pm Session Three discussion on Ecology
    and Economics of Energy at all sites
  • 400-425 pm Each site presents their
    recommendations followed by QA
  • 425-430 pm Closing remarks by Eric Falt,
    Director, Outreach Division, Dept. of Public
  • 430 pm Close of conference

Student Handout 9 During the Videoconference
  • Ask questions. This is the chance youve been
    waiting for! After the initial presentations on
    three topics and the presentation of
    recommendations following each Session you will
    be given an opportunity to ask questions or make
    comments on what has been said. Share some of the
    things youve learned about or talked about while
    preparing for this event.
  • Listen carefully. This is an opportunity to
    practice being a thoughtful student, a good
    discussant and a world citizen. Hear whats
    being said.
  • Look for similarities in the other students. The
    impact of climate change on biodiversity is
    something that affects all of us! Look for
    similarities in the recommendations that are put
    forth by your peers in other countries.

For Teachers During the Videoconference
  • Help your students to focus on the topic.
  • Make a list with your students (prior to the 4
    June event) of questions they might like to ask
    during the videoconference.
  • Take notes on whats being said. During the
    conference make a note of statements that you
    think would be good to discuss further when you
    return to school.

Student Handout 10 After the Videoconference
  • After you return to school following the 4 June
    event spend some time answering the following
  • - What did you learn?
  • - What topics related biodiversity and climate
    change do you think should be discussed further?
  • - What can you do to help reduce the loss of

For Teachers After the Videoconference
  • After you return to school following the 4 June
    event spend some time answering the following
  • - What did you learn?
  • - Lead a class discussion on the recommendations
    that were put forth at the conference.
  • - What action steps do your students think they
    can implement?

  • Use these resources to learn more about
    biodiversity, climate change and climate justice
    in preparation for the videoconference.
  • General
  • -- World Environment Day --
  • -- TUNZA, UNEPs quarterly youth magazine, the
    most recent issue of which deals with
    biodiversity several recent issues deal with
    climate change, and there is an issue on gender
    equity and the environment, see
  • -- Our Planet, UNEPs quarterly magazine the
    most recent issue of which deals with
    biodiversity several recent issues deal with
    climate change, see --
  • Biodiversity
  • -- Basic Facts --
  • -- International year of Biological Diversity
    2010 --
  • -- Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (popularized
    version) Green Facts --
  • -- Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 (2010) --
  • -- Sustaining Life How Human Health Depends on
    Biodiversity Things you can do --
  • -- Convention on Biological Diversity
    biodiversity and climate change --
  • Climate Change
  • -- Climate in Peril -- A Popular Guide to the
    Latest IPCC Reports --
  • -- What you can do --
  • -- United Nations Human Development Report
    2007/2008 -- Fighting Climate Change Human
    solidarity in a divided world (Executive
    Summary) -- http//

  • Climate Justice
  • -- Climate Justice Sharing the Burden --
  • -- Climate Change and Access to Justice --
  • -- Women, Gender Equality and Climate Change
  • -- Gender and the Environment
  • -- Global Gender and Climate Alliance --
  • -- Human Rights and Climate Change
  • -- Key Points on Climate Justice --
  • Energy
  • Energy Technology Fact Sheets (UNEP) --
  • Global Environment Outlook 4 (UNEP), Biodiversity
    chapter --
  • Assessing Biofuels (Executive Summary --
    sessingBiofuelsSummary.pdf) Full Report --
  • The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
    (TEEB) --
  • Forests and Energy Key Issues (FAO) --
  • Biofuels prospects, risks and opportunities
    (FAO) --http//
  • Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy
    Technologies (Union of Concerned Scientists) --
  • Ecosystems and Livelihoods Understanding
    linkages in the face of climate change impacts
    (IUCN) -- http//

Appendix Case Study of How Energy Is Used in
  • What types of energy are there, and which ones
    should we be using? Each type of energy has
    advantages and disadvantages. As you learn about
    each type of energy look at the impact it is
    having on biodiversity and climate change.

Fossil Fuels
  • Fossil fuels were formed over millions of
    years from the decomposed remains of plants and
    animals under immense heat and pressure. This has
    produced energy laden fuels that can be found
    under the ground and must be either dug out (like
    coal) or pumped to the surface (like oil and
    natural gas). The fuels consist largely of a
    compound of hydrogen and carbon, called
    hydrocarbons and are burned to release energy.
    The heat energy produced is used to heat water,
    producing steam that power turbines to create
    electricity. At present 92 of energy production
    in China is from fossil fuels.

Fossil Fuels

Case study Yangcheng Coal-Fired Power Plant,
Shanxi Province, China
  • Yangcheng International Power Company is now
    operating its 2,100MW (6 x 350MW) No. 1
    coal-fired plant in Shanxi province, about 800km
    south west of Beijing. Shanxi Province, China's
    major coal producer is working on becoming the
    country's largest electricity provider.
  • Source http//

  • This is produced when water falls from a
    high place to a low place, turning a turbine
    connected to a generator. The potential energy of
    the water is converted into kinetic energy
    through turning the turbine which is converted to
    electrical energy by the generator. A
    hydroelectric power plant often works by creating
    a dam from which the water will fall.


Case study Three Gorges Dam Hydroelectric Power
Plant, Yangtze River, Hubei Province, China
  • The Three Gorges Dam project involves
    harnessing Asias longest river the Yangtze
    River, to generate large amounts of electricity.
  • Output aims to be close to one tenth of current
    requirements for China. The dam also aims to end
    disastrous floods downstream, which have claimed
    hundreds of thousands of lives this century
  • Improved navigability on the river could also
    allow much larger ships to sail from Shanghai as
    far as Chongqing, upstream from the dam and
    2,000km from the sea, to aid China's domestic and
    export trade.
  • The International Rivers Network campaigned
    against the dam which dramatically altered the
    natural environment of the area. At the projects
    completion, a total of 26 generators will
    generate 18,200MW.
  • Source

Wind Power
  • Wind turbines have blades which rotate
    around a horizontal hub containing a generator at
    the top of a steel tower. The potential energy of
    the wind passes over the blades and is converted
    into kinetic energy through the turning of the
    blades. The rotating blades turn a shaft which
    feeds into a gearbox this increases the rotation
    speed of the generator which uses a magnetic
    field to convert kinetic energy into electrical

Wind Power
Wind Power

Wind Power in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
  • China has chosen wind power as an important
    alternative energy source and supportive measures
    have been introduced such as concessions to
    encourage domestic production of wind turbines.
  • This area has a high technically exploitable
    capacity of 150GW. By the end of 2006, the total
    grid connected capacity in Inner Mongolia reached
  • Source Wind Power Report (2007)

Geothermal Power
  • Geo means earth, and thermal means heat.
    Geothermal hotspots naturally heat up water
    underground which can come to the surface in the
    form of hot springs or geysers. A geothermal
    power plant harnesses this energy by drilling
    down into a hotspot where a pipe collects the hot
    steam. The potential energy of this pressurised
    steam is channelled into a turbine to create
    kinetic energy. This is linked to a generator
    which converts the energy into electricity.

Geothermal Power

Yangbajing Geothermal Power Plant, Tibet
  • Yanbajing, home of the largest operating
    geothermal power plant in China, is situated 90
    km northwest of Lhasa, capital of Tibet. Tibet
    lacks fossil fuel resources and the area faced a
    severe shortage of electricity in 1970s. From
    2002-2007 the plant had an annual electricity
    output of more than 100 million kw/h. In 2007 the
    Yangbajing installed capacity of 24,180 kilowatts
    and has been a main supplier for Lhasa grid for a
    long time.
  • Source http//

Biomass Energy
  • Biomass is organic material derived from
    living, or recently living organisms. In the
    context of biomass for energy this is often used
    to mean plant-based materials such as wood, wood
    waste, straw, manure, sugar cane and many other
    by-products. Biomass is carbon based and is
    composed of a mixture of organic molecules
    containing hydrogen, usually including atoms of
    oxygen, often nitrogen and also small quantities
    of other atoms, including alkali, alkaline earth
    and heavy metals. The difference between biomass
    and fossil fuels is timescale. Biomass can be
    converted into energy in a number of ways, in
    particular burning the matter to produce heat and

Biomass Energy

Changyi Biomass-to-Energy Plant, Shandong
province, China
  • Changyi BTE power plant has a power generating
    capacity of 24 MW per hour. The primary
    feedstocks for the Changyi plant are wheat,
    maize, corn and cotton stalk from agricultural
    waste. The plant collects the annual fuel
    requirement of 200,000 tonnes of agricultural
    waste from a 45km radius.

Source http//
Wave/Tidal Power
  • There are number of different types of
    technologies that use the movement of the sea to
    create energy and many are still in the
    development stage. These include a shore-based
    oscillating water column trapping and
    compressing air in successive waves to build
    enough compression to drive a turbine using
    pressure differences under wave crests to drive
    water flows through turbine chambers floating
    buoys that use the kinetic energy of the buoys
    rise and fall to drive a turbine and using the
    motion of joints in an articulated structure to
    drive hydraulic rams that power motors.

Wave/Tidal Power

Jiangxia tidal experiment power station, Zhejiang
  • Jiangxia tidal experiment power station opened in
    the 1980s and has an installed capacity of
    3200KW with five generating plants connected to
    the grid in 1985. China has a history of 40 years
    in the development and manufacture of equipment
    for the generation of tidal energy. So far,
    Jianqxia is the biggest of 8 tidal power stations
    with a total installed capacity of 6120KW.
  • Source http//

Energy from Waste
  • Waste is collected from homes and burnt in an
    incinerator that reaches temperatures in the
    region of 750 degrees Celsius. Heat from the
    burning waste is used in a boiler and steam from
    this is piped to a turbine generator to create
    electricity. The heaviest ash falls into a
    collection point and is passed over with an
    electromagnet to extract metal content for
    recycling. Flue gases containing fine ash then
    pass through a scrubber reactor to treat acid
    pollutants such as sulphur dioxide. The gases
    then pass through a fine particulate removal
    system and are released through the chimney stack.

Energy from Waste Plant, Nanshan, Shenzhen, China
  • The plant collects 800 tonnes of waste from
    households which is burned to produce 2 x 27MW of
    thermal power and 12 MW of electrical power. The
    plant operates flue gas cleaning to reduce
  • Source http//

Solar Power
  • Solar energy technologies use the sun's
    energy and light to provide heat, light, hot
    water, electricity and even cooling. There are a
    variety of technologies that have been developed
    to take advantage of solar energy. These include
    photovoltaic systems that produce electricity
    directly from sunlight solar hot water panels
    that heat water using solar energy solar
    electricity that uses heat to produce
    electricity passive solar heating and
    day-lighting systems and solar process space
    heating and cooling.

Solar Power
Solar Power

Rizhao the sunshine city
  • Rizhao, a city of 3 million people in northern
    China, is using solar energy to provide energy,
    heating and lighting. An incredible 99 of
    Rizhaos households use solar water heaters,
    while almost all traffic signals, street lights
    and park illuminations are powered by
    photovoltaic solar cells. In total, the city has
    over a half-million square meters of solar water
    heating panels, the equivalent of about 0.5
    megawatts of electric water heaters.
  • Source
  • Text http//
  • Picture http//

  • Nuclear power is created using uranium which can
    be mined in various places on the earth. Heat is
    generated by nuclear fission where neutrons smash
    into the nucleus of the uranium atoms, which
    split roughly in half and release energy in the
    form of heat. Carbon dioxide gas or water is
    pumped through the reactor to take the heat away,
    this then heats water to make steam. The steam
    drives turbines which drive generators to create

Nuclear Power

Lingao Nuclear Power Station, Guangdong province
  • Two units of China's Lingao plant are now
    generating a total of 1,970MW, with another two
    units in construction.
  • Source
  • Text http//
  • Picture

  • Special thanks to
  • Jim Sniffen, Programme Officer, UNEP
  • Rebecca Nadin, Director of Global Climate Change
    Programme, British Council
  • Prudence Willats,Climate Change Officer, British
  • for their assistance in preparing this study