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Schools Debate Six Ideas to Save Rainforests

Over the past few months, hundreds of UK schoolchildren have contributed to a national schools’ rainforest debate, focused on the question, ‘How on Earth can we save the rainforests?’

This followed on from the 2010-11 National Schools Essay Competition and – after an extensive judging process involving an international panel of experts – 60 winners from 30 schools were invited to attend the National Schools Debates at the Living Rainforest centre in Berkshire on 16-17 March.

The schoolchildren’s ‘top six’ ideas for saving the rainforests are summed up in the word ‘PLANET’:

P – Protect forests
L – Live sustainably
A – (Raise) Awareness
N – New politics
E – Engage with companies
T – Transform the economy

Protect forests – We not only have to create forest parks, but we also have to change people’s attitudes and behaviour to forests outside parks.

Live sustainably – How we live can help reduce our ecological footprint on rainforests and other threatened ecosystems. By lowering consumption and population levels and adopting sustainable agricultural, logging and other practices, we can learn to live within our means on an increasingly crowded planet.

Raise Awareness – Education is vital, both in rainforest countries and around the world, for people to understand why rainforests are important and how different activities affect them. By raising awareness, we can arm ourselves with the information needed to help protect rainforests.

New politics – Conflicting interests must be reconciled, e.g. between indigenous people, farmers & loggers, local communities, scientists, governments and voters. Improved communication and understanding are essential to build a sustainable future together.

Engage with companies – We need to work with companies such as supermarkets, timber merchants and paper manufacturers to ensure that their products are sustainably made, and to help educate consumers to make the right choices, e.g. through better labelling and less waste.

Transform the economy – Humans are not separate from nature, and economic growth cannot continue at the expense of destroying nature any more. Children today want to build the biggest green economy the world has ever seen.

To read the winning essays, visit

Building on the success of this year’s competition, The Living Rainforest plans to organise a similar follow-on event in 2012. For further announcements, follow the Living Rainforest on Facebook ( or Twitter (

on 'Schools Debate Six Ideas to Save Rainforests'

  1. Nicola Heape says:

    It would be lovely if this competition was also open to Home Educators – would this be possible?

  2. Karl Hansen says:

    Absolutely! Home-educated children are very welcome and we would not dream of excluding them.

  3. Ashley Preston says:

    This is great that schools are doing something good for the community. I know my old school would never do anything like this.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2011 at 12:37 pm and is filed under News.

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