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Environmental Education can fight the Climate Crisis



Giuseppe De Stefano

Short summary:

Why Environmental Education is strategic to address the Climate Crisis? Green Steps Shanghai invited a group of experts in pedagogy and environmental protection to the China première screening of the exclusive documentary “Learning What Matters. Now.” shot during the Hoopoe Summit in the Summer 2021. An amazing experience to discuss the urgency of engaging the early youth in the fight for the future of the planet.

“Learning What Matters. Now”
  Film Screening and Panel Event Review

Pollution. Overconsumption. Greed. What is the ultimate cause of climate crisis? In the last decade awareness has exponentially grown as effects have become more and more impossible to ignore. First reaction: denial, slowly replaced by the seek for a scapegoat. Whose fault was that? Most people just point fingers and hardly do something.

How to address a problem that trickles down to every angle of the globe? We are just not able to think about solutions. That’s why it is so hard to focus on those.

“Learning what matters. Now” is a documentary shot in the summer of 2021, following the activities of a group of 40 young Europeans from 10 different nations in an Austrian-Hungarian National Park. Their engagement with nature and with each other, thanks to the keen eye of director Alexandra Schneider, open audience mind on the first step to take in the direction of a solution. We need to re-think our education system.

Genuine collaboration. Deep empathy for planet, others and self. Engaging playfulness. Divergent thinking. Meaningful responsibility. To foster such a diverse culture into new generation, literacy needs to be backed up by environmental education.

Prémiere Screening in China

This strong message was shared for the first time in China last Thursday, December 16th, when more than 50 professionals attended the exclusive Prémiere Screening of “Learning what Matters. Now” at Yijian Library on Nanchang Road in Shanghai.

This strong message was shared for the first time in China on Thursday 16th, when more than 50 professionals attended the exclusive Prémiere Screening of “Learning what Matters. Now” at Yijian Library on Nanchang Road in Shanghai.

For Green Steps, that also produced the documentary and organised the event, was the chance to share how diverse actions we can make to fulfill the mission to “connect you with nature”.

Environmental education is at the core of Green Steps since the day it was started in Shanghai five years ago, in 2016. Local actions mostly focused on early childhood, starting from children living in the city who are more and more deprived of outdoor experiences, thus knowing less and less about their local environment.

hoopoe summit

Last year the European branch, run by one of the partners in Austria, was established as a non-profit organisation. There, Green Steps was certified as eligible for hosting volunteers and civil servants.
One of the first social project organised with the support of young volunteers in an EU funded framework was the Hoopoe Summit: the same event put at the centre of the “Learning What Matters. Now” documentary film. It was an amazing experience to discuss the urgency of environmental protection and analyse different angles to approach it while engaging the youth in the process.

The main outcome of the activity was an official statement, the hoopoe summit declaration, transmitted to local authorities in order to formally ask the decision-makers for an immediate, transforming action.

the panel

Why is Environmental Education strategic to address the Climate Crisis? To support awareness on such a topic we invited to the première screening and to the following moderated discussion a group of experts in pedagogy and environmental protection:
- Nihuan, Founder of Green Light;
- Yiqing Zhang, Co-Founder of Squirrel & Mountain Nurturing Community;
- Chen Mingxuan, Journalist/editor of Business Ecology;
- Darleen Cubas Grasza, Early Years Educator from Magnolia Kindergarten in Shanghai.

With the precious contribution from Joan Elizalde, Green Steps’ Director of Regional Services, all panellists shared with the audience their perceptions and experiences on outdoor, experiential education and its impact.

After panel discussion, members of the audience asked a range of questions that helped to drive the conversation further.

Green Steps grabs the chance to give a special thanks out to our sponsor, Yijian Library for providing this venue, and to all participants who supported yet another amazing event. 

“Learning What Matters. Now” is on the ARK library.

“Learning What Matters. Now.” is fully available with English, German, and Chinese subtitles. After the prémiere screening, we are already organising other events. If you run an organisation that shares our values or if you want to develop the discussion over the topics raised by this film, Green Steps can provide the film and materials to support a moderated screening, so that you can be all set to organise a screening event wherever in the world.

Learn more about this option

green steps' mission

Green Steps' journey started from scratch five years ago in Shanghai. Over these years we have connected with nature over 5000 participants across Asia and Europe.
In the same timespan we have been regularly running training sessions for both our own Nature Guides team and other organisations, resulting in a total of more than 80 professional facilitators fully trained.

“Leisure time” activity.
Spending time in contact with nature is still perceived as a sort of “luxury”. Green Steps non-for-profit business model wants to revert this. That’s why our most ambitious project is to make our activities available for children in need. To do that, we developed a CSR program to seek for the support of companies willing to invest in us their Social Responsibility budget.

If you want to learn more about that, click here or contact us!