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Image by Vadim Fomenok

Preserving land and biodiversity

Healthy soil stores CO2 and grows food

Forest Trees

Quick Facts – Did you know?

Soil health


  • A third of the world's soil has been lost in the past 40 years

  • The environmental cost of one meal is 10 kgs of topsoil, 1.5 litres of diesel, 800 liters of water, 0.3 grams of pesticides, 3.5 kg of CO2 emissions

  • Intensive cattle farming industry accounts for water intensive practices and over 40% of methane emissions – rice accounts for even more land use

  • Industrial farming and monoculture crop rotation has destroyed the land and healthy soil by using chemical fertilizers.

  • Many regions of the world are getting hotter, turning land into dust bowls, and creating desertification.

Gardening Lesson
Home Gardening
Forest Trees

What you can do


  • Create a garden or vegetable patch in the school grounds

  • Make fertilizer.  Start a composting bin by collecting organic food waste or vegetable peelings from the school canteen and turning it into chemical free natural compost

  • Design and build, or buy, a rainwater harvesting tank to store run offs from gutters and use it for watering plants. This saves water

  • Find out how food is grown locally on farms.

What’s the solution?


  • SOIL CO2 SINK – Healthy chemical free soil can capture huge amounts of CO2, reduce green house gasses, and help to reduce climate change.

  • ROOTS, SHOOTS and SOIL microbes and insects make up soil biodiversity. It locks in CO2 absorbed by trees, plants and crops, grows healthy food, and gives us oxygen  

  • SOIL RETAINS WATER so the ground water table doesn’t go dry. Along with trees it prevents flooding.

  • THE WORLD NEEDS FARMERS to fill the shortage of farmers who know how to grow crops

  • MULTI-CROP ROTATION instead of monoculture techniques helps create different nutrients 

  • REGENERATIVE FARMING METHODS don’t use chemical fertilizers but use natural compost fertilizers to grow food

  • PERMACULTURE DESIGN uses natural composting methods to grow crops on small land holdings or gardens.  You can try this in creating vegetable school gardens

Teaching and learning resources for schools

Here is some global information on what is happening to Land.

A World Atlas of Desertification 

Deforestation has caused desertification in many areas, affecting agriculture and creating droughts and floods which can also affect cities.



Regreening the desert



Preventing floods



School gardening learning resources


The Royal Horticultural Society UK (RHS) has put together exciting lesson plans. Getting schools back to nature, learn skills to grow plants and food and being sustainable.


Adapt the lesson plans to your local, regional, national areas.


Countryside classrooms have Biodiversity in Farming Fact Sheets.


See what you can learn in your region and country about farming.



Practical Action activities to learn about farming and impact of climate change


Kiss the Ground have free learning resources on how we can all take care of soil. Also watch the movie.

Find more learning resources and videos here

Protecting biodiversity and preventing extinction in our natural world

Forest Trees

Quick Facts – Did you know?


  • Biodiversity is decreasing – the world lost 52% of biodiversity between1970-2010 while the human population nearly doubled.

  • Pollinators like birds, butterflies and bee populations are declining in urban areas and in some countries

  • Aquatic life in streams, rivers and seas are impacted by polluting waste and chemical discharge in our waterways.

Image by Alfred Schrock
Observing Flowers
Forest Trees

What you can do in school spaces or at home?


  • DEVELOP GREEN SPACES OR GARDENS outside in the school grounds. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.The roots and soil capture CO2 and create the best carbon sink.

  • LEAVE WILD VEGETATION where you can to attract birds, bees and butterflies which are important pollinators

  • CREATE GREEN SPACES to grow some herbs and vegetables that can be used in the school canteen

  • PLANT FLOWERS to attract the pollinators

  • COMPOSTING BINS that can turn organic food waste to plant nutrition to put on soil

  • BUILD BIRDBOXES and BIRD FEED tables to attract birds to the school gardens

  • INSTALL RAINWATER HARVESTING TANKS – to capture the rainwater and runoffs from the gutters to water the plants.

​​Teaching and learning resources for schools


Practical Action have engaging teaching resources to inspire children of all ages. Learn about some of the global stories of people taking action in their country, partnering with Practical Action



Learn to Love Nature by WWF are resources for children and young people to learn about biodiversity, nature and our planet from home.


The Royal Horticultural Society UK (RHS) has put together exciting School Gardening learning resources.  It supports schools to get back to nature, learn skills to grow plants and food, and teaches about sustainability.


Adapt the lesson plans to your local, regional, national areas.



Transform Our World have put together teaching resources on exploring the topic of biodiversity



St Albans city is a sustainable city in UK, where local authorities collaborate with community and schools to put together learning resources.



Teaching resources about global biodiversity loss


Ted Ed has put together Earth School partnering UN environment programme and others. Take the 30 quests for students around the world to connect and explore nature. Students can register and set up an account to get a certificate on completing the quest.  Go ahead and take the challenge!



IUCN  (International Union for conservation of Nature) have developed # Nature for All.  A global site full of all things to inspire getting out In nature with plenty of learning resources.


Use the learning pathways and themes to plan lessons contained in the Youth Voices Curriculum Sourcebook

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