12 November 2020

Why biodiversity is important for children

6 minute read This year marks the end of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, but what is biodiversity and why is it so significant? As we prepare for a new global framework on biodiversity in 2021, here are five things you need to know about biodiversity and its importance for children.  , 1. What is biodiversity?, The term means biological diversity and refers to all the variety of life – whether that’s plants, animals, fungi or micro-organisms – as well as to the eco-systems they form and the habitats in which they live. Biological diversity comprises three levels: Species diversity:  the variety of different species; Genetic diversity: the variety of…, 2. Why is biodiversity important?, Biodiversity is essential for human health and well-being, economic prosperity, food safety and security, and other areas critical to all humans and all human societies. Organisms, ecosystems and ecological processes supply us with oxygen and clean water, they help cycle carbon and fix nutrients, they enable plants to grow, they keep pests and…, 3. What do we mean by biodiversity loss?, Biodiversity is declining faster than it has at any other time in human history. People represent just 0.01 per cent of all living creatures, but have still caused the thecsrjournal.in | International Day for Biodiversity 2020 loss of 83 per cent of all wild mammals and half of plants in just the last 100 years. How we grow food, produce energy,…, 4. How does biodiversity impact on children?, No one is immune to the adverse impacts of biodiversity loss and degraded ecosystems. Children, in particular, are affected because their bodies are still developing and their behaviour – like playing on the ground or eating dirt – can expose them to more harmful chemicals and organisms. Illustration of a child playing outside in a polluted…, 5. What can we do to conserve biodiversity?, Understanding and awareness Helping people to understand what biodiversity loss means for them, and particularly for the health of their children, can be a very effective incentive for the positive behavioural change required to ensure more sustainable lifestyles and choices in energy, food and water consumption, which will in turn ease threats to…
05 December 2019

Are climate change policies child-sensitive?

The scientific community has sounded the alarm. Climate change is a global emergency and we have little more than a decade to undertake the urgent and unprecedented action required to limit global temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Beyond that time, the risks of deadly drought, flooding, heatwaves, extreme weather and poverty will significantly worsen for hundreds of millions of people. Children will continue to suffer the most under the impacts of climate change. However, despite the many ways climate change impacts them, children are consistently overlooked in the design and content of climate policies and related processes. In order to overcome this lapse, this report assesses the current landscape of national climate change policies and plans and the degree to which these are child-sensitive. It provides recommendations on how to strengthen the focus on children’s rights, including actionable and measurable results for children. To that end, UNICEF analyzed 160 NDCs and 13 NAPs comprising a quantitative and qualitative assessment. The key principles and approaches identified in this paper provide guidance to decision-makers and others involved in determining climate policies on the steps required to ensure that these policies are child-sensitive and contribute to urgent efforts to tackle the climate crisis. This is especially relevant this year as countries update or revise their Nationally Determined Contributions, ensuring no child is left behind.