The “European Nature Protection Toolkit” was published in February 2022. It aims to get young people between the ages of 13 and 16 excited about Europe’s diverse natural environment and its protection. The four thematic modules contain a variety of different activities, resources, materials and ideas and is intended for use in schools or other educational institutions.
Back to nature
Europe is home to a huge variety of natural landscapes, wildlife and plants. Sensitising young people to the protection and importance of Europe’s natural heritage can be a critical first step towards meaningful engagement with the environment. The “European Nature Conservation Toolkit” was developed to get young people between the ages of 13 and 16 excited about Europe’s diverse nature and its protection. The toolkit aims to teach young people:
what is meant when talking about nature and biodiversity as well as species, habitats and ecosystems
where to find protected species and habitats in EU Member States
why Europe’s natural environment matters and what threatens it
what the EU is doing to protect nature and how young people can take action.
Educational goals of the European Nature Protection Toolkit
The four thematic modules in the toolkit present different activities, resources, materials and ideas for working with young people in schools or other educational institutions. To best support educators in preparing and delivering the activities, it includes ready-to-use materials and resources, as well as lesson plans. The activities and modules build on each other to a certain extent, but can still be used individually based on the age and educational level of the students.
The activities are intended to help students:
increase their awareness and understanding of nature.
reflect on the importance of nature, our values and attitudes in relation to it.
understand how humans affect nature and how this impact has changed over time.
Learn about Europe’s natural environment in 4 modules
The first module helps young people develop a deeper awareness and understanding of nature. This is done by reflecting on the importance of nature for us humans, what attitudes we have towards nature and how our influence on the environment has changed.
The second module explains the meaning of terms such as species, habitat and biodiversity. Young people get to know the complexity of ecosystems, learn more about the documentation of species and habitats, as well as the most important habitat types in Europe.
The third module teaches young people about Natura 2000, an EU-wide network of protected areas for the conservation of endangered or typical habitats and species, as well as the EU nature protection directives. In addition, students learn why it is important to collect data on the environment and the applicable observation methods.
The fourth module is about how the young people themselves can become active and help protect the environment. It aims to answer the following questions: How can more attention be drawn to nature conservation? Where can young people get involved and how can they develop their own points of view and contribute to politics?