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Hot Topics Calendar

Exploring current issues in the classroom

This feature was developed by Resources for Rethinking to connect students to some of the efforts being made to solve important problems that are affecting our planet. Hot Topics are published during the school year to coincide with the timing of national and international campaigns taking place to raise awareness of these key issues.

Each Hot Topic edition includes links to classroom materials from theResources for Rethinking database that will encourage students and teachers to explore the environmental, economic and social dimensions of these issues and to take action in support of the larger campaign.

Hot Topics Calendar

UN International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

September 16

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Fall 2015

World Food Day

October 16


Waste Reduction Week

October 19-25, 2015


World Fisheries Day

November 21


Buy Nothing Day

November 28, 2015


COP 21: UN Climate Change Conference

November 30- December 11, 2015

World Wetlands Day

February 2


World Day of Social Justice

February 20


World Water Day

March 22


Earth Hour

March 19, 2016

Earth Day

April 22


International Day for Biological Diversity

May 22

World Environment Day

June 5, 2016


National Aboriginal Day

June 21

Canada Day

July 1

 

World Wetlands Day:
February 2nd, 2016

World Wetlands Day marks the signing of The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance that took place in Ramsar, Iran on February 2, 1971. The goal of this international celebration is to raise public awareness of the value of wetlands and to promote wetland conservation. This year’s theme of “Wetlands for Our Future: Sustainable Livelihoods” emphasizes the many essential functions that wetlands perform and underscores the vital role they will play in achieving the goals of sustainable development.

World Wetlands Day provides an excellent opportunity for students and teachers to explore local wetlands and to take action on their behalf.

Why Care about the Wetlands?

 Habitat:

  • Wetlands provide the planet’s second most bio-diverse ecosystems.
  • Most of the world’s endangered plant and animal species depend on wetlands.
  • Many economically-important species thrive in wetlands.

Services- Wetlands provide:

  • Flood control
  • Freshwater purification
  • Groundwater replenishment
  • Shoreline stabilization
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Economic / business opportunities
  • Recreation opportunities
  • Employment opportunities

Human Impact:

  • 90% of Canada’s urban wetlands have been destroyed
  • 50% of Canada’s freshwater wetlands have been destroyed
  • 65% of Atlantic Canada’s salt marshes have disappeared
  • Historically, agriculture has been the largest contributor to wetland loss

Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in World Wetlands Day. Top R4R Picks will connect you to some excellent resources to support these efforts.

Other Resources:

For more information and ideas be sure to check out the World Wetlands Day website at http://www.worldwetlandsday.org/

 

 

World Day of Social Justice
February 20, 2016

World Day of Social Justice was initiated by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2007 to encourage support for international efforts in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment, gender equity and justice for all.

World Day of Social Justice provides students and teachers with an excellent opportunity to focus attention on the barriers to social well-being that millions of people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.

Why Care About Social Justice:

o Over 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases. (WHO)

o There are currently 800 million people who do not have access to safe drinking water. (UNESCO)

o Currently armed forces in 20 countries are recruiting child soldiers under the age of 18. (Child Soldiers International)

o The tuberculosis rate among Canada’s First Nations ranges from 10 to 30 times higher than that of the population as a whole. (CBC)

o Eighty-two million girls now aged 10 to 17 will be married before their 18th birthday (UNFP).

o One hundred million more women would be alive today if females had equal access to nutrition and health care. (WHO)

o Of the 4.5 million refugees forced to flee Syria, over one million are children. (UNHRC)

o Genocide Watch has identified emergency situations in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar and North Korea.

o The gap between rich and poor within and among nations continues to grow and promote conflict.

o Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations

o A sustainable future involves meeting the needs of all people.

Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in World Day of Social Justice. Top R4R Picks will connect you to some excellent resources to support these efforts.