Nature Based Ecological Civilization Education and Communications

26 December 2012 | Article

On December 20, 2012, IUCN China organized a roundtable seminar on Nature Based Ecological Civilization Education and Communications. Members from the Government, NGO and private sector were invited to share their views and experiences, challenges facing communicating nature conservation, and priorities for educating nature to decision makers.

The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China wrote ecological civilization into the CPC constitution, placing it at an unprecedented important level of decision making and guidelines for the planning of China’s future. Meanwhlie, IUCN, at the 2012 World Conservation Congress, has promoted a significant concept coined “Nature based solution”, which brings forth the idea that nature is at the heart of solving the world’s environmental issues. Ecological Civilization and Nature Based Solution are both cutting edge and complimentary- the path of nature, of ecological balance, is the way forward for mankind. Communicating these new concepts and education current and coming generation to take actions should be an urgent and critical step towards implementing nature based solutions.

On December 20, 2012, IUCN China organized a roundtable seminar on Nature Based Ecological Civilization Education and Communications. Members from the Government, NGO and private sector were invited to share their views and experiences, challenges facing communicating nature conservation, and priorities for educating nature to decision makers.

The Roundtable invited 16 speakers, include distinguished educators such as IUCN CEC Chair Dr. Juliane Zeidler, Ministry of Education Office of Development and Planning Director Mr. Chao Guiming, Ministry of Environmental Protection CEEC Project Director Ms. Yan Yingying, Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Professor Wang Song, Professor of Conservation Biology of the Peking University Professor Lu Zhi, and Executive Council Director of Friends of Nature Ms. Liang Xiaoyan.

At the opening of the roundtable, IUCN President Mr. Zhang Xinsheng talked about the timely and significant focus on ecological civilization in China renewed and deeper understanding of our place in the earth ecology, and the urgency of environmental change, and education and communications lies in the very foundation of change factors.

The roundtable discussed our connection to nature, our understanding of biodiversity, and how to turn cutting edge scientific findings into effective, actionable messages for decision makers and the public. Participants also offered overall recommendation for China to focus on top-down ecological education, and also suggested China should start to host global environmental convention. IUCN CEC Chair Dr. Juliane Zeidler brought about the concept of “Love, Not Loss”- as everyday environmental news is often bad news, yet the best way to rekindle our connection with nature is not to talk about what went wrong — extinction, habitat loss or resource scarcity. It’s to remember what we loved in the first place, and reconnect our daily lives with nature. Such is one of the grand tasks of environmental education and communications.

Over 50 IUCN members, commission members and partners came to the roundtable. IUCN China will convene regular seminars on important nature conservation topics, for more information, please contact info.china@iucn.org.