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(World Forum continued from pg. 4)

whose mission it is to create a global exchange for early childhood care professionals to exchange ideas and promote quality education for children in diverse settings.

This year’s conference was held in Belfast, Ireland, a site chosen because of the many innovative educational programs that emerged there related to conflict resolution and peace building during that troubled area’s long history of conflict. The local Irish sponsor was Early Years, the largest organization in Northern Ireland promoting childcare for children.

Early Years was instrumental in creating programs to help children, parents, and teachers counter violence by creating a culture of respecting differences. Research evidence of the positive impact of their work is of enormous interest to people around the world.

The conference was attended by 600 delegates from 78 countries and topics presented included Education for Sustainable Development, Diversity, Childrens’ Rights, Peace Building with Children, Gender Issues, Children Affected by HIV/AIDS, and Learning Through Nature.

Sebastian moderated a forum entitled, “Bringing Nature into Indoor Classrooms.” One project demonstrated was the gathering and analysis of woodland mushrooms, teaching students to distinguish between edible and inedible types.

Elizabeth commented that one thing that was most noticeable to her in attending the conference was the lack of educational materials in the schools where she teaches in Africa, as compared to those in more developed countries. She directly attributes this lack as a primary factor in the slow educational advancement of poorer countries, along with teacher shortages and overcrowded classrooms.

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Elizabeth Chuwa works with schoolchildren in Belfast, Ireland, during a conference on early childhood education and development. The World Forum promotes teaching young children around the world to appreciate nature and their role in preserving it.

University of Aberdeen

While in the British Isles, Sebastian was also invited by the University of Aberdeen to meet with academics of the School of Biological Sciences. He was the keynote speaker at a public lecture on the topic Planning for the Future in Tanzania, delivering a PowerPoint presentation describing his work in youth education, tree planting, and ongoing outreach with the ABCP. He also led a discussion of global warming and the vulnerability of the Mt. Kilimanjaro ice fields.

Impressed by the presentation, several Aberdeen professors suggested the idea of student exchange linkages, with Aberdeen students traveling to Tanzania to do field work in biological studies.

Aberdeen is located on the North Sea, and is a worldwide port. The University itself is surrounded by areas of impressive natural beauty and biological import. On the campus can be found a Natural History Center, Zoology Museum Gardens and Botanic Gardens.

nl09-07.jpg (23347 bytes)New Book by Jane Goodall

Sometimes, it seems like there's no hope for the planet. Thousands of species go extinct every year, and climate change is closing in. But famed biologist Jane Goodall says she refuses to give up.

In her latest book, Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink, she writes, "There are surely plants and animals living in the remote places beyond our current knowledge. There are discoveries yet to be made."

And, she says, there are species that have been pulled back from extinction by dedicated environmentalists. The book is a collection of stories about those species and a celebration of the spirited efforts that saved them.

The best friend on Earth of man is the tree. When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources of the Earth.
-- Frank Lloyd Wright

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Last revised 13 Oct 2009.