Ecuador High Court rules Nature has basic right to exist, plus climate community champion, Plant the Seed.org. Enjoying the Edible Garden Project and the Climate Change Song!
Ecuador High Court Rules Nature Has Basic Right to Exist, Plant the Seed.org, the Edible Garden Project, the Climate Change Song
THE “CLIMATE CHANGE SONG”, BY HOPSCOTCH MUSIC
A little bit comic opera, a lotta bit catchy tune, the Climate Change Song by Hopscotch, helps young people understand global warming. It also offers ways they can help lessen the worst effects of climate change, while adapting to it.
Hopscotch creates catchy educational songs for all ages. It was created by Joanna and Matt Pace. The song offers three important messages, first—what we can do, two—that there might be opposition, and three—if we recognize that and stick to the message, we’ll overcome.
Joanna Pace is a teacher and co-creator of Hopscotch. She is the educational liaison, market researcher, and artistic director for Hopscotch. Matt Pace is the head songwriter, music producer, co-creator, and YouTube specialist for Hopscotch. Outside of Hopscotch, he enjoys working with his band, The Hoover Jam, and writing musicals.
If you love this Climate Change Song, explore their website at Hopscotchsongs.com. There’s a whole slew of great music, categorized by subject: Geography and Science, Math, as well as Reading and Writing.
And that’s why the Climate Change Song and Matt and Joanna matter to us. We need as many educators as possible teaching students about climate change, how to lessen its effects, adapt to it and create resilience around it. And let’s face it, one of the best ways into a child’s brain is through song.
CLIMATE COMMUNITY CHAMPION, THE EDIBLE GARDEN PROJECT
Here’s a great story about a local community that is working to remember the forgotten ones in their neighborhoods. It’s called the Edible Garden Project.
According to their website, The Edible Garden Project uses food as a platform to transform communities, address environmental and social issues, and empower citizens of all ages through education, capacity building and community connections.
The group began in 2005 after a Vancouver Coastal Health scan of “food security” activities on the North Shore identified a gap in access to fresh local produce. That group included representatives from Vancouver Coastal Health, District of North Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, the North Shore Recycling Program, the North Shore Neighborhood House, and community agencies and volunteers.
Why does a Vancouver, Canada-based community project matter to us? The Edible Garden Project is building community in neighborhood farms and gardens. And that community-building is transferable to communities across the globe. EGP does it two ways. One, it offers programs for children.
According to their website, “We’re bringing students from kindergarten to grade 12 out of the classroom and into the garden to learn the cycles of food production from seed to soil.” Their students grow, harvest, prepare and enjoy real food.
It also offers GardenSmart Workshops for Adults. It’s a program where adults learn to grow their own food, support their local ecology and reduce waste. Ultimately the role of EGP is to teach all ages about food systems. And that’s why it matters to all of us.
DEEPER DIVE: EGP
ECUADOR HIGH COURT RULES NATURE HAS BASIC RIGHT TO EXIST
In September 2020 Earth Law Center, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and the Center for Biological Diversity filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief before the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court. The groups had asked the court to protect Los Cedros Cloud Forest from environmental harm that would be caused should mining concessions in the forest be allowed.
The groups also sought for the court to vigorously enforce Ecuadorian constitutional provisions which establish basic rights of nature, or “pachamama,” including the right to exist, the right to restoration and the rights of the rivers, especially the river Magdalena.
In an unprecedented case, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador agreed. Just last week, it applied the constitutional provision on the “Rights of Nature” to safeguard the Los Cedros cloud forest from mining concessions. The court voted seven in favor, with two abstentions.
In the wake of the ruling, the Constitutional Court will develop a binding area of law in which the Rights of Nature, the right to a healthy environment, the right to water and environmental consultation must be respected.
Natalia Greene from the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, said, “This is a historic victory in favor of nature. The Constitutional Court states that no activity that threatens the Rights of Nature can be developed within the ecosystem of Los Cedros Protected Forest, including mining and any other extractive activity. Mining is now banned from this amazing and unique protected forest. Today, the endangered frogs, the spectacled bears, the spider monkey, the birds and nature as a whole have won an unprecedented battle.”
Why does this matter to us? Alejandro Olivera, senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity said it best. “This precedent-setting case is important not only for Ecuador but also for the international community. This progressive and innovative ruling recognizes that Nature can and does have rights.”
CLIMATE COMMUNITY CHAMPION, PLANT THE SEED.ORG
Continuing my earlier theme, here’s another local community project working to teach youth about sustainable gardening and developing resilience strategies, too. It’s called, “Plant the Seed” a Nashville, TN-based, experiential gardening project.
Founded in 2014 by Susannah Fotopulos, The mission of Plant the Seed is to inspire and empower young people to effect meaningful change in their lives through hands-on learning in school and community gardens.
Fotopulos grew up on a 72-acre farm in rural TN. There she learned about sharing the bounty of her parents’ 3-acre vegetable garden with her neighbors. She believes “everyone has a right to fresh, affordable, culturally-relevant foods.”
Plant the Seed partners with Metro Nashville Public Schools to integrate experiential garden-based learning into the school day. Starting with three Early Learning Centers, PTS began facilitating weekly garden lessons and maintaining educational growing spaces. Today it grows alongside nearly 1100 young people each week at five different garden sites.
Advancing its mission of highlighting the intersection of education and food justice, building cultural connections, and connecting young people to the land, their learning and one another is why Plant the Seed matters to us.
As one multi-classroom leader said, “Plant the Seed is #1 in hands-on engagement, especially for some children who don’t feel as successful in the classroom. It helps build a sense of community and collective responsibility, and there are soooo many opportunities to tie in science and discovery.”
I also would add that with the Great Resignation and fewer people going to college, we could start to see an increase in apprenticeships and workshops, like the times before public education… This would totally feed into my diabolical plan to increase the number of regenerative farms which would result in less CO2….. See where I’m going here?
DEEPER DIVE: Plant the Seed