World Lemur Day, Future Foundations, “Dirt is Good” Program!

by | Oct 28, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

World Lemur Day, Future Foundations, “Dirt is Good” Program!



Happy World Lemur Day! Lemurs are often called the Jewel of the Madagascar, the island country that is their habitat. Lemurs are considered the world’s oldest primates, having first come on the world stage about 70 million years ago. That itself is worth celebrating! World Lemur Day is celebrated on the last Friday of October each year, and the World Lemur Festival is celebrated around the world in the weeks surrounding it. 

The World Lemur Festival is an annual celebration of lemurs and Madagascar. World Lemur Day is celebrated on the last Friday of October. The World Lemur Festival through virtual and in-person events in the days and weeks surrounding World Lemur Day, both in Madagascar and around the world. The first World Lemur Festival was celebrated in 2014 in Madagascar’s capital city of Antananarivo. It was organized by Professor Jonah Ratsimbazafy of GERP Madagascar. It raised awareness about the value of lemurs as Madagascar’s unique natural heritage among scientists and the general public in Madagascar.

It aimed to awaken pride for lemurs in Malagasy people, improve the economy through tourism, and promote lemur conservation and education worldwide. Since 2015, the World Lemur Festival has been celebrated around the world at zoos, in schools, and online. Learn about the first World Lemur Festival. 

Why do they matter to us? Lemurs are important in maintaining the balance of Madagascan ecosystems and the growth of plants and trees. They are considered the “creators of the forest,” fueling the growth of plants in Madagascan forests. As fruit-lovers, they cannot digest fruit seeds; when lemurs travel throughout forests, they spread the seeds through their droppings which act as natural fertilizers. 

DEEPER DIVE: Lemur Conservation Network,



Jeffrey recently moderated a climate change panel. One of the panelists, when asked the question of what she wanted to leave as a takeaway for the audience said, “A lot of people see the future really as an extension of their childhood. Their future is just a reimagined past. The reality is, the future will never look like our past because there are way more people on the planet, those people want too many new and different things, and oh by the way, climate change. I want people to leave here tonight leaving their reimagined pasts behind, and to really vision a different future that embraces working with nature, adaptation and climate change resilience.” That’s what Future Foundations  is built upon.

Future Foundations is an independent award-winning organization which believes in the power of people to create a more sustainable and brighter future. Future Foundations designs and delivers pioneering training programs and experiences for young people between the ages of 7 and 24 globally and for teachers and adults who want to inspire the next generation and partners with leading organizations from the third, private, and public sector who share its vision and mission.

One of its more fun projects is the Dirt is Good Schools Program. “DIG” supports primary schools, secondary schools and youth groups to engage young people in taking action on social and environmental issues. Through collaborative social action the Dirt Is Good Schools Program has been designed based on international research and aims to narrow the Values Perception Gap to bring about cohesive communities of change.

The Values Perception Gap comes from research commissioned as part of the Persil Dirt Is Good Project by the  Global Actions Plan survey which explored young people’ s values and how they perceive the values of others. The study found that almost all the young people surveyed said caring for nature and other people is important to them but they don’t think others share their compassionate values. 

DEEPER DIVE: Future Foundation, VPG



Want to take a minute to really spotlight the Dirt is Good Program from the Futures Foundation. The DIG program is fantastic, for at least two reasons. The first is how well researched it is. According to a Global Actions Plan survey, 84% of young people prioritized compassionate values over self-interested values, but 67% of those same young people thought other young people would feel prioritize self-interest over compassionate values.

That difference creates a “values perception gap” which leaves young folks with lower emotional well-being, feeling more worried about the future and less likely to act on issues that matter to them. That’s why the DIG helps. It’s action-oriented, and group-oriented, too. Which speaks to the second reason it’s fantastic: its student-centric emphasis. The Dirt Is Good Schools Program enables young people to take action on the environmental and social causes they care about. Drawing on international research, our design principles are as follows:

  • We don’t tell young people what to take action on 
  • They are not picking an action from a list written for them by adults 
  • They choose what to focus on, based on what they feel is important 

Research shows young people enjoy taking positive action: Getting committed feels fun and important. But helping them to learn new skills and develop kindness and empathy is just as important. Dirt Is Good will help your young people feel that they have a role to play and that we are all united in compassion. They will go on a journey and become Changemakers for life. Why does DIG matter to us? It’s a template for getting young people deeply engaged in climate action. Climate action which will bring them agency and self-confidence.

DEEPER DIVE: DIG, Global Action Plan Survey