What is a forest?
How do we use forests?
What is happening to our forests?
Forests of the future
Ask pupils to reflect on the meaning of 'development'. Elicit that 'development' means making life better for people. Write the following words up on the board. Clean water, smart shoes, mobile phone, clean air, education, shelter, laptop / computer, fuel, food, trees. In groups, pupils should select their top 5 items which they think are the most important for people's development.
Ask each group to feedback and explain why they think some of the items on the list are more important than others. Now ask the groups to consider if they think all people in Scotland have the same needs? For example an unemployed person or a homeless person. Next ask them to think about people in the Congo Basin rainforest – would their needs be the same too?
Write the word 'sustainable' on the board. Brainstorm with the class what they think the word means and write up their thoughts on the board. A definition might be 'it refers to an activity or process which can be sustained over a long period of time.'
Give the class the following statement. "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without limiting the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". You can simplify the statement by explaining that we (the pupils / global community) need to leave 'enough' for future generations, and it needs to be 'as good' as they / we had it).
What are their initial thoughts about the statement? Give each group one of the cartoon strips. Explain that we are going to see how some development is sustainable and some isn't. Ask them to read their cartoon. Discuss the following questions and report back to the class.
Review the original quote and ask them what they think about the statement now.
Hold a plenary discussion using the prompts below.
What message was the Guardian of the Wood story providing about sustainable development?
What is the difference between sustainable and renewable?
Trees are renewable and forests and woodlands can be regenerated. Therefore we can use wood from sustainably managed forests which support this process.
Sustainable development is defined as 'development that meets the needs of the present without limiting the ability of future generations' (UN World Commission on Environment and Development)
Trees are a part of a wider ecosystem that helps stabilise the climate and provide the right conditions for human life. The careful and sustainable management of tree planting, protection and felling can help ensure that future generations inherit an earth that will continue to provide fundamental resources. True sustainable development involves a balance between using the Earth for the benefit of the human race and respecting the environment. Sustainable solutions set out to achieve this by:
Continuing to meet the basic needs for human life, society and communities – that is food, water, shelter, transport, communication, etc.
Inflicting no lasting harm on the environment, its ecosystems, animals, water, air, etc.