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Alarming global survey on children's perceptions of
The results

of an Airbus survey exploring children's perceptions of nature were
released earlier this month. The survey of more than 10,000 children and young
people aged 5-18 from ten countries worldwide highlighted some alarming trends.
When asked to rank what was most important to them, ten times more children
ranked watching TV or playing computer games first compared to those who chose
saving the environment (40 percent and 4 percent, respectively). And while
species extinction rates are estimated to be up to 1,000 times the natural
rate, only 9 percent ranked looking after animals as most important, and 15
percent did not know what 'endangered species' implied. On a positive note, the
results show that children still enjoy spending time outdoors with almost a
third (30 percent) saying it is their favourite pastime. When asked which type
of animal or plant they would most like to save, nine percent said they would
most like to save birds, six percent chose plants, and less than one percent
opted for insects, with mammals such as snow leopards coming top with 50
percent followed by reptiles with 23 percent.

Source: Botanic Gardens Conservation International www.bgci.org

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Hi Chuck! Welcome! Glad you jumped in here by posting and hope you continue to do so. Yes, this sure is an alarming survey. It's on the C&N web site, too. (http://bit.ly/bOixmi). I like to be optimistic and think the tide is turning back toward nature play and environmental awareness. (The two are linked together, after all.) Do you think so, too?
This survey is alarming. I too think the tide is turning, I see kids and adults getting excited to see corn snakes, skunks & red foxes. People do get to see those animals around here, but now they WANT to learn more about them, and how to live with them in the neighborhood. Learners around here get really excited to see black bears, and we will know how much of an impact we(outdoor promoters) are making as the younger generations become more tolerant of the ecosystems around them.
That’s a sad statistic but I’m not surprised. That is precisely why we need to have biodiversity, wildlife gardening and general horticulture happening in school, to give the kids a taste of outdoors – if they never experience it they can’t begin to form a connection.

I spent hours in the garden when I was a kid, my daughter doesn’t, but the culture is so different. Children’s tv finished at a certain time and was replaced by the ‘test card’ leaving you the choice of dancing about to soupy romantic music, going out into the garden or doing imaginative and creative play inside. Poor old kids everything is imagined for them already, all they have to do is consume. As parents and teachers we need to make the decision to not over provide readymade entertainment and to sometimes (as a parent) lay down the law about TV/computer quotas.

I think the more we try to intercede and direct children outside the happer they seem to become. It was a shock when my 13 year old suddenly announced she was taking over the gardening and I have never seen her so animated and calm.

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