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