Values & Visions
This activity helps young people think about their own values about nature. Natural areas are valued for many different reasons: their history; ecology; natural history; geomorphology; aesthetics; as well as providing for different kinds of recreation. It is important for the young people to understand that what makes a place special is often entirely personal.
OBJECTIVE: to develop an awareness of issues of conservation.
TIME: 30 - 45 minutes
LOCATION: Any outdoor area or back in the classroom.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED: a set of Value and Vision cards.
BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: discuss with the young people the three concepts - biodiversity, conservation and sustainability.
Much is made nowadays of sustainable development. Sustainable development is sometimes compared simply to a 3-legged stool; where each leg represents the environment, society and the economy. To be sustainable, any development or change in management must consider each leg and all the legs need to be able to function together for the long term, or even forever.
If any one leg fails, the development is unsustainable. This model can be applied locally or globally.
But in reality the environment supports everything else. So does this mean that environmental concerns are more important than social or economic needs? Most managers and developers don't usually put the environment first but some places are considered so important that the environment is given priority. This happens in places that have been designated as special for nature conservation and which may have a legal status that emphasises their environmental value and attempts to protect it.
- Choose a good spot beach and get into a circle. What kind of future would you like here? Will specially protected places be needed in the future?
- Give a set of cards to each group (3 or 4). Work together and discuss what each of the cards says, and then after reading them all, decide on an order for them. The top statement represents the most important reason for protecting the sand dunes and the bottom statement the least important reason.
- When you have finished compare your choices with other groups. If there are big differences discuss your opinions and how you reached your decisions. Where were the big disagreements? If there weren't any, why might this be?
Take the list of ideas for the future and discuss them more fully. Draw a version of your ideal future place.
Make a display.
Compare the visions with the ranked statements and the values they reflect. Talk about the relationship between values and attitudes and the choices you make in your everyday lives, what you do and how you do it.
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