“Save the Ocean!” Ocean education activist Tharaka Sriram gives lecture on Ocean proection and environmental challenges

“What can you do for our planet and for marine protection?”

Tharaka Sriram, a German native and activist for the marine world, youth and diversity spoke to 160 students at the Carl-Zeiss school in Berlin about challenges and the necessity for marine protections areas around the world.

Inside the United Nations Agenda2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, clean water (SDG 6) and biodiversity below the sea (SDG 14) are amongst those developmental responsibilities for the planetary society.

Tharaka had visited numerous mpa’s (marine protection areas) around the world. As a diver she collected first hand experiences in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean. Only 3% of the total ocean territory are a nature preservation or marine protection area! Plastic garbage, industrial waste, climate change and global warming but also overfishing and the hunt for whales and sharks (finning!) give a wide spectrum of threats to life in our oceans.

Climate Action (SDG 13) should have the highest priority in politics!! “What if politicians are not fit to change the world?” was one of the questions in the discussion following Tharakas presentation. It is up to the Young Voices for Sustainable Development to give impulses for change, to get on the nerves of politicians to demand changes in politics and to go on the streets to claim their future!

 

All students, the Young Voices for Sustainable Development, who attended the presentation wrote down their environmental messages at the board and called for non smoking, reduction of trash, less flesh and fish on their plates, more vegetarianism and a different consumer behavior alltogether.

It is time to start all of this now!

Thank you Tharaka Sriram for your valuable input . We wish you much strength and courage on your journey and mission to protect our oceans and educate us about the necessary changes presented with your initiative Ocean Education.

(Inside this last photo: Tharaka Sriram, Melanie Drewes (volunteer at Explority) and Explority founder and managing Director Wolfgang J. Fischer full of impressions after the presentation at Carl-Zeiss School.) Photo credits: Melanie Drewes, Wolfgang J. Fischer, Mr. Schäfer from Carl Zeiss School

 

 

#15 Life on Land – Snake – friend at home?

Also in Germany there are snakes. In the Nature excursion in the Colbitz-Letzlinger Heide the participating children learned from the expert Horst
Schulze from the Federal Forestry Administration, that in the heathland and at Waldrändern Kreuzottern and Schlingnattern are encountered.

While the Kreuzotter is a poisonous snake up to 90cm long and is considered very shy, the Schlingnatter is a constrictor snake from the grass or ring snake family which are also up to 90cm long. Snakes are reptiles and, as such, hypothermic Animals whose body temperature follows the outside temperature and so depends on the ambient temperature replaced.

While the Schlingnatter is harmless to us humans a bite form the Kreuzotter can be of danger to children and the elderly, but rarely cause death because Kreuzotter do not hold large venom reserves and do not like to use the poison for defense purposes, the doses are low and thereby for adult people rather harmless. Like all animals, snakes also need a lot special, tailored to their needs Habitat. Both snake species occur in the heathland and require sunbeds, with the Schlingnatter preferring rather stony places.

On a scale of critically endangered species the Schlingnatter is rated at level 3, the Kreuzotter at Level 2. By Dismantling of forest edges and heath areas as well as the elimination of dry leave areas the habitats of snakes located here are reduced drastically.

The snake is of great importance in cultural history  too. The split tongue of the snake, by the way an olfactory organ, is considered a picture for dishonesty, when speaking with a forked tongue. Also, the snakiness (slimy, fickle, unprincipled or smooth) is a rather negatively charged trait, what maybe also cause us to fear snakes or find them disgusting. As an inspiration for our snake story the author might have considered also the staff of Asclepius (Aesculapius staff), which until today is representing the medical and pharmaceutical professions as the symbol.

Maybe this fairy tale will help you, to not see snakes as a threat only, but as an important element of our ecosystems of forest and heath. As endangered species they need our protection by preserving their habitats.

The children of the all-day school Johannes Gutenberg from Wolmirstedt, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, produced the fairy tale Schlange Hausfreund, to campaign for more education and environmental awareness and especially for more protection of snakes.

Schlange Hausfreund is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

#15 Life on Land – Kalif Storch

The stork is a migratory bird whose span in white or black storks up to 2.20 meters measures. Storks are carnivores and almost on located on all continents. Storks can go up become 35 years old and prefer damp biotopes.

In winter they move to the warm south and then often in Sub-Saharan Africa
encountered. There are in the nature park Drömling in Saxony-Anhalt
more than 40 white stork breeding pairs and even the on the red list of endangered animals Black Stork finds in the “Land of a Thousand Trenches”
his home.

The biggest threats to storks are in Pesticides infested insects by them be eaten and death by accidents Collision with motor vehicles or power lines. Through medium-voltage overhead lines and Railway overhead lines are getting many each year Storks injured or equal to the electric shock
killed.

Also in their winter quarters in Africa threatens death by hyenas and jackals. The White Stork, also known as the Rattling Stork is in many cultures as a lucky charm or bearer of newborns.

 

In our fairy tale Kalif Storch experience the migratory birds an exciting Adventures during their winter quarters that the Children tell us here in Drömling. Help to preserve the habitats for storks and expand, so that more of these wonderful Birds can live with us.

With the natural fairy tale Kalif Storch the children of the 5th grade from the Drömlingschule in Oebisfelde, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, are committed to more environmental awareness and especially to more protection of migratory birds in general and the stork in particular.

Kalif Storch is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

#15 Life on Land – The Wolf

The wolf is a predator that is up to 1.60 meters long and can weigh 80 kg.  Wolves live in packs of 5-8 animals, sometimes alone, if you are looking for a new area are. Wolves communicate with one another diverse body language (gestures) and howling. With scents they mark their territory. For a long time, the wolf was considered extinct in Central Europe, after being hunted everywhere, first Line to protect livestock owners.

In 1996, the wolf first return to Germany was sighted. In 2000 there was the first pack throw in Saxony. There is currently a Wolf population of 95 animals in Saxony-Anhalt , like the wolf expert Antje Weber from the Wolf Competence Center in Iden told to the children on the excursion in Colbitz Letzlinger Heide. The Children actually succeeded in finding their own wolf tracks:  Eagle eyes! They could then witness how the sample was secured scientifically and the location was measured and photographed. As a finder  the participating Nawa & Bubo class from Angern was added. A great honor!

Wolves are at the top of the food chain in the ecosystems inhabited by them in Germany. As adaptable animals they are completely fine with the cultural landscapes in Germany and cope well to control the deer population. In order to make an important, natural contribution to healthy forestry, especially since Deer like to nibble young trees and thereby present a threat to the forest stock, if the wolf population is strong. For livestock owners the wolf on the other hand is a threat. The state of Sachsen-Anhalt provides compensation laws and herd protection programs. The Wolf is under strict nature conservation, however still often will be illegally hunted.

It is time for us to get to know wolves better and understand how to deal with them, because Often the fear of the bad wolf is unfounded. Nevertheless, a wolf can also be a human become dangerous if he is a young, individual Stray and inexperienced or as a zooproject breaker was used to people. By loud Noises, we can do it if we are a wolf to keep him from getting further away from us to approach. The wolf is a good example of nature and environmental protection in Germany.

If the “wild” wolf is able to live with us, that also means that we make a good contribution to active conservation, which guarantee habitats for wolves. With the help of the fire bird we got to know the character of the wolf. We invite you to do the same and help us protect the Wolf so this exciting animal has a future opportunity living with us!

With the nature fairy tale Ivan Zarevich, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf, the fourth grade children of the Freie Umweltschule in Angern, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, advocate for more environmental awareness and, in particular, a differentiated view of the wolf and its significance for the Ecosystem forest.

Iwan Zarewitsch, der Feuervogel und der Graue Wolf is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

#13 Climate Action – The Forest Fairy – Die Waldfee

Saxony-Anhalt has around 532,000 hectares Forest, which accounts for  about a quarter of the total land area (Quote: Ministry of the Environment,
Agriculture and Energy Saxony-Anhalt). The forest in all its facets is an important Ecosystem for our environment, animals, insects and of course for us humans too.

Trees, shrubs, Mushrooms and forest soils together make a living Shelter for animals and insects of all kinds. Trees store CO2 and win from the Carbon sugar. This releases oxygen. With the cleaning of the atmosphere and the Production of oxygen takes over the tree thus an important survival for humans Function. Trees are also important in the fight against the so-called greenhouse effect. By carbon dioxide, Ozone, methane and other gases, their proportion due to growing industrialization and decline from forests, there is a warming of the Earth.

As a result, not only poles and polar bears melt lose their living space. By the rising Sea levels disappear whole islands of the map. Trees are the only ones that have something against the greenhouse gases can do. It must therefore on the one hand the amount of greenhouse gases on the other hand forests too protect. To reduce climate change, we have to save energy (eg heating, electricity) and should not use fossil fuels for heating like using more coal or oil, there’s more Carbon dioxide is produced. And then the forest is also an important retreat and resort for us humans.

A Visit is worthwhile, maybe you will find a Forest fairy like us in our fairytale too!

We wish that forests are spared and be managed sustainably and in our Environment, especially in the city, many Trees will be planted and maintained. Our contribution? We do not throw garbage in the forest, avoid, where possible, paper and cardboard consumption, and consumer goods containing palm oil!

With the nature fairy tale Die Waldfee the children of the fourth grade of the St. Hildegard primary school in Haldensleben, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, campaign for more environmental awareness and especially for the protection of the forest ecosystem in Mittelelbien and around the world.

Die Waldfee is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

#14 Life under Water – The Queen of the Elbe River and The Meadowy Countrysides

The biosphere reserve Middle Elbe is home to the Elbe people and namesake of our project Nawa & Bubo in Mittelelbien. The important floodplain areas along the river Elbe form a unique eco-system and at the same time, as natural abundance areas, they also ensure the safety of the people living along the Elbe. This ecological flood protection is also an acknowledgment of the need to grant the Elbe its natural, expanded habitat that rivers should enjoy due to their meandering activity.

Alluvial forests are therefore characterized by the flow characteristics of the rivers. Tree species such as the ash, black elm, black and silver stalk poplar or the pedunculate oak map the floodplain forests on domestic rivers such as the Elbe.

But the wetlands along with the floodplains also create habitats for rare, endangered species such as the beaver or the otter. The abundant areas make up the nutrient-rich floodplain soils. The growing meadow vegetation forms the basis for many animal species and ensures biodiversity along the rivers. Brood-birds such as the nightingale find suitable nesting sites and sufficient food, species-rich insects such as butterflies and wild bees find their nectar in blooming wild plants.

Many frogs also find ideal living conditions and with them also the storks and sea eagles. The natural appearance of alluvial forests is also the inspiration for many stories, legends and fairy tales. The water mermaids of the Elbe queen can freely unfold in this human-untouched habitat. But when man discovers and sells them, the floodplains are threatened in their existence.

With the natural fairy tale Die Elbekönigin, the children of the 6th grade from the Hegel Gymnasium Magdeburg, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, are campaigning for more environmental awareness and, in particular, to the protection of the Elbe ecosystem and the endangered species such as the beaver or the Otter. For more information on the environmental program Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority click here.

#15 Life on Land – The Three Butterflies

The butterfly forms the species-rich insect with more than 160,000 different specimens. More than 700 different butterfly species live alone in the Elbe-Saxony region in the meadowland countryside. Only since the mid-18th century  this insect carries the name Schmetterling  in Germany (from Schmetten, Schmand, which some species eat). They are also known as moth. The butterflies are the colorful butterflies we know with large wings compared to their rather thin physique. Just like the bees, the butterflies have compound eyes. Concise are the long feelers. Not only bees but also butterflies pollinate the flowers of wild and cultivated plants and thus secure whole ecosystems.

Especially for agriculture they have an important role to play. Butterflies and insects are at particular risk from pesticides used in agriculture and forestry. Unfortunately, the poison kills the beneficial insects in addition to the pest.

Even the smaller habitats for wild plants pose a threat to many species of butterflies. Butterflies have a different life expectancy. While in some species the caterpillar stage can last for several years, others live only a few weeks. Some species, such as the peacock’s eye, can hibernate in sheltered places while, for example, the admiral flies over the winter even to southern Europe. The metamorphosis, the transformation from an egg to a caterpillar and finally into a colorful butterfly was already in ancient times a symbol of resurrection and rebirth. For us, this process is always a fascinating example of life. Who would not like to have a butterfly as a friend?

Help secure important diverse habitats for butterflies for biodiversity

With the natural fairy tale The Three Butterflies, the children of the 4th grade of the elementary school Comenius from Tangermünde, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, campaign for more environmental awareness and especially for the protection of insects and butterflies.

The Three Butterflies is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

#15 Life on Land – Holy Horses – Das Heilige Pferd und das Mädchen

 

Mittelelbien is inhabited by many horses. The school kids from “Grundschule Gebrüder Alstein” in Haldensleben even discovered a holy horse in Altenhausen, a neighbouring village…

This horse could speak and tell the children about being lonely because it was kept as a holy horse in a golden temple without her friends. When the girl realised the horse had feelings too, just like her, she eventually opened the gate so the horse could be free again after many years.

While the girl took the animals place to become “the holy girl”, the horse could finally enjoy freedom again.

Sustainable Development on our planet includes the protection of endangered species at land and below water.

But does it also care about all the other animals?

To raise awareness for the importance of animal rights and well being, the kids from the Grundschule Gebrüder Alstein produced a new version of the Chinese fairytale “Das Heilige Pferd” as a photo story and as an audioplay to underscore the mindfulness needed for other species like horses and their well being. Let us share the wisdom of the “holy girl” for our Planet and for ourselves.

“Animal rights should have more weight within the discussion of sustainable development!”

Das Heilige Pferd und das Mädchen is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here

#15 Life on Land – The Queen Bee

The meadow orchard with apple, pear and plum trees at the castle of Hundisburg is being powdered by the castle bees. But also the wasps find enough food here..

Unlike the bees, who build a kingdom and have a queen, most of the wild bee species live as individuals. The females build nests and take care of the nest boxes without help of others of their own kind. Only bumblebees and a few selected wild bees carry a social life similar to the honey bee.

Wild bees secure their nutrition exclusively by nectar and pollen. its challenge is the big dependance of specific nesting and food places and their low growth rate in population.

Especially the intensification in agricultural production is leading to a dramatic loss of ecosystems rich in structure like bushes, deadwood or heaps of stones and a reduction of blossoming plants

It is in our sustainable interest that a large biodiversity especially within the bee population is providing healthy habitats.

HELP PROTECT DIVERSE ECOSYSTEMS AND THE EXISTENCE OF WILD BEES

With the natural fairy tale Die Bienenkönigin (The Queen Bee), the children of the 5th grade of the Brothers Grimm School from Calvörde, the YOUNG VOICES for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, campaign for more environmental awareness and especially for the protection of wild bees. Die Bienenkönigin is part of the environmental fairytale campaign Nawa & Bubo powered by Explority. To learn more about this program click here