I was at a screening at the House of Commons today of model and actress Lily Cole’s new film ‘Lily Cole’s Amazon Adventure’, which will be shown on Sky Arts 1 later this month. It’s a great film, featuring some beautiful and highly evocative camerawork and a thought provoking narration from Lily herself. A big feature of the film are the people who live in the rainforest and who are learning how to make the forests worth more to them standing than they are when cut down. Living sustainably in the rainforest is now something that the Brazilian government , working with organisations like WWF is trying to promote.

In the Q & A session after the screening, Lily mentioned that whilst at school, environmental issues weren’t a big priority for her. Now, care for the environment is one of her main concerns.

In the film, she visits a school in Acre province in Brazil, where the children learn about the rainforest for a whole day each week. Luciana Berger MP asked whether the UK should consider something similar.

This would be a great idea. Today’s young people are the adults of the future, so it surely makes sense for them to be as informed on environmental issues as possible. Then they can make the right decisions as adults, parents and consumers in the future to ensure that we minimise any further damage to our planet and indeed begin to redress the balance.

I don’t think we’ll ever manage a day a week, and as our Curriculum Guides for the Total Green School Awards show, there are already plenty of ways for primary school children to study environmental issues within our current Curricula in England, Scotland and Wales.

But making environmental education a subject in its own right would show how much importance we as a society place on looking after our planet for future generations. That could only be a good thing.

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