International Polar Bear Day

27th February 2019

It was International Polar Bear Day last Wednesday, 27th February, so my workshop focussed on the Arctic. Polar bears and walruses took centre stage, with reindeers chilling in the wings (excuse the pun) as they’re of least concern with the International Union for Conservation of Nature at the moment. This, however, may well change with the rapidity of global warming, particularly in the Arctic. The nursery had seized this auspicious date by decorating their interior with polar bear themed toys, books and imagery; and they’d even, very kindly, adopted a polar bear from WWF which the children have named Buzz – excellent.

The Arctic is warming two to three times faster than the rest of the world which is having huge knock on effects around the globe, so I wanted the little ones to understand a bit more about this. Unless we reduce greenhouse gases, we will all continue to feel the effects of the Arctic warming up. And, these are; rising sea levels, changes in climate and precipitation patterns and increasing severe weather conditions (wild fires, monsoons, floods etc). Loss of fish stocks, birds and marine mammals are also very sad, but very real indicators of global warming.

The children enjoyed sketching polar bears, walruses and reindeers with me and were amazed when I told them that polar bears are twice the size of a Siberian tiger, as tall if not taller than the building we were in, and the largest land carnivores on earth. I also explained that should they ever come across one, it’d probably be best not to stroke it. You might be thinking that this is an unlikely scenario, but perhaps that’s what the villagers of Novaya Zemlya, Russia, thought before more than 50 polar bears strolled into their quiet village earlier this month scavenging for food. This is because fish and seal stocks are depleting so quickly in the north pole due to climate change, they’re starving.

After our chat, the children told me that we could help the polar bears ‘by saving energy’. Brilliant, I thought. We have talked about this subject in the past, but the little ones who answered on Wednesday were not the same ones who have shouted out, ‘turning the taps off and lights off,’ before. So, they most certainly are taking it in! I later added that travelling to places by foot, or trialling their scooters or bikes, rather than driving where possible, would help too. For more info please visit: www.doodleswithmydaughter.co.uk

Roots & Shoots Awards

Has your school been helping people, animals or the environment? Post a story about it online and win an award!

If you post a story about your school's work here on the www.rootsnshoots.org.uk website you will be eligible for a Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots Award and the chance to be invited to this year's awards ceremony to meet Dr. Jane in person. You can write about your experiences completing one of our activities or anything else that your school has been doing to help people, animals or the environment.

Email this to a colleague Email this to a colleague

Comment on this Article

Keep up to date with Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots

Why not sign up for our weekly newsletter, filled with inspiring stories from the Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots community in the UK. Not sure what to expect? Take a look at some of our recent emails.

Or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates as they happen:

Help us keep our resources free!

All of our resources are currently free and you can help them to stay that way and support the other work of Roots & Shoots in the UK by making a donation, no matter how small. The easiest way to donate to the Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots programme UK online is by using Virgin Money Giving. This can be a one off donation for any amount you want (every pound helps!) or if you prefer you can set up a regular, monthly donation.

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

Our Partners

EW-Institute NGK 2041 ClimateForce quest windsor