Young Citizens teams up with international law firm CMS to launch biodiversity teaching resources

Young Citizens is working with international law firm CMS to launch free teaching resources about how the law can protect the natural environment.

Aimed at secondary school students aged 14 to 18, Biodiversity: Using the Law to Drive Change looks at the biodiversity crisis and how the law can be used to safeguard ecosystems.

The classroom pack explores who is responsible for protecting biodiversity through case studies such as the killing of non-native species in Orkney, furniture manufacturing with Brazil’s natural materials and the harvesting palm oil for ice cream production. It introduces legislation such as The Environment Act 2021, The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Illegal Timber Regulation 2013.

The resource pack is a follow-up to the partnership’s award-winning climate action materials launched ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. Over 460 schools across the UK have used these materials, reaching an estimated 107,000 young people.

The launch coincides with the International Day for Biodiversity, a UN-sanctioned international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues. It comes after research found that biodiversity loss is biggest driver of infectious disease outbreaks. Despite these warnings, UNESCO found that only half of national curricula globally have a reference to climate change.

Barbara Mendler, Chief Operations & Sustainability Officer at CMS, comments: “We are delighted to be partnering once more with Young Citizens to develop a fresh suite of teaching materials, this time with a spotlight on biodiversity. Biodiversity is the cornerstone of thriving ecosystems, vital for sustaining all life on our planet. As an international law firm committed to fostering a sustainable and prosperous future for our clients and communities, we hope that this innovative programme will not only educate young people but also spark meaningful conversations and raise awareness about biodiversity and the important role of law in driving real change.”

Sherine Krause, Interim Executive Director at Young Citizens, said: “The world is facing a biodiversity crisis – but it is often happening silently and invisibly. If we don’t act now, the consequences will be catastrophic. Effective citizenship education is one way to work towards a sustainable solution. With the help of CMS, Young Citizens wants to inspire children and young people to be environmental changemakers, both now and in the future.”

Educators can sign up and access the resources free here.


Photo credit: Anne Jones