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GREEN SCHOOLS - Bio Diversity

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Green Schools' Committee members

Holy Family School have started work for their next Green Flag.  The theme for this flag is 'Biodiversity'. 

What is Biodiversity?

 Biodiversity is the variation of living organisms from all sources, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and all the habitats of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. Imagine life without all this diversity!  Life on earth would cease to exist!

 

In Holy Family School we are aiming to improve the bio-diversity in our own school environment by planting more trees, shrubs and flowers to attract wildlife such as insects, birds and butterflies.  For our action day on March 10th we will build our 'Bug Hotel' which will become a habitat for many species of insects and spiders.  

In Holy Family School our pupils are keenly aware of the importance of 'Help all Nature-To make Life Better' (our Green Code) by recycling, conservation of energy and protecting our environment.  Our 4th class pupils will participate in the annual Spring Clean-Up of Cockleshell shoreline on March 10th.  

     
 
As with the previous themes there are four main stages:

1. Review the Situation - Examine the level of awareness surrounding biodiversity and map the school's grounds - where is biodiversity found around the school? Only when you have an understanding of biodiversity and developed a habitat map of the school grounds will you be able to make informed decisions about how to help biodiversity.

 

2. Devise an Action Plan - Once you understand the concept of biodiversity and the importance of it you can think up ways that may encourage biodiversity and preserve it. Have a brainstorming session where everybody comes up with lots of ideas. Your action plan should say what your targets are and how you are going to achieve them.

 

3. Measuring Success - You must plan from the beginning how you will measure the success of your Biodiversity Action Plan. As mentioned previously the biodiversity theme is more concept based then the previous themes. So you will check if the levels of awareness have increased with regards to the value of biodiversity, its importance, threats to biodiversity and ways in which we can help biodiversity. You can also investigate if enhancements to your school made a difference to the diversity of plant and animal species in your grounds from one year to the next.

4. Maintenance - It is important to maintain your success in enhancing biodiversity and to continually develop an awareness of the importance of biodiversity. In order to achieve this, your biodiversity action plan should be ongoing. You will need to survey the level of awareness among students and staff and continue monitoring the levels of biodiversity on your school grounds from time to time.

 

Common terms to know:

• Species - a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. For example, the ash is a species of tree, the squirrel is a species of mammal.


 Habitat - the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds, influences and is utilised by a species population. For example, a woodland or a bog is a habitat.
• Ecosystem - is a community of plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms that live, feed, reproduce and interact together in the same area or environment. Irish examples include a bog, a woodland, a marsh, a hedge, a lake or even a rock pool.
• Ecosystem Services - are the benefits of ecosystems.  Ecosystems can provide protection from flooding, regulate climate change, breakdown wastes and recycle nutrients, filter and purify water, maintain soil fertility, purify the air, control pests and diseases and provide goods such as woods, textiles and food.  
 

The world’s biological diversity is an essential natural resource which humans have used and benefited from for thousands of years. Biodiversity keeps us alive! Therefore, it is vital we conserve it!

RELATED  ARTICLES.....   GREEN FLAG AWARD 2012   GREEN SCHOOLS    NATIONAL TREE WEEK 2011  National Tree Planting Week   Recycling Project and the Christmas Campaign   SPRING CLEAN 2010    SPRING CLEAN 2011    W.O.W. (Walk on Wednesday)