One in seven young people worldwide do not know what ‘endangered species’ implies, according to research presented today at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) in Japan.
The finding comes in a report commissioned by Airbus. The aircraft manufacturer has been working with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) since 2008, using its global reach to back the CBD’s Green Wave and raise awareness of the importance of the rich variety of all life on earth.
The international study exploring knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the natural world, surveyed over 10,000 young people aged 5-18. It finds 10 times more children ranked watching TV or playing computer games ‘most important’ compared to those who chose saving the environment (40% and 4% respectively). And whilst species extinction rates are estimated to be up to 1,000 times the natural rate, just 9% put looking after animals first.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Airbus SVP Public Affairs and Communications, Dr. Rainer Ohler, said: “The Airbus Bio-Index shows there’s more to do in educating tomorrow’s generation about the need to nurture the world around them. As Albert Einstein said ‘Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better” – that’s why biodiversity is so important to Airbus engineers. Airbus sees preserving biodiversity as a means of preserving a vital source of future innovation.”
Some more facts from the Airbus report include: 45% of young people believe the myth that cutting an earthworm in half results in two live earthworms; 18% think horse chestnut tress grow near horses; and one in 10 assume Polar Bears come from Poland. Of more concern, 25% do not know what global warming is; 10% think it is caused by the earth getting closer to the sun.
Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD, added: “I would like to convey my gratitude to Airbus for its support. This survey shows the challenges we face in reconnecting the children and youth of today – the citizens of tomorrow – with nature. We are pleased to bring the findings to over 10,000 participants at COP10 where the voice of children from this event will be heard.”
> Read the <media 13456 _blank>Bio-Index </media>(.pdf file, 3 MB)
Notes to editors:
About the Airbus Bio-Index
The survey, sponsored by Airbus on behalf of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity was conducted by SSI (Survey Sampling International), across ten countries, with a sample of 1,000 5 -18 year olds from each country, totalling 10,000 children
Participating countries: UK, France, Germany, Spain, USA, Japan, China, Mexico, Singapore, Australia
For further information on COP10 visit: www.cbd.int/cop10