CFL teaches kids to combat climate change

Asia is home to more than half the world’s human population. That’s nearly 4.5 billion people, who by sheer number have the power to avert a potential environmental catastrophe. 

As our carbon emissions continue to increase, global warming is causing sea levels to rise. It’s forecast that dozens of the world’s major coastal cities will be underwater in 50 years, if we don’t act quickly.

Our unique Caring for Life Education programme (CFL) is inspiring children in Asia to consider the natural environment in their everyday lives – and it’s making a big difference. CFL is a six-year curriculum based on UNESCO’s Four Pillars of Learning, underpinning its vision of compulsory education and lifelong learning.

In a scientific evaluation of CFL carried out over a year across four cities in China, children showed striking changes in reporting changes to their behaviour to help the environment. Attitudes towards water and energy consumption, consideration of animals and recycling all improved. They even began urging their families to turn off lights and electrical switches, reduce their use of water, and recycle waste.

Dr William Ellery Samuels is key to assessing the impact of CFL. His study shows how children can learn to understand the difference between natural and man-made environments, and recognise that we are all responsible for protecting our planet.

“There’s still so much work to do, so many more children to reach,” said ACTAsia CEO Pei Su. “Now in its seventh year, CFL is going from strength to strength. It’s nurturing a generation of children who are conscious of their responsibilities to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, lower carbon emissions, dispose of waste responsibly and keep plastics from our oceans.”

Here are just some of the reasons ACTAsia continues to strive for change:

  • More than 33% of plastic found in the ocean comes from China and Indonesia
  • 90% of the plastic pollution found in our oceans arrives by river – the Yangtze is top of the list
  • Eight of the top ten countries depositing plastic waste in our oceans are in Asia
  • China is the world’s worst offender for carbon emissions
  • 70% of the world’s industrial carbon emissions come from China