According to the World Health Organization (WHO), man-made climate change is the greatest health threat to humankind. Extreme weather events, shifts in plant growth and flowering seasons, and the emergence of new invasive species are just some of the alth risks posed by climate change.
The concept of planetary health (PH) sees people themselves as part of nature, explains geography researcher Dr. Christian Wittlich from the University of Bremen. It is based on the assumption that humans cannot be healthy when the earth is sick. Integrating the planetary health approach into the established concept of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) seems beneficial, as the relationship between planetary and individual health is particularly emphasized. At the same time, a close connection to the living environment is created for young people.
Focus on Grades 5 to 13
As part of the Planetary Health in Regional Education (PH:regBi) project, learning modules for students in grades 5 to 13 are being developed. The students learn to recognize the consequences of climate change for individual and global health and to develop and test possible courses of action for the sustainable and climate-resilient design of their local environment.
The focus is on heat (waves), flooding, neobiota (animal and plant species that have migrated to a new environment as a result of climate change), and agricultural supply security – topics reflected in the curricula of many school subjects. “Didactically and methodically, the project is based on the action-oriented educational concept of Regional Learning 21+ and the triad of recognition, evaluation, and action,” says Professor Leif Mönter, professor of Geography Didactics at the University of Vechta. The project involves working with a large number of experts from the worlds of science and medicine. “Networking in the local area is also a high priority for us – with regional companies, extracurricular educational institutions, and pilot schools,” adds Dr. Hannah Lathan, research assistant in Geography Didactics in Vechta.
About the Project
The project “Planetary Health in Regional Education. The Development of Teaching and Learning Modules in the Context of Climate Change” (PH:regBi) is a cooperation project between the geography didactics departments at the University of Bremen (Dr. Christian Wittlich) and the University of Vechta (Professor Leif Mönter and Dr. Hannah Lathan). The modules are being regionally developed, tested, and mutually evaluated and optimized at both locations. The project is funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) for three years.
Dr. Christian Wittlich
Research area: Geography didactics
University of Bremen
Tel.: +49 218-67111
E-Mail: wittlichprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de
Prof. Dr. Leif Mönter
Professor of Didactics of Geography
University of Vechta
Tel.: +49 441-15175
E-Mail: leif.moenterprotect me ?!uni-vechtaprotect me ?!.de
Dr. Hannah Lathan
Research Assistent in the Didactics of Geography
University of Vechta
Tel.: +49 441-15183
E-Mail: hannah.lathanprotect me ?!uni-vechtaprotect me ?!.de