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Kenyan Schools Join CNN’s Call to Earth environmental awareness

Two Kenyan schools, Rusinga School and Crawford International School have partnered with CNN to produce stories showing how people living in urban areas can have a huge impact on both wild environments around the country and within cities.

The initiative is part of CNN’s annual Call to Earth Day, celebrated on November 28 to raise awareness on environmental issues affecting the world and to engage with conservation education.

The stories to be produced by the students align with this year’s theme of ‘Our Shared Home’ highlighting the conflict between people and the planet’s dwindling wildlife over food, resources, and space for living.

In a press statement, Rusinga Schools Headteacher Juma Nyamori stressed that Rusinga Schools is very passionate about sustainable environmental conservation and has always been keen to put the student’s voice at the centre of holistic initiatives to drive the environmental agenda

“Through #RusingaSpeaks, we are working to expand opportunities for our students to initiate programmes which will sustain these through linkages and partnerships with strategic partners, and participate in outreach service-learning activities that are making a strong impact beyond our school,” cited Nyamori.

According to the statement, over 130,000 people participated in last year’s Call to Earth Day, with events in more than 80 countries around the world. Call to Earth is part of a major network initiative launched by CNN in 2019, in partnership with Rolex and its Perpetual Planet Initiative, shining light on those committed to safeguarding our planet for future generations.

Over the last four years, this award-winning programming has told stories of change-makers, visionaries and ground-breaking projects making a difference to the world around them.

This year’s Call to Earth Day will see special coverage across CNN International and CNN en Español TV networks, digital and social media platforms. This multi-platform content will be complemented by a series of live events, with participants encouraged to share their actions, ideas, and inspirational thoughts on social media, using the hashtag #CalltoEarth. Call to Earth Day content will also air for the first time on CNN Arabic and stream on CNN Max in the US.

In addition, CNN has worked with Climate Change Education Consultant Kottie Christie-Blick to develop lesson plans for children from the ages of 5 to 17 as a resource for schools and educational bodies taking part in Call to Earth Day.

CNN is also partnering with the global school’s group, Cognita, on a new student-led video project which will team up CNN content creators with schools to coach them on how to produce an impactful environmental report.

“Coverage plans for the day will see CNN examine environmental solutions and explore projects from locations around the world. Stories, live programming, and interviews gathered from across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and both North and South America, will run in every hour of CNN International programming. CNN en Español will feature stories and live reporters throughout the day from across the Latin America region,” read the statement.

In the special half hour documentary to be aired on November 28 in line with the theme ‘Our Shared Home’, Conservation Biologist and Rolex Laureate Dr Krithi Karanth will showcase how her work is striking a balance between leopard, tiger and elephant conservation and India’s position as the most populous country in the world.

Further, in Singapore, primatologist Dr Andie Ang emphasises how exponential human population growth exerts pressure on natural resources through her work with critically endangered Raffles’ banded langurs.

The programme also explores how the energy crisis and the need to build more renewable energy resources is being balanced with Tasmanian devil protection initiatives in Australia.

At the same time, CNN’s Connect the World with Becky Anderson will broadcast a 30-minute special from the Jubail Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi, showcasing the important connection between the natural world and cities. Becky Anderson will be joined by guests and school children from across the UAE.

This on-air content will be complemented by bespoke digital content across, with a month of climate content in the build up to Call to Earth Day.

CNN International SVP, Managing Editor of Asia Pacific, and global Head of Features Content, Ellana Lee said that the impact of human expansion and urban development on the natural world is increasingly profound.

“On this year’s Call to Earth Day, we will examine the collision between cities and the wilderness and celebrate some of the inspirational people working to find positive solutions to the problems it presents.  CNN is in a unique position to highlight these stories, building on the enormous success of our Call to Earth initiative.  With COP28 fast approaching, this year’s Call to Earth Day also gives us the perfect stepping-off point for our coverage at what will be a vital summit,” she opined.

By Michael Omondi

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