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The Rainforest comes to HMSG – November 2015

November 26th, 2015

Year 8 were treated to a rainforest experience as part of their investigation of Brazil and tropical rainforests.

Dave Shaw, from the Rainforest Roadshow, staged a whole day of fun and thought-provoking activities, including talks on issues facing rainforest tribes and workshops, to enable pupils to gain a greater understanding of this fascinating and endangered ecosystem.  Dave has been a regular visitor to HMSG since 2008.  His experiences, stories, photographs, insects and rainforest foods add that extra dimension which enables pupils to understand the many issues that face these amazing ecosystems and the lives of its indigenous people.

DSC07556wAfter introducing pupils to a Milk Snake, a ‘Bird-Eating’ Spider, a Giant Spiny Stick Insect and a Cane Toad, Dave treated pupils to some rainforest tastes.  The Tamarind fruit and the Guanabana drink proved very popular; however, the Durian Fruit had mixed responses, possibly due to its smell which is reminiscent of rotting garlic and onions!  On a more serious point Dave discussed current issues facing global rainforests, notably the impacts of Soya Bean and Palm Oil farming which is leading to significant amounts of deforestation.  Dave also highlighted a number of places where rainforests are under threat; these included the Belo Monte Dam Project on the Xingu River, Brazil and deforestation in Madagascar.  Madagascar has lost over 80% of its forests, due to mining, clearing of land for agriculture and the need for firewood.  Poverty is at the heart of much of the deforestation and this is in turn leading to significant loss of biodiversity.

Dave encouraged pupils to research further about rainforest biodiversity, tribes and the threat posed by palm oil production.  50% of all the products we consume and use incorporate this cheap vegetable oil.

Mr Meek
Head of Geography

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Pupil comments

“Dave’s presentation was memorising and unforgettable.  The way he spoke had so much passion for rainforests.  The day was filed with laughter, learning and understanding of rainforest flora/fauna and tribal people.” Chloe

“It was amazing; he made me want to go the rainforest.” Rose

“Amazing stories. Dave made it exciting and interesting.” Sophie

“I loved it.” Hattie

Useful Web links:

http://amazonwatch.org/work/belo-monte-dam

http://www.survivalinternational.org/about/belo-monte-dam

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/project/projects_in_depth/conservation_program2/

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