Woodcraft Folk supports children and young people to learn about themselves, others and the wider world exploring social justice, sustainability and equality issues. Today we are making it clear our commitment to support children and young people to demand action to address the greatest threat to our world – the climate emergency.
Woodcraft Folk is passionate about children’s rights. Especially their right to live and develop in a safe environment, to have access to food and their right to share their thoughts freely. As a youth organisation, Woodcraft Folk wants all children and young people to have the opportunity to learn, to play and to enjoy the natural world around them without fear.
Woodcraft Folk proactively encourages our young members to engage in conversations about the climate emergency and actions to protect the environment for us all. Our young members welcomed the UK Government’s declaration of a climate emergency in May 2019, but we are yet to see significant action to address the crisis.
Woodcraft Folk are especially proud of the role taken by children and young people in raising awareness of the climate emergency. The organisation is also pleased to see so many agencies seeking to engage young people and will seek to amplify the voices of young people.
As an organisation we have increased our use of renewable energy, planted trees, delivered educational workshops on climate science and the sustainable development goals, supported youth led green social action, made ethical and sustainable purchasing choices and have targets to decarbonise our events.
The climate crisis is happening much closer to home than deforestation in the Amazon, or the uncontrollable fires in California and Australia. It is happening right here on our doorsteps,with a rise in flooding and displacement around the UK, Woodcraft Folk saw first hand the damage of flooding at it’s youth campsite in Herefordshire in 2019 & 2020. Whilst pandemic restrictions saw an improvement in air quality in 2020, the UK still suffers from water pollution and air quality issues that harm the health of us all.
The climate emergency is not just an environmental issue, the crisis is currently disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable groups worldwide. As such we need to ensure all voices, and all communities are being protected, and demand climate justice for all.
It is time to move beyond moralistic climate justice narratives that hold individuals responsible for the actions of large corporations, extractivist state policies and the military. States and corporations must be held to account for the climate crisis. Tools for climate justice must achieve justice for all, and to do that we need to bring about radical system change, by understanding the systems that cause this crisis.
Woodcraft Folk will support children and young people to review information and to explore alternative approaches to creating a fair, peaceful and sustainable world for us all. This will include identifying and challenging inequalities in our society and the wider world, tackling racism, class oppression, violence against women and abuse of power whereever that may happen. It will also include exploring how we can build back better after the pandemic, learning lessons and using evidence to make system change. Evidence such as the recent report highlighting how the co-operative model is a model of choice to tackle climate change.
Only when our decision makers and our resistance movements are reflective and inclusive of the people who are suffering the worst of the crisis, will our actions be truly impactful.
Join Woodcraft Folk in taking action:
- Support young people in their social action and lobbying
- Like Woodcraft Folk, support the Teach the Future demands to embed climate science and sustainable development into the school curriculum
- Make your views known and demand action from decision makers whether that be a school property manager or City Councillor. Write and ask for a meeting.
- Submit your views to decision makers at COP26. The Conference of Youth are requesting submissions from individuals and groups and all Woodcraft Folk groups are being encouraged to make a submission.
- Woodcraft Folk, as an active member of the Institute of Outdoor Learning, is sharing activities and educational resources as part of a month long campaign to improve learning for sustainability
This statement was written and agreed by General Council, Woodcraft Folk’s Trustee board.