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Resources from Roots 2:2

Master planning for education

Hard copy materials and resources

Oxfam (2005), The Coffee Chain Game: An activity on trade for ages 13 and above

BEBC, PO Box 1496, Parkstone, Dorset BH12 3YD, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1202 712933
Fax: +44 (0) 1202 712930. Email: ISBN 1 870727 649. Price £4.50

Coffee companies make huge profits, while the farmers who grow the coffee beans make barely enough to live on. The Coffee Chain Game is a role-play activity that helps participants explore why the money made from coffee is so unevenly distributed. The activity takes between 30-50 minutes to play and can involve 10 – 20 participants. The resource pack includes:
• up-to-date facts and figures based on recent research and fieldwork
• recommendations for action by governments, coffee companies, and consumers
• an introductory activity
• case studies of people in Uganda, with background information
• information on fair trade.
This is an excellent resource for botanic gardens and could be used as part of a teacher-training programme.

Ehsan Masood (2005), The GM Debate – Who Decides? An analysis of decision-making about genetically modified crops in developing countries

Panos Report No 49, External Relations Unit, Panos London, 9 White Lion Street, London N1 9PD, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7278 1111. Fax: +44 (0)20 7278 0345. email:

Genetically modified crop plants are being developed and adopted around the world at a rapid pace. Yet the use of GM technology is agriculture is highly controversial and the debate tends to be polarized. This report presents

• A review of the literature and research on GM crops
• Case studies of the GM debate in five developing countries – Brazil, India, Kenya, Thailand and Zambia
• An analysis of coverage of GM issues in the print media in these five countries.

It asks who has access to the people with the power to decide, who is being left out of the GM debate, and how is the media covering the GM controversy. This report offers a balanced view of the GM debate. However, it could have gone further and analysed the influence of finance on making decisions about GM technology.

Erik Millstone & Tim Lang (2003), The Atlas of Food: Who eats what, where and why

Myriad Editions, for Earthscan. ISBN: 1-85383-965-5. Price £12.99

40 million people die of hunger each year, while 356kg of grain per person is being produced. Methods of agriculture are dramatically changing the environment beyond all recognition, with increased mechanisation and use of pesticides. For every one dollar the World Health Organisation spends on trying to improve the nutrition of the world’s population, $500 is spent by the food industry on promoting processed foods.

These issues, and more, are covered in clear detail within this book. It provides an ideal source document for studies into fair trade, subsidies, genetically modified food, food miles, changing nutrition and food aid. The information is well presented in tables and maps, providing a pictorial overview of how consumptions and agricultural methods vary from country to country. Each section is introduced by the authors, giving a useful summary to put the data into context.

The information is both fascinating and horrifying – “75% of agricultural land in the EU is used for growing animal feed”, “20,000 agricultural workers a year are killed by pesticides”. This carefully researched and referenced book could be a useful tool in educating audiences about the effects of their food choices on the world.

Jules Pretty (2002), Agri-culture: Reconnecting people, land and nature

Earthscan Publications, London. ISBN: 1-85383925-6. Price £16.99

Pretty argues that something is wrong with our agriculture and food systems. Despite great progress in increasing productivity in the last century, hundreds of millions of people remain hungry and malnourished. He asks whether it is time for the expansion of another sort of agriculture, founded on more ecological principles, and in harmony with people, their societies and cultures. His book takes readers on a journey through some of the communities and farms in both developing and industrialized countries where progress is being made. Their stories show what is possible on both the ecological and social fronts. Of particular relevance to educators is chapter seven which focuses on the need to develop social learning systems to increase ecological literacy. Pretty’s invites us to break down our barriers and participate in the next agricultural revolution.


La Garance Voyageuse, Magazine of the Plant World

48370 Saint Germain de Calberte, France. Email:

The ‘Garance Voyageuse’ (Madder Journey) is one of those rare French magazines that uniquely deals with plants, local or exotic, looking at their biology or their ecology. Published four times a year, it is a very useful resource particularly for educators in botanic gardens. The text is clear with a glossary where necessary to explain the meaning of technical words

Strengthened by its remarkable black and white design, The ‘Garance Voyageuse’ comprises regular news articles, in depth articles, stories, useful references and websites. In brief, it contains everything you wanted to know about the world of plants!



Keeping up-to-date with environmental news and issues can be time-consuming and expensive. However, not to worry help is at hand, with several environmental news organizations providing free daily e-updates direct to your inbox! Once you sign up, these updates (either daily or weekly) provide you with an article title, a short description and a link. If you are interested in the topic, simply click on the link to read the full article. You can also share articles by emailing them to friends.

Their disadvantage is that they can clog up your inbox – especially if they come every day and you are on leave for two weeks. However, they do provide an instant connection to new information, findings, issues and solutions, helping to keep your messages current and relevant for your audiences.


Planet Ark – Reuters Daily World Environment News

Providing up to 40 news stories a day via their ‘World Environment News’ service, sponsored by Reuters’s, Planet Ark is a great way to stay in touch with global environmental issues, through well-written, concise articles and dramatic images. An Australian not-for-profit organization, founded by the tennis player Pat Cash and charity campaigner Jon Dee in 1991, it is now one of the world’s biggest online environmental news service with over 8 million visitors to their site a year. As well as daily updates, their site contains links to a vast back catalogue, covering topics from deforestation to animal rights, water to nuclear power, containing images and articles.
Planet Ark also runs campaigns on a wide variety of issues, such as tree planting, recycling and reducing junk mail, and has produced an environmental education kit for primary schools

Environmental News Network

ENN is similar to Planet Ark, with excellent daily updates, an image library and topic-led archives, but its website is also well-stocked with resources, commentary on current issues, news from not-for-profits and companies and links to Environmental News Radio and video.


Science Development Network

A weekly news update, on a slightly different theme, Scidevnet provides news, views and information on science and technology in the developing world. Although stories are much more technical in nature, they give the background information in a clear way. The service is a great source of information on potential solutions to environmental issues, and addresses the strong ‘northern’ bias of most scientific communication resources. Dossiers on indigenous knowledge, climate change and GM crops are accessible and comprehensive, and a new section on biodiversity contains lots of useful statistics, background, information on hotspots and definitions of terms. Although most of the website is in English, some sections are in Spanish, Chinese, French and Portuguese.