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Loss of Nature Will Damage Economies (11th May, 2010)


 

We are causing so much damage to our planet that it will soon affect the global economy. This bleak warning is according to a new United Nations report called the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO). The paper says there are many important ecosystems on our planet that are in danger. These “tipping points” in our natural world are where man’s negative impact on nature will start costing national economies. Examples of these are the deaths of coral reefs, the destruction of huge areas of forest, or major pollution of rivers. UN spokesman Ahmed Djoglaf said: "The news is not good. We continue to lose biodiversity at a rate never before seen in history - extinction rates may be up to 1,000 times higher than the historical…rate."


Scientists are worried that governments will not do enough to try to reduce the damage to the tipping points. World leaders will soon meet in Nairobi to discuss measures to tackle global biodiversity loss. They hope they can then create an international framework that will be adopted at a convention on biological diversity in October in Japan. The GBO report outlines how serious the threat is. It says huge numbers of species are facing extinction if we continue to pollute the environment. Over a quarter of corals may soon disappear. This will have a huge impact on marine life and many fish species will also disappear. Countries will be fighting over much smaller stocks of fish. This problem will be made worse with the increasing pollution of the world’s rivers.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. NATURE: Walk around the class and talk to other students about nature. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

damage / our planet / biodiversity / national economies / coral reefs / extinction / scientists / international frameworks / threats / species / environment / pollution

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. PLANET AT RISK: What’s at risk? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change again and share what you heard.

 

What’s going wrong?

How can we reverse it?

Oceans

 

 

Forests

 

 

Deserts

 

 

Animals

 

 

Weather

 

 

Rivers

 

 

4. ENVIRONMENT: Students A strongly believe our environment will not survive; Students B strongly believe it will.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. THREATS: What are the biggest threats to our planet? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • Deforestation
  • Pollution
  • Nuclear war
  • Climate change
  • Species extinction
  • Deadly viruses
  • Overpopulation
  • Globalization

6. ECOSYSTEM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘ecosystem’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

A new United Nations report says loss of biodiversity costs economies.

T / F

b.

The report gives us tips on points to help nature.

T / F

c.

The report says all coral reefs have already died.

T / F

d.

The rate of biodiversity loss is 1,000 times higher than ever before.

T / F

e.

Scientists are confident governments will tackle the damage.

T / F

f.

World leaders will adopt a new biodiversity framework in October.

T / F

g.

The report says more than 25% of corals might soon become extinct.

T / F

h.

The article predicts pollution will cause fish to start fighting each other.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

causing

a.

gloomy

2

bleak

b.

coming up against

3.

impact

c.

cut

4.

huge

d.

supplies

5.

extinction

e.

effect

6.

reduce

f.

chosen

7.

tackle

g.

dying out

8.

adopted

h.

address

9.

facing

i.

creating

10.

stocks

j.

enormous

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

We are causing so much

a.

global biodiversity loss

2

This bleak

b.

impact on nature

3.

there are many important

c.

seen in history

4.

man’s negative

d.

facing extinction

5.

a rate never before

e.

damage to our planet

6.

do enough to try to

f.

on biological diversity

7.

discuss measures to tackle

g.

reduce the damage

8.

adopted at a convention

h.

warning

9.

huge numbers of species are

i.

made worse

10.

This problem will be

j.

ecosystems on our planet

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

We are ____________ so much damage to our planet that it will soon affect the global economy. This ____________ warning is according to a new United Nations report called the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO). The paper says there are many important ecosystems on our planet that are in ____________. These “tipping points” in our natural world are where man’s negative ____________ on nature will start costing national economies. Examples of these are the ____________ of coral reefs, the destruction of huge areas of forest, or major pollution of rivers. UN spokesman Ahmed Djoglaf said: "The news is not good. We ____________ to lose biodiversity at a ____________ never before seen in history - extinction rates may be up to 1,000 times higher than the ____________ …rate."

 

 

 

continue
rate
impact
bleak
deaths
causing
historical
danger

Scientists are ____________ that governments will not do enough to try to ____________ the damage to the tipping points. World leaders will soon meet in Nairobi to discuss ____________ to tackle global biodiversity loss. They hope they can then create an international framework that will be ____________ at a convention on biological diversity in October in Japan. The GBO report ____________ how serious the threat is. It says huge numbers of species are facing ____________ if we continue to pollute the environment. Over a quarter of corals may soon disappear. This will have a ____________ impact on marine life and many fish species will also disappear. Countries will be fighting over much smaller stocks of fish. This problem will be made ____________ with the increasing pollution of the world’s rivers.

 

 

adopted
huge
reduce
extinction
worried
outlines
worse
measures

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

We _____________________ damage to our planet that it will soon affect the global economy. This bleak warning _____________________ United Nations report called the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO). The paper says there are many important ecosystems on our planet that are in danger. These “tipping points” in our natural world are where _____________________ on nature will start costing national economies. Examples of these are the deaths of coral reefs, _____________________ areas of forest, or major pollution of rivers. UN spokesman Ahmed Djoglaf said: "The news is not good. We _____________________ at a rate never before seen in history - extinction rates may be up to 1,000 times higher _____________________."

Scientists are worried that governments will not do _____________________ the damage to the tipping points. World leaders will soon meet in Nairobi to discuss _____________________ global biodiversity loss. They hope they can then create an international framework that will be adopted at a convention _____________________ in October in Japan. The GBO report outlines how serious the threat is. It says huge numbers _____________________ extinction if we continue to pollute the environment. Over a quarter of corals may soon disappear. This will have a _____________________ marine life and many fish species will also disappear. Countries will be fighting over much smaller stocks of fish. This problem will be made worse with the _____________________ the world’s rivers.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘global’ and ‘economy’.

global

economy

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • causing
  • bleak
  • negative
  • huge
  • lose
  • 1,000
  • reduce
  • tackle
  • adopted
  • serious
  • facing
  • worse

STUDENT NATURE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about nature in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

NATURE DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘nature’?

c)

How important is nature to you?

d)

What do you think of man’s destruction of nature?

e)

Have you noticed any negative impact of humans on the environment?

f)

Do you take notice of these reports that environmental agencies bring out?

g)

Are you more worried about the destruction of coral reefs, forests or rivers?

h)

What do you think of the extinction rate given in the article?

i)

Do you think we can reverse the damage?

j)

What do you think of reintroducing species using their DNA?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Is your government doing enough to protect your environment?

c)

How much of a “green” are you?

d)

What will it take for governments to get serious about biodiversity loss?

e)

Which are the worst countries for harming nature?

f)

Would you like to get back to nature?

g)

What measures should countries put in their international framework on biodiversity?

h)

Do you think there will be fish wars one day?

i)

What would you say to world leaders if you were a creature threatened with extinction?

j)

What questions would you like to ask the author of the U.N. report?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

We are causing so much damage to our planet that it will soon (1) ____ the global economy. This bleak warning is according to a new United Nations report called the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO). The paper says there are many important ecosystems on our planet that are (2) ____ danger. These “tipping points” in our natural world are where man’s negative (3) ____ on nature will start costing national economies. Examples of these are the (4) ____ of coral reefs, the destruction of huge areas of forest, or major pollution of rivers. UN spokesman Ahmed Djoglaf said: "The news is not good. We continue to lose biodiversity (5) ____ a rate never before seen in (6) ____ - extinction rates may be up to 1,000 times higher than the historical…rate."

Scientists are worried that governments will not do enough to try to reduce the damage to the tipping points. World leaders will soon meet in Nairobi to discuss (7) ____ to tackle global biodiversity loss. They hope they can then create an international (8) ____ that will be adopted at a convention on biological diversity in October in Japan. The GBO report outlines how serious the threat is. It says huge numbers of species are (9) ____ extinction if we continue to pollute the environment. Over a quarter of corals may soon disappear. This will have a huge impact on (10) ____ life and many fish species will also disappear. (11) ____ will be fighting over much smaller stocks of fish. This problem will be made worse (12) ____ the increasing pollution of the world’s rivers.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

effective

(b)

affects

(c)

effect

(d)

affect

2.

(a)

on

(b)

in

(c)

of

(d)

from

3.

(a)

impact

(b)

compact

(c)

pact

(d)

packed

4.

(a)

dead

(b)

dies

(c)

deaths

(d)

deceased

5.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

at

(d)

to

6.

(a)

historical

(b)

history

(c)

historian

(d)

histories

7.

(a)

measures

(b)

measured

(c)

measurements

(d)

measuring

8.

(a)

homework

(b)

handiwork

(c)

clockwork

(d)

framework

9.

(a)

necking

(b)

facing

(c)

heading

(d)

nosing

10.

(a)

maritime

(b)

naval

(c)

fishy

(d)

marine

11.

(a)

oceans

(b)

species

(c)

countries

(d)

whales

12.

(a)

with

(b)

at

(c)

of

(d)

in

WRITING

Write about nature for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about nature. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. NATURE: Make a poster about man’s impact on nature. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. CORAL LIFE: Write a magazine article about the destruction of the world’s coral reefs. Include imaginary interviews with the leader of your country and a fish whose coral is threatened with extinction.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to your country’s leader. Ask him/her three questions about the destruction of nature. Give him/her three pieces of advice on how to protect the environment. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

F

c.

F

d.

T

e.

F

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

causing

a.

creating

2

bleak

b.

gloomy

3.

impact

c.

effect

4.

huge

d.

enormous

5.

extinction

e.

dying out

6.

reduce

f.

cut

7.

tackle

g.

address

8.

adopted

h.

chosen

9.

facing

i.

coming up against

10.

stocks

j.

supplies

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

We are causing so much

a.

damage to our planet

2

This bleak

b.

warning

3.

there are many important

c.

ecosystems on our planet

4.

man’s negative

d.

impact on nature

5.

a rate never before

e.

seen in history

6.

do enough to try to

f.

reduce the damage

7.

discuss measures to tackle

g.

global biodiversity loss

8.

adopted at a convention

h.

on biological diversity

9.

huge numbers of species are

i.

facing extinction

10.

This problem will be

j.

made worse

GAP FILL:

Loss of nature will damage economies

We are causing so much damage to our planet that it will soon affect the global economy. This bleak warning is according to a new United Nations report called the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO). The paper says there are many important ecosystems on our planet that are in danger. These “tipping points” in our natural world are where man’s negative impact on nature will start costing national economies. Examples of these are the deaths of coral reefs, the destruction of huge areas of forest, or major pollution of rivers. UN spokesman Ahmed Djoglaf said: "The news is not good. We continue to lose biodiversity at a rate never before seen in history - extinction rates may be up to 1,000 times higher than the historical…rate."

Scientists are worried that governments will not do enough to try to reduce the damage to the tipping points. World leaders will soon meet in Nairobi to discuss measures to tackle global biodiversity loss. They hope they can then create an international framework that will be adopted at a convention on biological diversity in October in Japan. The GBO report outlines how serious the threat is. It says huge numbers of species are facing extinction if we continue to pollute the environment. Over a quarter of corals may soon disappear. This will have a huge impact on marine life and many fish species will also disappear. Countries will be fighting over much smaller stocks of fish. This problem will be made worse with the increasing pollution of the world’s rivers.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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