COVID-19 and the desire of children to return to nature: Emotions in the face of environmental and intergenerational injustices

Clementina Rios, Alison Neilson, Isabel Menezes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The global COVID-19 public health crisis has driven policies of lockdowns and social distancing that have had negative social and economic impacts, worsening inequalities and social exclusions, and mixed environmental impacts. This study engaged children from schools with diverse environmental pedagogies in online focus groups about nature and their experiences with nature during the pandemic. Participants expressed fear of the unknown virus, sadness from isolation, longing for family and friends, and yearning for the freedom to enjoy the outside world. They revealed knowledge of both positive and negative impacts of lockdowns on the environment. Their experiences with nature demonstrate how environmental injustice affects the lives of children from public schools in urban contexts, especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, who reported less contact with nature during the lockdown. As a group, children are aware and very critical of intergenerational environmental injustice and argue for the need for adults to act.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-346
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of Environmental Education
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Intergenerational and environmental injustice
  • Emotions
  • Nature
  • Children
  • Covid-19

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