Worldwide global village

This issue's NetWatch covers resources pertaining to the global village, including environmental and cultural issues.

Are you aware of exceptional web sites that focus on global issues? Send us the link at and we'll include your recommendation(s) in an upcoming online version of NetWatch.


by Lynda Scarrow

Cultural Profiles Project

One of the more aesthetically pleasing of the federal government's web sites, the Cultural Profiles Project is part of Citizenship and Immigration Canada's host program, which funds non-profit organizations to recruit Canadian volunteer hosts and match them with new immigrants.

Because the site provides volunteers with information about the country the new immigrant is coming from, it includes a wealth of cultural information for approximately 104 countries.

Environment Canada's Green Lane

On the opposite end of the aesthetic scale, Environment Canada's Green Lane is a plain, basic site with a ton of information on environmental issues.

If you are looking for Canadian-specific charts, facts or statistics on air pollution, climate change, ecosystems, relevant legislation, nature and wildlife, waste management and more, this is an excellent place to begin.

The UN for Kids, Youth and Educators

The UN for Kids, Youth and Educators site offers a Teacher's Toolbox and curriculum guides. Another section called What Kind of World? (created by the Canadian International Development Agency) provides lesson plans and handouts.

A special section called the United Nations Cyber School Bus - my favourite part of the site - is available in six languages. Topics include: peace education, poverty, teaching units on landmines, human rights, cities of the world, world hunger and indigenous peoples.

The site is loaded with webcasts and you'll definitely want to visit the Peace Flag Project and the gallery for the Pictures of Peace (a collection of artwork contributed by students inspired by the UN Peace Poem).

Teachers are also invited to review site content plus test site activities and receive free classroom materials for participating.

UNICEF: Voices of Youth

"More than 121 million children are not in school today - 65 million are girls. What do you think needs to be done for every child to be able to go to school?"

So begins UNICEF: Voices of Youth, a site dedicated to the rights of youth and children around the world.

Here, you'll find information on child protection, girls' education, HIV/AIDs, immunization and sustainable development.

The teacher's resource section includes information that may be useful to educators who teach children affected by war. The strongest part of the site is Children and Youth Speak Out where children around the world comment on issues that affect them.

An End to World Hunger: Hope for the Future

This simple to navigate site is good for information on historic famines, present circumstances and future options for dealing with hunger.

The site includes a map showing where world famine is taking place, along with detailed statistics for each highlighted country, and has a separate area featuring general world hunger facts and statistics.

Each section also has an interesting issue response area where reader comments have been posted. The nice thing about this site is that, while it may appear as if you've uncovered everything very quickly, it has multiple layers of information.

Oxfam Cool Planet for Teachers

A number of international organizations have beautifully designed web sites chock full of solid information on global issues.

Oxfam Cool Planet for Teachers (there's also an Oxfam Cool Planet for Children) provides a variety of teacher resources, including a curriculum for global citizenship, suggestions for teaching students about distant localities and a section called school linking and twinning.

You can also access an extensive photo library.

Enviro Link

If you're looking for a site that provides comprehensive, international environmental information, Enviro Link fills the bill. It covers 30 environmental topics and includes layers upon layers of information. Each of the 30 topic categories includes a section dedicated to educational resources.

For example, under Air Quality, you will find 194 air pollution and 28 educational links. Consisting mainly of a well-organized, easy-to-navigate compilation of links, the site also contains a news section and discussion forum.

The Rainforest Alliance Learning Site: Connecting Kids to Conservation

This handsomely designed site has lesson plans on the rain forest for kindergarten, first, second, third/fourth, fifth/sixth grades.

The site also includes slide shows separated into the same grade categories that can be shown using a computer and projector.

The Rainforest Alliance home page ( provides good additional information for teachers and older students.

World Rainforest Information Portal
Another well-designed portal to rainforest links, the World Rainforest Information Portal includes a good library of map links and a section devoted to data and research.

The "What can I do to help?" section contains information on conscious consuming, green transportation and direct action. Information is suited to older students and teachers.

One nice feature is the "Protect an Acre Program" where a school could raise funds to protect an acre or more of rainforest.

Lynda Scarrow is the College's web editor. She can be reached at