Trust for Sustainable Living

TSL 2021 International Student Debates & Summit: PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY


CERTIFICATES: All 2021 Certificates are now available for Teacher Champions to download from the TSL Certificates Portal

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the TSL 2021 Partner Power: Protecting Biodiversity Summit, which took place 5-10 July 2021. With a focus on youth collaboration and biodiversity, we heard from experts who helped us understand why biodiversity is important, how we measure it, how partnerships can help to protect it, and what actions young people and educators can take to help protect biological diversity into the future. With panel discussions, case studies and workshops featuring scientists, youth and projects from around the world, it proved an exciting and inspiring summit, empowering students, teachers and schools to take action for protecting biodiversity.

Highlights from 2021

The 2021 International Student Debates took place on 5-6 July. The Debates were held online for the second year in a row and we were delighted to have 67 student debaters from 33 countries taking part.

The Debates took place as part of our online Partner Power Summit: PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY (5-10 July). The Summit featured a range of engaging workshops and inspiring speakers and panel discussions, designed to help inform and empower students, parents and teachers in a shared journey to a more sustainable world.

Panel Discussions


Our workshop sessions allowed us to delve deeper into the topic of understanding and protecting biodiversity.

Compass Education shared a systems thinking tool called the Sustainability Compass and demonstrated how it can be used to explore and consider the value of biodiversity from different perspectives, Nature, Economy, Society and Wellbeing.

Dr Emma Taylor’s workshop explored how biodiversity can be monitored from space.

Saint Lucian poet and author Alicia Valasse-Polius encouraged us to get creative in this poetry workshop as we were inspired by nature and biodiversity to create our own Tanka poems.

Compass Education joined us again to share another systems thinking tool, the Systems Iceberg, this time to explore how we can make changes and drive action to protect biodiversity in our environment’s and communities.

Bio-based materials expert Dr Pouya Samani shared a glimpse into the future of how bio-based materials are replacing damaging plastics in our supply chains.

We even managed to catch up with conservationist and adventurer Sacha Dench to hear about her latest Round Britain Climate Challenge, travelling 3000 miles around Britain on an electric paramotor to raise awareness of the impact of climate change and its impacts on biodiversity.

Video Messages to Participants

PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY: Message from Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UN-CBD), 6 July 2021


Each country taking part in the Debates was represented by its four top-performing students in the Essay Competition, with all other students participating as Non-debating Students.

The online Partner Power Summit explored how young people and schools can become more involved in developing positive solutions to biodiversity loss.

The 2022 competition is now OPEN!

Key dates