The BUTTERFLIES BREATH GSE program is based on justice and ethical practices.

It will help students understand the necessity for the protection of all forest species and their eco-systems including the human Forest Dwellers. It is hoped that your "peaceful traveller" students will learn sustainability, conflict resolution and peace from these people. It is designed to be used by individual students, or as a class or combined classes of students divided into groups to do the research on individual aspects. Students study the topic until their integrated research touches on the next topic. Through debate and individual and collective report writing, they identify issues that are involved. These reports can then be posted on the IHTEC website on their school page. We suggest that the outcome be presented through the performing arts: play, musical, video, dance or art show. Invite the media to your presentation.

Study Units:

Ecological Integrity

1. How many eco-systems can you identify in a rainforest? How do these eco-systems connect with each other. Identify one specie in each layer and show how it relies and connects with another specie from the next eco-system. Do this from the tree top to the roots or vice-versa. Show what occurs if one tree is removed and how that affects the rainforest ecology.

2. Identify five rainforest plant species that are used for human health and medical purposes in your culture. How are these used by human forest dwellers. What is the $ cost between western cultures and tribal use?

3. How does a rainforest help all species on the planet to breathe? How does it affect the atmosphere, water, food, and medicine for civilization's health. This will require knowledge of the carbon dioxide and oxygen interchange within the atmosphere.

4. What is the effect of human pollution and climatic change on rainforests and their human populations?

5. What are the effects on the planet, of losing 14 million hectares of forest each year? How long does a forest take to re-grow? What happens if the land is used for urban development or left un-touched? Which is more sustainable?

6. Using your own currency, what is the cost of removing one tree from a rainforest? Show this using ecological and commercial "substance accounting" with the positive and negatives involved? How can we account for the 30,000 species that are lost annually?

Social Integrity

7. Why must we insist on the protection of human forest dwellers? How can this knowledge help you build peace and justice in your community and culture?

8. How do the current urban development practices of "slash & burn", urban sprawl, and the resulting desertification, and re-location of forest tribes, aid sustainability?

9. How will the protection of rainforests aid Human Security, and civilization's survival?


10. How do forest dwellers maintain their balanced ecological footprint?


11. What factors are involved within forest human communities that maintain a balanced population?


12. From the class analysis using "Substance Accounting" ask yourself questions about the differences between the importance of your society's economy and the bartering of forest dwellers? Which is the most sustainable?


14. Can you identify any current (2004) technology that can help maintain forest tribes?


Write a report on your section of the project first. Then debate the result with your class and identify how each topic integrates and affects the other. Contact your mayor, President or Prime Minister with the joint conclusions. Show how you involved your community as you developed this program into an art form. Send your report of your achievements to who will put it on

Co-ordinator: Eric Schneider, IHTEC Board member.