Eco-Schools Northern Ireland reach landmark 1000th Green Flag in record breaking year

Press Release by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

Northern Ireland schools continue to excel in the international Eco-Schools programme, achieving a record number of Green Flag awards for the 6th consecutive year and awarding their 1000th Green Flag.

Eco-Schools is the world's leading environmental education programme. It is a pupil-led initiative with the aim to make environmental awareness and practical action an intrinsic part of school life.

Eco-Schools is operated by environmental charity, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, which is dedicated to inspiring everyone to help make Northern Ireland a cleaner, greener and healthier place in which to live. The programme which has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

This year marked a landmark moment when Walker Memorial Primary School, Dungannon, received their first Green Flag and Northern Ireland’s 1000th Green Flag.

Diane Lockhart, Eco-Coordinator at Walker Memorial Primary School said: “The children were totally delighted that we got the 1000th Green Flag. All pupils are very involved with the areas of the Eco-Committee’s action plan it has brought these areas of learning alive.  Pupils are highly motivated, inspired and focused to partake in lessons related to Eco-Schools.  The programme provides pupils with another avenue of learning, those who are more practical and creative thrive on being involved in identifying the needs of the school and sharing their ideas for future action.” 

Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful added: 

With support from the Department, Local Councils and many other partners, Eco-Schools is engaging our young people, who will be the next generation of business and political leaders, in developing eco-friendly behaviours that also help our economy. The programme is growing every year with more and more schools and young people making a real, tangible and positive impact on our environment through saving energy, reducing waste, picking up litter, travelling sustainably, providing biodiversity habitats and much more. Congratulations to Walker Memorial and all our schools who have achieved their Green Flag award; together we have reached this landmark 1000th Green Flag.’

 

This school year 149 schools achieved the prestigious, internationally recognised Green Flag award in recognition of the excellent progress they have been making in protecting the environment and moving towards a more sustainable future. The first Green Flag in the world was awarded to Downpatrick Nursery School in 1994. Since then the programme has consistently grown. There has been a year-on-year increase in the number of schools achieving the award for the 7th year in a row - increasing from 55 in 2010/11 to 97 in 2011/12; 103 in 2012/13; 114 in 2013/14; 128 in 2014/15; 136 in 2015/16 and now 149 in 2016/17.

Once registered on the programme schools work through a simple seven-step process resulting in the programme becoming central to the school's ethos. Schools can choose from ten eco-topics ranging from litter and waste to climate change, biodiversity, healthy living and transport to name a few. Schools renew their Green Flag every 2 years.

Eco-Schools is a free-to-enter programme that has real benefits for pupils, teachers and the school budget!  The programme is delivered to schools throughout Northern Ireland in partnership with a range delivery partners including DAERA and most Councils. To learn more please visit: www.eco-schoolsni.org.

 

- ENDS -

 

Photo Captions:

Photo 10: Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Mid Ulster Council were delighted to visit Walker Memorial Primary School to celebrate their Eco-Schools success and award the 1000th Green Flag for Northern Ireland. Pictured back are L-R: Diane Lockhart, Eco-Coordinator Walker Memorial; John Murtagh, Environmental Project Officer Mid Ulster Council; Ruth Van Ry, Eco-Schools Coordinator Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. Pupils L-R: Sarah Hawe, Jake Sinnamon, Chloe Lewis, Katelyn Miller, Max Patterson, Jake Devlin and Jayden Williamson

Photo 8: Pupils from Walker Memorial Primary School, Dungannon, were delighted to be awarded their first Eco-Schools Green Flag which was the 1000th Green Flag awarded in Northern Ireland for outstanding environmental action. Pupils from the Eco-Committee pictured are back L-R: Jayden Williamson, Jake Sinnamon, Jake Devlin, Sarah Hawe, Chloe Lewis; front L-R: Katelyn Miller and Max Patterson.

 

Notes to Editors

Media enquiries to: Ruth Van Ry, Eco-Schools Coordinator, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.   

Tel: 028 9073 6920

Email: ruth.vanry@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org

 

About Eco-Schools/Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

  • Eco-Schools is a programme for environmental management, certification and sustainable development education for schools. Eco-Schools was developed in 1994 on the basis of the need for involving young people in finding solutions to environmental and sustainable development challenges at the local level, as identified at the UN Conference on Environment and Development of 1992. The Programme was initiated by Member organisations of the Foundation for Environmental Education with the support of the European Commission.
  • In Northern Ireland, the Eco-Schools Programme is operated by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, an environmental charity. The programme is supported by a wide range of partners.
  • Eco-Schools share the same methodology and concept across 64 participating countries and with over 17,500,000 participating students, and are identified by the Eco-Schools logo and Green Flag. The Eco-Schools Green Flag is a recognised and respected eco-label for environmental education and performance, and is awarded to schools meeting the international standard. Participating countries include, for example: Australia, Brazil, China, most of Europe, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, the USA and Zanzibar.
  •  Northern Ireland was the first country in the world to award a Green Flag to one of its schools. Visit www.eco-schoolsni.org for further information.
  • Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, an anti-litter charity, is the province’s leading authority on litter issues, and provides a unique service to communities, businesses, councils and schools throughout Northern Ireland. 
  • Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful operates the Blue Flag for beaches and marinas, Seaside and Green Coast Awards, Young Reporters on the Environment, TIDY Business, The BIG Spring Clean, Adopt A Spot and Live Here Love Here as well as the Borough Cleanliness Survey, Northern Ireland Environmental Quality Forum, and the Eco-Schools Programme.

FEE Head Office visits Vienna International School for their first Green Flag assessment

On 8 June Nicole Andreou, International Eco-Schools Assistant and Green Flag Assessor, travelled to Vienna International School (VIS) for an onsite visit as part of the school's Green Flag application assessment. Vienna International School has been enrolled with Eco-Schools for International Schools since January 2016 and submitted a Green Flag application in May 2017.

After a preliminary assessment of the application by FEE Head Office staff, an onsite assessment took place to determine whether the school had fulfilled the programme's Performance Indicators and to witness firsthand the work done by the Eco Committee at VIS. The Eco-Schools Coordinators at VIS, Marti Hendrichs, Janet Gruber, Britta Hoernchen and Mady Peltier, organised a full day of activities, giving the Green Flag Assessor the chance to meet with all the core members of the Eco Committee and talk to students, staff and the school administrators.

During the morning hours, the Assessor accompanied a group of primary school students on an excursion to Bisamberg Forest to investigate arthropods and the local biodiversity. Upon returning to the school grounds, Nicole had a chance to talk to the very enthusiastic "Eco-Team" (Eco Committee) members of the Primary School about their involvement with the programme, the key actions implemented, side projects they have been running and their overall experience. The Secondary School team members presented their projects on Waste and Litter, Biodiversity & Nature, and discussed potential future plans.

The Assessor later joined a number of meetings with Andrew Warren (Catering Manager), Christine Lang (Primary School Principal), Magdalena Tsavkova (Secondary School Science Leader), Peter Metcalfe (Technology Department), Rob Reed (Early Learning Leader) and Elisabeth Stanners (Secondary School Principal). Discussions revolved around the Eco-Schools Themes and how they are addressed in the school's Action Plan, school procurement and links to the curriculum.

Finally, the Green Flag Assessor met with Peter Murphy (School Director), Benjamin Kuscher (Business Manager), Thomas Lammel (Development Officer), and Martha Ross (Primary School Deputy Principal). The constructive conversation about the implementation of the programme at VIS and the overall impression from the visit made it evident that the school administration is wholeheartedly involved with the Eco-Schools programme, not as an instructor, but rather as a facilitator of the students' ideas and environmental commitment. It is worth mentioning that all the people involved in these meetings are members of the Eco Committee.

The FEE Head Office would like to thank everyone at VIS who made this visit possible: the experience was truly invaluable in helping to gauge how the programme is being implemented on the ground. The assessment results will be announced shortly.

Special thanks to Marti Hendrichs, Janet Gruber and both the Primary and Secondary School members of the Eco-Team.

 

Learn more about Eco-Schools for International Schools, run by Eco-Schools International.

1 million children set to venture into the great outdoors

Teachers worldwide unite to reconnect students with the world beyond walls

Press Release by Project Dirt on Outdoor Classroom Day

Monday 15 May 2017: Over 1 million children in more than 8,000 schools around the world will step outside on Thursday 18 May and embrace the great outdoors, setting a new record for the Outdoor Classroom Day campaign. In the UK alone there are well over 400,000 children getting involved from Penzance to Shetland!

Project Dirt, the NGO that is leading the campaign globally, says it will be the highest number of youngsters ever to get outdoors on the day as part of a concerted global effort to make outdoor learning and play a cornerstone of every child’s day, and represents a new chapter in thousands of schools around the world.

The UK is the front-runner of the campaign and leading the way with nearly half a million children in over 3,000 schools signed up and ready to take part. From den-building and bioblitzing, to practising maths with stones and reading under trees, the day will see teachers take at least one class outdoors and help children embrace their nearby natural environments.

The last 30 years has seen a dramatic and steady decline in the amount of time children spend outdoors. A Public Health England study found that 50 percent of around 1.5 billion visits to parks and green spaces in England in 2015 involved a walk with a dog, but only nine percent of those were with a child. It also found that 12% of children (c 1.3 million) had never visited the natural environment in the previous 12 month period.1

The campaign is highlighting that not only does time outdoors improve children's health, wellbeing and happiness, it also gives them a strong connection to the natural world; a connection that is crucial if the next generation are to be the future guardians of our planet.

Richard Louv, the acclaimed author of The Nature Principle, invites us in a recent essay to imagine a world “where every school has a natural space where children experience the joy of learning through play once again. Where teachers are encouraged to take their students on field trips to the nearby woods and canyons and streams and shores. Where educators feel their own sense of hope and excitement returning to their profession and to their own hearts.”2

Nick Gardner, CEO and co-founder of of Project Dirt, and an environmental campaigner for over two decades, is worried. “Children will only grow up to protect the environment if they love it. They will only love it if they go outdoors regularly. That’s one key objective for Outdoor Classroom Day, to inspire schools worldwide to join together to make the outdoors part of every day!”

He added: “There’s still time to join the movement. Teachers, parents and anyone who cares about childhood and the future of our planet, can register their class to go outdoors on Thursday.”

To sign up, visit www.outdoorclassroomday.com

The campaign is led globally by Project Dirt and supported by Unilever’s Dirt is Good brands.

 

Ends

 

For more information, images or to request interviews please contact Olivia Pullman:

E: olivia@outdoorclassroomday.com M: 07792 919 314

 

References

1.    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/498944/mene-childrens-report-years-1-2.pdf

2.    http://www.childrenandnature.org/2017/05/03/imagine-a-newer-world/

 

 

Notes to editors

About Outdoor Classroom Day

Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play. It is encouraging schools worldwide to make outdoor learning and play part of every day.

In 2017, there are three key campaign dates: on May 18, 2017, the focus is on Europe, the USA, Canada and South America. On the day, thousands of schools will take lessons outside and prioritise playtime.

About Project Dirt

Project Dirt aims to resource thousands of grassroots community projects, and to capture and share the stories of those achievements. Its online platform enables successful relationships to be formed between the business and community sectors.  Project Dirt's mission is to create a vibrant and active online community where individuals, communities, companies and local authorities can share knowledge, advice, best practice and access resources.

About Dirt is Good

Dirt is Good (DiG) is the campaign supported by Unilever’s leading detergent brands including OMO, Persil, Skip and Via, sold in over 78 markets. We believe that by getting dirty, children develop, learn and grow through rich memory-making experiences. These experiences often come in the form of ‘real play’: play that is free, exploratory and sometimes messy, allowing children to enjoy the present and thrive in the future. Our vision is to create a play-friendly world so that all children everywhere can experience play every day.

A Twinning School Visit in Italy

Georges Brassens School in France visited Canale Monterano Secondary School in Italy as part of the Eco-Schools International Twinning project between Italy and France. A delegation of more than 40 French students visited the Italian school and shared their experiences throughout the morning. The Italian school additionally organised an international Eco Committee meeting with the aim of proposing a common Eco Code for the two schools.

Three Eco-Schools Themes were worked on in three different workshops: Waste, Water, and Energy, as endorsed by the Alcoa W3 (Waste-Water-Watts) international project, which the Italian school (one of seven schools in Italy) is involved in during this academic year. In the afternoon the Italian and French students visited the Natural Park of Monterano, a very interesting area close to the school where history, nature and culture combine to show the power of this amazing place near Rome. 

The Butterfly House, by Carin Moffatt and Cathy Dzerefos

By Carin Moffatt and Cathy Dzerefos, WESSA

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you”. Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Grade 1’s of Lebone II College of the Royal Bafokeng embarked on an ambitious project to create a Butterfly House that would sustain a breeding colony of Swallow Tail Butterflies. The school is in Phokeng, North West Province which is within Swallow Tail’s breeding zone. Our main aim was to build a Butterfly House in which we could observe the four stages of the butterfly’s life cycle from egg, caterpillar, pupa and finally butterfly.

When we started, some children did not know the difference between an earthworm and a caterpillar. We learnt that each butterfly species has a specific plant onto which their eggs are laid so the hatched caterpillar can start to eat straight away. The wrong plants will either stop the butterfly from laying eggs or the caterpillars will hatch and then die because they do not have the correct food to eat. As a WESSA Eco-School we also need to educate our whole school and community on the importance of butterflies and how they are needed to pollinate flowers to make fruit! These were the steps taken to make our Butterfly House:

  • We built a metal structure that was big enough to fit all the host plants the butterflies would need. A pathway and bench were important so that we could enter and observe the butterflies closely. We used shade cloth for the walls to filter the sunlight, protect from wind and rain but also to allow us to peek in as we walked past.
  • We planted host plants for the caterpillars to munch, and a variety of flowers for the butterflies to feed on nectar, using their long proboscis or straw-like tongue! Butterflies will feed on any flowers, but they prefer small flowers.
  • Set up a feed station for the butterflies. This consists of a small shallow dish about the size of a side plate filled with 1 tablespoon of honey dissolved in ½ cup of warm water. Place a small sponge in the middle of the dish. The sponge will soak up the mixture and the butterflies can use their proboscis to suck the honey water. Butterflies also love citrus, so cut an orange in half and put that out for them as an extra treat.
  • Place a shallow bowl with fresh clean water nearby.
  • Put together an information board to educate passersby.  Use fun facts about why not to touch the caterpillars, you could squish them and they could die plus they secrete a pheromone that makes your fingers very stinky!
  • Our caterpillars came from an existing breeder. We want to conserve butterflies and did not want to capture them from the wild.

After waiting and watching we could see that our caterpillars grew, and grew and GREW until they turned into pupas. It was great fun to watch them getting bigger and changing colours each week. Every day we checked to see if a pupa had hatched until finally with great excitement our first butterfly emerged and high school learners were coming to have a look. This was followed by many more butterflies and we even witnessed a mating pair and eggs being laid. A few weeks later we were back to watching tiny caterpillars munching away and the whole cycle began again!

Keep Britain Tidy welcomes country’s first-ever Litter Strategy

Story provided by Keep Britain Tidy, www.keepbritaintidy.org

Government backs Eco-Schools programme to educate the next generation

We have welcomed the launch of the Government’s Litter Strategy for England, published today.

The Strategy identifies Eco-Schools, the world’s biggest environmental education programme, which is run by Keep Britain Tidy in England, as a key mechanism to educate children and young people about the impact of litter.

Eco-Schools has already received support from the Prime Minister who has visited two in her constituency since September last year.

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Educating the next generation is vital if we are to win the war on litter. Our children and young people are the key to making littering a thing of the past.

“Learning about litter and its impacts, as part of their wider environmental education, must be a central pillar of the concerted effort needed to tackle the problem once and for all.”

Last month more than 300,000 people, including thousands of school children, took part in Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean, clearing more than half a million bags of rubbish from our streets, parks, beaches and countryside.

The Government has recognised the value of this initiative in the Strategy, not simply to remove litter from the environment but also to raise awareness that a growing number of people want to see an end to littering and are prepared to take action.

Allison said: “We are delighted that the Government has pledged its continued support and endorsement of the Great British Spring Clean and to use its influence to encourage participation and support from people and businesses.”

The Government’s decision to set up a working group to look at how economic measures could help reduce littering is also a positive step, given the success of the 5p charge on single-use carrier bags.

Keep Britain Tidy runs awards programmes, including the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards for beaches, the Green Flag Award for parks and the Keep Britain Tidy Award for public spaces and the Government identifies these as being central to creating litter-free environments in the Strategy and says it will encourage land managers to apply for these awards to ensure their efforts are recognised.

The charity also welcomes the Government’s pledge to introduce regulations that will allow local authorities to issue penalty charge notices to the registered keeper of a vehicle if litter is thrown from it, which will make it easier for local authorities to tackle the problem of roadside litter, which is difficult and costly to clear.

Keep Britain Tidy has been at the forefront of developing and testing innovations to tackle littering, some of which are identified in the Strategy, and we are delighted that the Government has pledged to set up a Litter Innovation Fund to support the development of affordable and scalable solutions that are proven to make a difference.

Allison added: “There is much to commend in this Strategy and we look forward to seeing some ambitious targets from the Government and effective monitoring to ensure that the Strategy makes the measurable difference we all want to see.

You can read the litter strategy in full here.

Over 440 Eco-Schools from 38 different countries twinned!

Thanks to the great work of our National Operator in England, Lee Wray-Davies, 440 Eco-Schools are now twinned and ready to work on collaborative projects. 

Twinning schools is an opportunity for Eco-Schools students to share experiences, and have fun in the meantime! Eco-Schools Coordinators are provided with the contact details of the twinned school, which they are responsible to reach out to. 

Once the initial contact is made, pupils can start writing letters/emails to each other, teachers can share lesson resources and activities, and they can all then develop a small project that can take place on the same day, or be organised in a similar manner.

By far the most common reason for Eco-Schools wanting to take part in the FEE International Eco-Schools Twinning Project is to raise pupils’ awareness of Global Citizenship. Using the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, students can decide which topics they would like to work on with their twinned Eco-School.
 

Eco-Schools in Bahamas "Engaging Young People to Reduce Plastic Pollution in Landfills & the Ocean"

Story provided by The Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation (BREEF)

The Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation (BREEF) and students of the Eco-Schools Bahamas programme with support from the Lyford Cay Foundation, are tackling a major problem that impacts oceans and shorelines around the world. Two hundred and fourteen students from six schools participating in BREEF’s Shopping Bag Challenge are keeping count of the number of plastic bags that their families get while shopping.

Although plastics are now part of everyday life, about one-third of the plastic we use is purposely designed to be disposable, and single-use plastics, like water bottles and plastic bags, are generally used only once before they are thrown away. Preliminary data shows that the students collected almost 12,000 plastic bags over a four-week period. The study group estimated that approximately 145,000 disposable plastic bags are used each month, by families at just these six schools alone!

“The data collected by participating schools on Abaco, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, and New Providence reveal that families average 60 bags per month. A substantial number, if we consider usage by the entire population of The Bahamas,” said Casuarina McKinney- Lambert, Executive Director, BREEF.

Plastic is forever. Every piece of plastic ever made still exists today. Unlike organic materials, which can be broken down naturally through the action of microbes, plastics, through a process known as photo degradation can only be reduced to micro plastics which remain in the environment. In The Bahamas, most of our plastics are discarded in landfills, where their bi-products can leak into the soil and water table, attract pests and can pose a health risk for communities. A significant quantity of plastic also ends up in the sea, impacting marine life through entanglement and being mistakenly consumed as food. Fish eating plastic in the ocean is a way in which harmful chemicals can enter the human diet.

Students are imploring the public to trade in their plastic bags for re-usable bags when shopping. BREEF’s newest re-usable bags feature the artwork of Shelby Sawyer with the slogan ‘Choose to Re-Use’ by Grace Swing. Both are grade 11 students of the Forest Heights Academy in Abaco, and winners of the BREEF Eco-Schools Design-A-Bag competition.

This semester, the project’s teams will continue to collect data, with a twist. “BREEF has given 5 re-usable shopping bags to each participating student. They will encourage their families to shop with the bags and collect data to determine how this impacts plastic bag use,” says McKinney-Lambert.

The Bahamas is an island nation, so our people depend on healthy oceans for food and to make a living. The plastic bag problem can be addressed and you can make a positive impact by choosing to re-use. For starters, how about taking a few re-usable bags with you whenever you shop?

The Eco-Schools programme is an international awards scheme which recognizes schools that make a commitment to continuously improve their environmental practice. The Bahamas programme is operated by BREEF, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, and includes a network of over 20 registered public and private schools. 

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To purchase re-usable shopping bag(s) please contact BREEF at 327-9000, or email us at breef@breef.org. You can show support to BREEF by becoming a volunteer, donating to our educational programmes or by participating in an upcoming BREEF event. For more information visit our website: www.breef.org, like us on Facebook: B.R.E.E.F., follow us on Instagram and Twitter: breef242 or subscribe to our YouTube Channel: bahamasreef.

Eco-Schools Northern Ireland visit Eco-Schools Kenya!

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Eco-Schools were delighted to take part in a field trip to Kenya organised by Trócaire last month.

Trócaire sponsor our Global Perspective topic in Northern Ireland. The trip visited many of the amazing projects which Trócaire deliver on the ground there – including waste collection, permaculture and water provision projects. We were really moved and inspired by what we saw. During the trip we were also pleased to have the opportunity to visit a Kenyan Eco-School, Samaj School in Nairobi, and meet the National Operators in Kenya, KOEE.

The pupils at Samaj School have been working on the Wrigley Litter Less project, putting in place a comprehensive recycling project, extra bins and making sure everyone uses them, reusing cartons into practical items such as desk tidies, and cleaning up their local creek. They are now in contact with Tempo Primary School in Enniskillen, who are also taking part in Wrigley Litter Less, to swap news and ideas about the Campaign.

Good luck to both schools we hope they enjoy contacting each other and have a successful Litter Less year.

Story provided by Ruth Van Ry, Eco-Schools National Operator in Northern Ireland.

March is Water Month, time for action Water Explorers

Water Explorer encourages students aged 8-14 from 11 countries to take bold and powerful action to save our precious water through fun, interactive water saving Missions. (Schools are given grants. Our NOs are very pleased with this project.)

With over 2,000 teams, Water Explorer has had a huge impact over the last two years. Schools have managed to save an astonishing 1.7 million cubic meters of water – that’s enough to fill more than 600 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

It has been fantastic to see how many schools have made efforts around International Wetlands month and Frogs!

See www.waterexplorer.org for some great stories.

Via Water Explorer and WESSA, South Africa

Generation Z: Global Citizenship Survey

What the world’s young people think and feel is the biggest, most comprehensive up-to-date global survey of Generation Z – the teenagers and young adults who were born around the turn of the millennium.

Over 20,000 young people in 20 countries around the world were surveyed to create the first international comparative study of the attitudes of youth. The report draws on their attitudes, behaviours and experiences, in order to present a detailed overview of their wellbeing, hopes, and values. It looks like we are in good hands!

Download the report here

Via Varkey Foundation

Universities - 2017 ISCN Report: Educating for Sustainability

At the World Economic Forum, the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) in collaboration with the Global University Leader Forum (GULF) shared exemplary campus sustainability case studies provided by 30 of the world’s leading universities all focused on educating for sustainability.  

By including sustainable development in the strategic goals for all their activities, universities can create an environment that promotes holistic education of all students. To complement professional and disciplinary education, they can expose students to the practical problems that must be solved in order to achieve the SDGs. They can foster the acquisition of critical, systems-oriented thinking as well as the ability to communicate with various stakeholders within and outside academia.

View the press release and download the report.  Via ISCN

FEE visit to the Indian Ocean States

Our CEO, Daniel Schaffer, left our Head Office in Copenhagen a week ago on a mission: to visit our FEE members in the Indian Ocean States.

Thanks to the great collaboration between our organisation and the Indian Ocean Commission in the region, Daniel has completed a successful series of meetings with local representatives, talking about Eco-Schools and the other four FEE programmes.

Follow his blog here.

FEE's CEO at the Green-Campus Network Meeting

Following the end of the UN decade for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in 2014, UNESCO identified five focal areas to be the foundation for the Global Action Programme (GAP) that was put in place to follow the decade. One of these areas is Transforming Learning and Training Environments. This is also referred to as embedding the Whole Institutional Approach (WIA) towards ESD. The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) has taken an important part in defining WIA for the GAP based on its long experience with the Eco-Schools seven step methodology.

FEE EcoCampus is an international award programme that guides all third level institutions on their sustainable journey, providing a simple framework to help make sustainability an integral part of campus life. Like Eco-Schools, EcoCampus leads to transformative thinking and can help enhance the curriculum and get the whole institution united behind something important.

On 2 February 2017, Daniel Schaffer, CEO of the Foundation for Environmental Education spoke at the Green-Campus Network Meeting in Dublin, Ireland. Watch below!

GreenMetric World University Rankings 2016 - FEE EcoCampuses at the top!

The UI GreenMetric World University Ranking is an initiative of Universitas Indonesia which was launched in 2010.

The aim of this ranking is to provide results on the current condition and policies related to Green Campus and Sustainability in universities all over the world. It is expected that by drawing the attention of university leaders and stakeholders, more attention will be given to combating global climate change, energy and water conservation, waste recycling, and green transportation.

In 2016, FEE EcoCampus Universities ranked close to the top of the list! Congratulations to University College Cork, Dublin City University and University of Limerick, Maynooth University, University College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland, Universidade da Coruña, Vigo University in Spain, University of Maribor in Slovenia, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences in Latvia, and all the other universities for their efforts towards sustainable campuses! 

See the overall ranking here.

green metric rankings.PNG

A World in Common - Teaching Resource by the Danish Outdoor Council

Take our hand and come with us to Uganda, a country almost in the middle of Africa. Here we will experience how Climate Change affects the country and the people, who live there.

In August 2016, the Danish Outdoor Council launched the teaching resource “En verden til fælles” (in English: A World in Common). The resource focuses on children’s lives especially with regard to Climate Change, sustainability and democracy in Uganda and Denmark. 

The resource raises questions that will make the pupils reflect on their own lives as well: What does a child in Uganda do during a normal day? What is it like to go to school in Uganda? How do you get water in Uganda? How is your own life different from the life of a child in Uganda?

Besides supplying this resource, the Danish Outdoor Council also runs an information campaign for schools in which the pupils get a chance to produce campaign materials, which will be used in a national information campaign in Denmark. The Civil Society in Development, an independent association of 280+ small and medium-sized Danish Civil Society Organisations, finances the teaching resource and the information campaign.

The Danish Outdoor Council works with Eco-Schools in Uganda and Tanzania in cooperation with local environmental organisations which ensure that the local communities surrounding the schools develop sustainably.

The resource is mainly available in Danish, but here you can find the example available for the English class. 

Thick Jumper Day 17 February 2017: Participate and Keep the Polar Ice Cool!

In 2005, Milieuzorg Op School (MOS, Environmental Care at School) of the Department of Environment, Nature and Energy organised the first Warm Sweater Day in response to the Kyoto Protocol.

The protocol’s objective was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Since 2005, Warm Sweater Day has reminded us of the agreements made under this crucial treaty with a few simple activities: wear a warm sweater and turn down the heat, take your bike more often, eat locally grown food, reduce standby power and so on. On Warm Sweater Day, Flanders massively reduced CO2 emissions as well as raising the awareness of school-going children, businesses and the authorities.

Participate in the 2017 edition of the Thick Jumper Day:

Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School (Bangkok Prep) is awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag!

This week Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School was awarded the Green Flag! The International School in Thailand has been implementing the 7-Step Eco-Schools methodology since January 2015. Congratulations!

Following the assessment of the application and supporting documentation by the Foundation for Environmental Education Head Office, as well as an external on-site assessment by certified Assessor, Emi Imai, the school has officially been notified about their award. The Eco-Schools Green Flag willsoon be hoisted on the school grounds. Keep up the good work! 

The Assessor's comments

The vision of the school to be the flagship Green School is clear to all and there is evidence that everyone is working towards the same goal.  The eco-practice is embedded in the school life through the curriculum, ongoing projects and initiatives. 

The school improvement plan has sustainability as priority and for 5 years, and the plans of the new school grounds show the commitment by the leadership and the governing body as well.  They involve great investments in solar panels for sustainable energyandcarefully selecting plants for biodiversity.

The success of this school lies with the students’ drive and enthusiasm.  However, this does not magically happen and it is a credit to the Teachers who enabled them to flourish by investing time, spreading the passion and giving them platforms to execute these initiatives.  It was shown by Mr Leverton that every small step leads to success by resilience and continuity.

I would like to thank all staff and students who took time to show me around your wonderful Eco-School. You have shown me how great teamwork and leadership can make a successful Eco-School. Thank you.