National Operator interviews: Razvan Dinca


Carpathian-Danubian Centre of Geoecology (CCDG), Romania

City where the organisation is based: Bucharest

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 6/2

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Both
  • Sea or mountains? Sea 
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Both
  • City or countryside? City
  • Favourite word or phrase: Success 
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?      I have a very bad voice 
  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

My dog stole one of my basketball shoes and hid it. I have found the shoe after half a day, but it was intact! 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

The high point of the programme is the change of mentality.
My hope is that we can keep the vast network of Eco-Schools for the next ten years.

Activities by CCDG

We organise teacher training sessions, planting sessions, workshops and audits.

An inspiring story by CCDG

An Eco-Committee has developed in the kindergarten yard a beautiful garden with organic vegetables and fruits. A positive result was that many pupils asked their parents to grow their own plants at home. 



National Operator Interviews: Stéphanie Beney



City where the organisation is based: Paris

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 21/5

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Cats
  • Sea or mountains? Sea with big waves
  • Chocolate or chips? Black chocolate
  • Film or book? Film
  • City or countryside? I like the countryside but cities fascinate me
  • Favourite word or phrase: Yeah, yeah, yeah, résiste!
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?Résiste –France Gall
  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

Last month it snowed a lot in Paris. This gave rise to quite a few funny scenes. I saw skiers at the gates (closed) of the Buttes Chaumont Park (the one we crossed together during the NOM) and even adventurers who came with their inflatable boat ready to hit the slopes of the park. I like these absurd scenes that sometimes mix with our quotient.

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

The programme is a fantastic way to educate young people about citizenship and give them knowledge and skills so that they can make their own choices and take full part in the life of their own space. Our role is to help them understand the increasingly complex world in which we live while giving them the desire to act, to innovate, to imagine solutions for their school, their city and the world.
Today in France, teachers are adopting sustainable development as teaching support. Eco-Ecole provides them with a framework and supports them in their approach.

Activities by TERAGIR

We organise training and workshops with teachers: The Eco-Schools Network playtime! Teachers need to share their experiences and learn from each other.

An inspiring story by TERAGIR

It is a middle school located in a deprived neighbourhood of an urbanised area in the suburbs of Paris. This college has chosen to join the Eco-Schools programme for two reasons:

- Propose a unifying project and motivate teachers
- To improve the school atmosphere

The school chose to work on the Theme of Biodiversity. Soon, students realised that it is nonexistent in the neighborhood. They decided to create a garden and with the help of the City Council they invested in a space that had no function and in which there was a lot of waste.

Teachers are gradually finding that most students have never left the neighborhood to explore other parts of the city. Yet, less than 3 kilometers away, is a different landscape with vegetation and a river. Nature outings are organised. Parents are invited to participate. Because of Eco-Schools, these students gained in confidence and allowed themselves to project themselves in their city and in their lives.

Today the middle school garden is a real place to live and the diversity of vegetables reflects the cultural diversity of the neighborhood.


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National Operator Interviews: Nevena Cabrilo


Bureau for Education Services, Montenegro


City where the organisation is based: Podgorica

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 68/2

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Both
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Both
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: "Don't worry"
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?

      Svetionik by the Montenegrin singer and songwriter Miladin Šobić

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

A month ago I told my dog to sit, placed a piece of meat in front of her, and told her to stay. My doorbell rang and I went to help out my neighbor. An hour later, when I came back, my dog was still sitting in the same spot, waiting for me to give her the permission to eat. Later that day my slippers disappeared and I still have not found them.

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

Dream: All schools in Montenegro will become part of the Eco-Schools programme.

High point: By raising the awareness of pupils about the environment, they will have an impact on their overall life as well as the lives of their families. It is extremely important that the project is done through fun and active learning.

Activities by the Bureau for Education Services

Schools' application process and monitoring, organising consultations, promoting Eco-School programmes at the national level, participation in monitoring and evaluation of the programme, organising national events.

An inspiring story by the Bureau for Education Services

The “Radoje Cizmovic” primary school has an ERM demonstration site, built in the schoolyard (a reeds' plantation system capable of purifying the school’s waste water, which is afterwards used for irrigating of the school’s orchard and vegetable garden). In this school, pupils are learning about Eco-remediation on ERM Polygon. ERM polygon represents an example of green technologies. They enable environment restoration and protection of natural resources by natural methods.

Every year each class plants a fruit tree in what we call the Generation Orchard. They do the same thing with vegetables, changing cultures every year. Up to now, we have an orchard of three rows representing the three last generations of pupils.

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National Operator Interviews: Linda Van Meersche


MOS - Department of Environment, Belgium (Flanders)


City where the organisation is based: Brussels

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 23/19

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Mountains
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Book
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: "Let's handle this together"
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?

     U2 One

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

When I was on the way to a teacher training session, I missed two trains and one bus in the same day, because of my own absence of mind. 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

Dream: Bring Eco-Schools together internationally, so they can learn from each other.

High point: networking moments, and Green Flag Event in October.

Activities by MOS - Department of Environment

Teacher-training sessions, planning and organising the jury for future Eco-Schools, visiting schools with local coaches, organising network days, international programme, policy, etc.

An inspiring story by MOS - Department of Environment

Because I started working in September as the National Operator for Eco-Schools, my experience as National Operator is rather limited. Most of the time our local coaches visit the schools and my job is to coordinate Eco-Schools from our office in Brussels.

On 18 January, I took part in a meeting in Bree. The primary school ‘Don Bosco Gerdingen’, which already has been awarded the Green Flag five times (In Flanders they can keep the flag for two years, in order to keep the process going.) organised a meeting with the local coaches, coordinators, local community, local partners, pupils, teachers, and a twin community from Italy. They are our ambassadors! I could feel the good vibe and their enthusiasm and it really lifted me up to a higher level!!!

They are now in the process of getting their 6th Green Flag.

National Operator Interviews: Juraj Oravec

Interview with Juraj Oravec

Centre of Environmental and Ethical Education Zivica (CEEV Živica), Slovakia


City where the organisation is based: Bratislava & Zvolen

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 25/5


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Mountains
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Film
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Hah you know, BeeGees Stayin' alive.  (And what a great show it was! Editor)

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

Hah I guess it was the International NOM in Paris - when I tried to sing BeeGees at the karaoke show. Thanks for support from my colleague Jan from Czech Republic. He sent a video of this part of the show to my colleagues and it was rotating a whole month throughout the office.

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

The Eco-Schools programme in Slovakia is mainly about participation at schools, by this I mean participation between teachers and children. Our educational system has a long way to go to become "European quality" so our programme is one of the important reforming tools to make our system better ... and this is my big challenge. Without educated children in a quality educational system, our country cannot educate better people.

Activities by CEEV Živica

We did a lot of things this year. For 321 schools we ran two grant calls, five side project programme advances, 13 teacher workshops in Eco-Schools Themes and we got huge support from the President of Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska, at the last Eco-Schools ceremony. Right now we are working on an Eco-Schools Conference, Global Action Days in April, and Eco-Schools twinning. We are looking for partners to start FEE Eco Campus. Fingers crossed.

An inspiring story by CEEV Živica

Students at one of our elementary schools in a small village were not happy to see a lot of cars in front of their school. It was stinky, noisy and definitely not good. They decided to make a "walk bus" so they created their own "walk bus bus stops" and told all of the times when the walk bus will travel through the village.

They pick each other up at the planned bus stops and travel safely by foot with no eco footprint. They inspired teachers too, and travel before and after school all together.

National Operator Interviews: Lee Wray-Davies

Interview with: Lee Wray-Davies

Keep Britain Tidy, England


City where the organisation is based: Wigan

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 49/3


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Both
  • Chocolate or chips? Chips
  • Film or book? Book
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: ‘Love you mum’ from my daughters
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (although for the sake of humanity I probably should not sing!)

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

Trying to take a family selfie recently at my sister’s 60th birthday party, when we were all in 1970’s fancy dress. There are a lot of us, it was hilarious trying to fit everyone’s wigs, flares, roller skates and a lightsabre into the picture.

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

At the start of September 2017 we completely changed the criteria for our Bronze and Silver Awards, and Green Flag application processes to make it more ‘Eco-Coordinator friendly’. Since then we have been breaking records for the numbers of schools newly registering or reengaging with the programme in England! I’m happy to say we are very busy at the moment.

Activities by Keep Britain Tidy

During the academic year we run Green Flag Assessor training for volunteers who visit our Eco-Schools once they have submitted their Green Flag application. This year for the first time we have been delivering our new teacher training course ‘How to become a successful Eco-School’. During the year I also attend numerous sustainable education conferences and workshops for schools or families that have been organised by regional educational offices and local charities. Every March Keep Britain Tidy hold the Great British Spring Clean, last year over 1000 Eco-Schools took part in this, helping their communities run litter picks over one weekend. 

An inspiring story by Keep Britain Tidy

My inspiring story is about one particular nine year old boy I met at an Eco-Schools event when I was the guest speaker.  I was ‘warned’ by his teacher that he could be quite disruptive so they would sit him near the exit in case he was too loud. At the start of my presentation it was clear he was having trouble remaining focused, however when I mentioned how many students were involved in the Eco-Schools programme globally, he behaved perfectly. Afterwards I asked him if he had enjoyed it, his response was ‘I don’t feel silly any more if I do Eco-Schools work because I  know there are 19 million other kids around the world doing the same as me - that’s brilliant!’ 

For the rest of the day this little boy was fantastic and gave me a pirate paper hat that he had made from recycled newspaper to say thank you for telling him about Eco-Schools. That’s why I believe the International Eco-Schools twinning is so significant.

National Operator Interviews: Sepideh Ostadhassan

Interview with: Sepideh Ostadhassan

World Green Star - Iran


City where the organisation is based: Tehran

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 6/4


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Cats
  • Sea or mountains? Mountains
  • Chocolate or chips? Both
  • Film or book? Book
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: Good thoughts, Good words, Good deeds (Calque of Avestan – Zoroaster- Iranian Prophet)
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Adele - Rolling in the Deep

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I couldn’t distinguish between a mannequin and the shop assistant in a shop. I thought he was a mannequin. When he walked I screamed, which scared him too. After a few minutes, we both started laughing.

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

Social activity and improving our environmental vision and mission in cooperation with teachers, students and local communities are the high points of the programme to me. Helping each other to be more responsible to support our environment well and to support our schools to do their best and achieve their goals.

I wish to develop this programme in all schools in Iran.

Activities by World Green Star

Teacher training workshops and seminars, performing monthly professional workshops for Eco-Schools representatives and principals about educational themes that are high risk in our country. Planting trees, working with Eco Committees at schools due to receive the Green Flag award to help manage the ceremony and celebrate this event together successfully.

Mostly we focus on students and teachers to learn about and protect nature.

We held some events for students during the year to increase their environmental awareness. 

Some workshops have been held for teachers about new educational methods of learning about the environment and also how to break bad habits which could be risky for the environment and human health. We are going to operate some eco-tours for students and teachers to show them some spectacular scenarios and help them to be green travellers. 

We encourage them to use more eco-friendly products. (Using disposable dishes is forbidden in our workshops and seminars)

An inspiring story by World Green Star

One of our key targets is decreasing the use of energy. Some schools found some useful solutions to decrease their use of energy and ran it at their schools. Significantly, some schools have solar panels in their building structure. The students learn how electricity has been produced from sunlight and they are educated practically, and theoretically, on decreasing their use of energy and their CO2 emissions.

National Operator Interviews: Theodora Polyzoidou




City where the organisation is based: Athens

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 12/2


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Cats
  • Sea or mountains? Sea
  • Chocolate or chips? Chips
  • Film or book? Book
  • City or countryside? City
  • Favourite word or phrase: 'Actions speak louder than words'
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Regarding my singing skills I would definitely avoid singing in front of other people but if I had to I would choose ‘The Lion sleeps tonight’ song!

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

One summer morning, when I had just woken up, I opened my fridge and took out a glass bottle as I was very thirsty for water...unfortunately the bottle had raki (alcohol) instead of water...So I had a weird wake up. 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

I love how teachers become inspired by the programme and share their enthusiasm with the children! The sense of being in a community which respects values, and people care about each other cannot be compared! I would be more than happy if the Eco-Schools programme were run in every school at all grades. It is important to be part of the change for a better future.

Activities by HSPN

We plan to develop our network, provide more educational material, organise educational seminars for teachers including the theme of the Sustainable Development Goals, a summer school, a movie with teachers sharing ideas and opinions for the programme, succeed with more partnership projects with the local community, support our schools taking part in the Twinning project and establish Global Action Days.

An inspiring story by HSPN

Primary School of Adamas, on Milos Island have had wonderful ideas implemented.
The most fascinating thing they did was the construction of an outdoor class by reusing wooden pallets and waste in carpentry class. They created musical instruments reusing litter and gave a public concert in the school’s music hall. Moreover, they constructed a wooden lending library, which was put at the waiting room for passengers, at the port of Adamas, Milos, showing that it is part of the Eco-Schools’ programme. 

National Operator Interviews: Alliya Moun-ob



City where the organisation is based: Bangkok

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 50/2


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Cats
  • Sea or mountains? Mountains
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Both
  • City or countryside? City
  • Favourite word or phrase: ‘We are part of this planet’
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?

‘How far I’ll go’ by Moana

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I taught WWF staff to play a board game called ‘TAKENOKO’. It was their first time to play any other board game that was not Monopoly. The next day, everyone who played the game walked to my desk and asked ‘Will we play it again?’ 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

We have received a warm welcome from every school that we visited. There are a lot of positive people working on this programme because we aim for the same thing ‘Encourage students to have the best environment for learning and living’. In future, we wish to integrate the Eco-Schools programme with other environmental programmes from both the private sector and government sector.

Activities by WWF Thailand

We trained an Eco Committee at each school to guarantee that they all understand our process. We also trained other students about waste separation and why it is important for everyone to help reduce litter.  We used games for the training. Then, we visited schools with our Eco Committee to give information and advise about the programme. The award day was set for 24th May, 2017.  Because of our partnership with IKEA, we held a ceremony for students to celebrate their achievements and visited Bangkok Waste Incinerator.  

An inspiring story by WWF Thailand

Most Thai schools are running an environmental project organised by teachers but the Kunnatee Rutharam Wittayakhom School is different. A school principle and teachers are encouraging their students to be at the cutting edge. At every school board meeting, parent association meeting, or local authority meeting, they give an opportunity for the students to present information about their Eco-Schools programme. The students also invited a community leader to be a member of their Eco Committee and implement a joint project to reduce the waste problem both in the school and the community. 


Game ideas!

  • Sea Turtle Food

Aim of game: to make students understand why plastic bag reduction is important.

The rule is simple. Divide students into two groups; turtles and turtle food. 

Give a card to each student in the food group. There are two types of cards; plastic bags and jellyfish. The students holding the food cards must not let the turtles know what they are. 

Then, ask turtles to mix with the food. Indicate the number of food cards that the turtles need to find. If the turtle has more plastic bag cards than jellyfish cards, it dies. 

Separate the dead turtles out. Put the people with the food cards back in the game, reshuffle the cards and redistribute.

Play the game until there are 1-2 groups remaining.

For the game conclusion, we show the students a picture of a plastic bag and jellyfish in the ocean, and ask them if it looks similar or different. Then we ask them how the plastic bags end up in the sea.

National Operator Interviews: Moaz Sawaf


Environmental Center for Arab Towns (ECAT), UAE


City where the organisation is based: Dubai

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 7/2


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Mountains
  • Chocolate or chips? Chips
  • Film or book? Film
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: Do not say it's impossible before giving it a try.
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?

I did it my way

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

In my spare time, I conduct basic survival courses in our mountains and deserts. I was with a group of five people explaining to them how to overcome natural obstacles and choosing the safest path, and we were on a very narrow ledge 20 meters high with a water pool beneath. As I was explaining to them how to cross safely, I fell down into the pool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 


A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

Raising awareness, especially among school students has been my passion for years, and being involved in the Eco-Schools programme was a great way to boost this. For me to see keen Eco-Schools coordinators and young students bursting with energy and wanting to save our planet makes me so happy and bring tears of joy to my eyes. I would honestly say that schools who registered in the programme and are active, they exceed the programme criteria by far. My hopes, dreams and vision is to see more schools taking part in this great programme, and ensure those young students continue the great work in their university life and career.


Activities by ECAT

I do a lot of various activities for the schools. I make a point of giving a lecture, talk or a workshop to one school per week. The topics are basically on conserving the wildlife in the UAE, reducing our water and energy consumption and sustainable living.

I also arrange field trips. This year I did field trips to a wetland protected area on the occasion of the International Wetland Day. We explained to the students why wetlands are important and what benefits and services we get from them.

On the occasion of the World Tree Day, I managed to get from the government 100 small native trees and we planted them in various schools.

We also conduct workshops every year for the new schools and coordinators on how to implement the programme at their school.


An inspiring story by ECAT

It’s difficult to decide because most of the schools are doing outstanding work. Sorry for being greedy but I will talk about two cases.

The first one. The UAE is a hot arid desert with scarce freshwater resources and this means it’s not an agricultural country. One school managed to utilise all the available spaces they have to grow vegetables during the cooler months (Sept-Mar). They used the water from the Air-condition devices to water the plants, also they used the water from the wash sinks in the bathrooms. They also built two hydroponic systems. The project was a big success. The vegetables were given to poor people.

The second one. A group of students from grade 10 and 11 conducted their own research on the air quality for the classrooms with indoor plants and without plants. The way the research was conducted, the report and results were very well done. 

National Operator Interviews: Sirje Aher


Eesti Looduskaitse Selts, Estonia


City where the organisation is based:  Talinn

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 7/1


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Cats
  • Sea or mountains? Neither, I prefer forest
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Film
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: If nothing bad has happened yet, there’s no reason to worry. If something bad has happened, there’s no sense worrying about it anymore.
  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

I Got The Sun In The Morning - Doris Day

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I recently had a funny lesson in perspectives. My husband and I are biologists. I had an argument with him about whether the object we found in the flowerbed was a half-eaten mouse or the wing of a bird. It turned out we were both right as the skin and wing had been glued together by an owl such that only one was visible from either side.


A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

I believe that the best way to make our society more sustainable is to reach out to children. It was great to see the number of kids reacting positively to the wonderfully creative ways teachers raise their environmental awareness. Most institutions were independent and continued to surprise us when they showcased the activities they had invented. It’s heart-warming to see the sincere enthusiasm with which everybody involved approaches the programme, and I hope that it continues to expand and to involve more people across all age groups. I also hope international cooperation continues to be as fruitful as when Belgium and the UK offered their support (especially via sharing initiatives and materials). I am glad that the parents have also become involved and have more environmental awareness.


Activities by Eesti Looduskaitse Selts

Our activities stem from our desire to support the independent actions of educational institutions that intend to reach our agreed goal, rather than imposing our own ideas. We mostly aim to provide new opportunities and help when it’s needed. This generally takes the form of consultations. When a kindergarten or school approaches us with an idea or a request, we organise a meeting to help overcome the difficulties or provide needed know-how to reach their self-determined goal. We also proactively approach participants ourselves to make sure that no issues have arisen that would hamper the implementation of their ideas. Naturally, many of the raised questions are relevant for several institutions which leads into many forms of experience sharing among participants. Around once a month we also organise various seminars. Some of them are purely informative, such as inviting a lecturer from Tallinn Technical University to speak about the latest developments in the understanding of the environment of the Baltic Sea. Other seminars focus on teaching new methods and some seminars provide a forum for participants to share their experiences with one another. Each of the seminars has been very popular among the participants. 

In the spring time Estonia has had “Let’s Do It” clean-ups where schools have actively participated. The Let’s Do It movement has had great success in organising clean-up events in Estonia and has by now also found worldwide success. On September 15, 2018, World Cleanup Day, the movement intends that people in 150 countries will stand up against the global trash problem and clean up waste, making it the biggest positive civic action the world has seen. You can read more about it 


An inspiring story by Eesti Looduskaitse Selts

I never cease to be amazed by the insight and creativity of our participants. For example the following idea is a very simple solution but can have a very high impact. Estonian kindergartens and schools provide hot meals to all their pupils in the belief that a balanced and healthy meal will allow pupils to learn and develop to the best of their ability. Because the children are used to this and they can be picky, a lot of it is left on the plate and goes to waste. They do not think about it and if this habit persists then they may also end up throwing away a lot of food once they have grown up.

Tuule kindergarten found a very simple solution to counteract this: they asked all 5-7year old children to serve their own meals – reminding them to take exactly as much as they wish to eat. They can always take more, but they have to eat the food they have put on their plates. Through this hands-on experience, children immediately relate to the seemingly complex issue of food and resource management. Furthermore, the solution empowers children and helps them develop as individuals. Some schools already use a buffet type serving method, but it's important to teach children about the environmental impact of their actions at the youngest possible age.

National Operator Interviews: Sally Buqa'een


The Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS), Jordan


City where the organisation is based:  Amman

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 8/2


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Cats
  • Sea or mountains? Sea
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Film
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: LOVE
  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

"You raise me up" Josh Groban

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

Messy moments - when you are working on a computer and a laptop and working on two tasks at the same time! I was preparing a proposal on one and was replying to emails on the other.  Suddenly the computer keyboard stopped. I tried to fix it, put the USB wire in and out but I kept failing. I called my colleague to help with the problem and she simply asked me to look where I am typing!


A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

The programme inspired some schools to establish a project at a local level that later became a success story, and was published in the media. It also helped a lot in better communications between the students, the local community, school levels and the Ministry of Education. I hope someday the programme is adopted as part of the national education strategy and policies, as there is a need to spread environment ethics and best practices among future generations to sustain the effort already being made to save the planet.  


Activities by the Royal Marine Conservation Society (JREDS)

The main activities are:

  1. Teacher training and meetings
  2. School Committee training
  3. Creation and facilitation of the network between schools
  4. Advising schools on how to run and develop activities and connect them with other relevant organisations if necessary


An inspiring story by the Royal Marine Conservation Society (JREDS)

  • Kings' Academy Annual Green Conference

The King’s Academy Annual Green Conference is a great opportunity to gather more than 200 students from private and public schools across Jordan. During a one-day event in March 2017, they exchanged experiences in the field of environment and best practices to reduce human impact on limited natural resources.

Last year, different schools participated in the conference, under the theme Agents of Change. Offsetting carbon dioxide emissions and minimising littering were the main topics raised and discussed in groups, highlighting the achievements and future plans to sustain the action and disseminate it at the local level. At the end of the day, all participating students were asked to join the conference to display the achievements gained and share the experience.

The conference is considered a key element to enrich networking between schools by meeting up and covers different environmental themes.

  • Local Waste Separation point

Queen Rania Al-Abdulla School is one of the first public schools that received the Eco-Schools Green Flag in 2009. With its principal and enthusiastic committee leading the school succeeded in 2015 in establishing the first local waste separation point on the school grounds. The idea was spread through publications and media to raise awareness among the students' parents and neighbouring community. Moreover, the idea was enhanced by meeting with cleaning labour in the area in order to introduce the project and encourage them to spread the word and participate in the separation process.

  • Prince Hamzeh bin Al-Hussein School

Prince Hamzeh bin Al-Hussein School joined the Eco-Schools programme in 2011/2012, aiming at improving the school environment and involving students in environmental protection activities. The school has put enormous efforts into spreading the knowledge among students, teachers and the local community as a first step towards greening the school.

In 2014, the school succeeded in receiving a fund from the Ford Company to replace all florescent bulbs with LED.  This achievement was followed by intensive lectures and awareness raising campaigns conducted by the Environmental Committee to inform all about the importance of the school’s commitment to the Eco-Schools goals and plans. 

National Operator Interviews: Davida Morris


Greenrock, Bermuda

  • City where the organisation is based: Hamilton
  • Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 2/1

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Cats
  • Sea or mountains? I live on an island – Sea!
  • Chocolate or chips? Chips
  • Film or book? Both
  • City or countryside? City girl but both have their merits
  • Favourite word or phrase:

'Awesome!', 'Fabulous!' Or some other one word phrase that shows pleasure. 

  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Grenade by Bruno Mars

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I was hosting a meeting at work for YRE and I was greeting the people who were coming in at the entry. (Our office is on the second floor.) I hadn’t met everyone who was coming to the meeting in person before, we had only interacted through email. So I’m standing by the door waiting and this older gentleman comes in and speaks to me. I said “Good afternoon, Mr Zuill?” and he responds with a good afternoon of his own. We chat about the weather (it was coming down in buckets) and then as we start to walk towards the elevator I say that we are still waiting for Jeremy but I will take him upstairs anyway. To which he responds that there wasn’t to be anyone else at the meeting. I ask if he was here for the Greenrock meeting, he says no, he’s heading to the Centre of Philanthropy which is on the ground floor. I say you’re not Mr Zuill. He says no and gives his name. I explained that I had greeted him as Zuill but he says that he heard me wrong. 

Funny thing is I had met the same gentleman before about 8-9 years previously. I think we both forgot about each other. Oops!


A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

I’m new to the position, having only started September 1, 2016 so every target reached is a high point for me. 

I love the Eco-Schools programme; it’s flexibility makes it accessible to so many students. I was approached by a school on an island to help teach a science course using Eco-Schools as a foundation. The students in this course were not performing at the same level as their peers due to learning disorders such as dyslexia. By having the students create a school garden they are able to be more hands-on while learning about plants, farming, water systems and food production in general. 

I am really excited about this course because I feel it could open up possibilities for a lot more students. I’ve already had feedback from teachers saying that some students in this present group are completely different now in the classroom because they have had this opportunity. It is very encouraging and I’m hoping to grow it.

Activities by Greenrock

Since I’m still new there’s a lot I haven’t done as yet and there are a lot of things I’d like to do in the future which is exciting and fun. For Earth week I am planning an Eco-Schools Expo in the city of Hamilton. This is an opportunity for all Eco-Schools to showcase what they have been learning not only with other Eco-Schools but with the local community as well. It fulfils step 6 for everyone but it will be such a cool event for the students and the public as well. 

An inspiring story by Greenrock

I would say that one of my happiest moments came when one of our Eco-Schools agreed to start a garden at a day facility for adults with learning disabilities. The students dug right into the garden building and even agreed to return to the facility in the near future because they enjoyed the process so much. I was really proud to be a part of such a worthwhile initiative and to be a part of connecting students to a group of people that they might not ordinarily be in contact with.

National Operator Interviews: Gregor Cerar


Društvo DOVES-FEE Slovenia, Slovenia

  • City where the organisation is based: Portoroz
  • Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 12/3


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Sea
  • Chocolate or chips? Fairtrade Chocolate
  • Film or book? Film
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase:

'Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose - Per aspera ad astra'

  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Queen: We are the Champions

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

No real funny thing happened to me recently. My life is so serious … :)


A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

Some high points:

  • A great team of people that might differ in character, in the way they work, and in their personal lives, but all of them are focused and dedicated to helping the Eco-Schools programme grow
  • 20 years of introducing and implementing the Eco-Schools programme in Slovenia, which we celebrated last year
  • The active participation of 280 Eco-Schools with more than 80,000 children and students and over 8,000 teachers taking part in more than 4,000 environmental projects
  • The network of sponsors, which has been supporting the Eco-Schools programme for several years in a row
  • Facing the on-going challenge to develop Eco-Schools on a different level, to connect institutions from all educational levels (kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, faculties), to create interesting environmental projects with different themes and teams, to run interdisciplinary projects, to encourage schools for international cooperation, etc.

Vision: That teachers and pupils are proud to be awarded the Green Flag. Eco-Schools is a leading, globally recognised and well-established programme for environmental education and awareness in Slovenia. The Eco-Schools Green Flag is an added value and visibility/recognition among stakeholders. 


Activities by Društvo DOVES-FEE Slovenia

In Slovenia, we organise two major events for Eco-Schools coordinators each year: the Annual Conference for National Eco-Schools Coordinators for Kindergartens (usually in May), and the Annual National Conference for Eco-Schools Coordinators (usually at end of September). In previous years, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Agriculture and other government officials, have attended the conferences.

The activities of the Eco-Schools programme are showcased at the Altermed Fair, the biggest fair in Slovenia on Healthy Living. Over 80 Eco-Schools present their projects, products and other activities. 

We also organise regional meetings for coordinators and several teachers’ training/workshops with the purpose of strengthening their knowledge on specific environmental topics, or to motivate them to implement the principles of the Eco-Schools programme in their everyday work. We prepare and publish various materials for teachers, as well as for children. 

With the valuable support of sponsors and other experts, we plan and implement national projects, such as online Eco-Quizzes for primary schools and secondary schools, waste material art contests, etc. We encourage separate waste collection in Eco-Schools, sustainable mobility, biodiversity, efficient use of energy, cleaning activities, waste material collection for charity purposes, planting trees, etc. We are proud that actually, each participating school works on three common projects and, above all, that individual work on environmental issues are recognised as the most important in their communities.

In the last two years, we have organised many events to share best practices and published an annual booklet with selected case studies. Sharing best practices is very well accepted among teachers.



An inspiring story by Društvo DOVES-FEE Slovenia

Zadobrova Primary School (located in the suburbs of Ljubljana, the capital) is one of the most active Eco-Schools in Slovenia. They implement more than 60 different environmental projects yearly. We were proud and happy that the school won the international Toyota Environment and Innovation project in 2014.

Currently, they are very active in the We Eat Responsibly project, supported and co-financed by the EU, run in 9 Eco-Schools countries from 2015-2017. Under this project, the pupils investigate the meat production and check the offers for fruit and vegetables from local farms. Pupils engage with the farmers during their farm work, help them pick and sort potatoes and apples, learn how to grow vegetables and fruit, take care of domestic animals and prepare traditional dishes from homegrown vegetables.

In terms of practical knowledge and experiences gained from their direct cooperation with farmers, students started to grow seedlings for the school garden in their classrooms. They made their own Diary of Waste Food, in which they presented measurements of amount of food waste at school and at home. They presented analyses, photos and thoughts on food waste all year round in their Eco-corner in the school hall.

The school organised an Eco-day: 2016 focused on the problems of soya production as food for livestock and palm oil presence in our food. The problems were presented through photos and posters. The pupils made vegan snacks, vegetable desserts, canapes, and decorations. All their creations were offered to the visitors of Eco-day.  The event also had a charitable purpose; the pupils collected donations that were sent to the children in Madagascar. The pupils shared their experiences and knowledge with the citizens of Ljubljana and participated at the event that was part of the project called Ljubljana - Green Capital 2016.


National Operator Interviews: Ruth Van Ry


Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Northern Ireland


  • City where the organisation is based: Belfast
  • Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 12/2


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Mountains
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Book
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: ‘It’ll be great!!’
  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Queen “Don’t stop me now”

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

My dog is still quite young. We rescued her in September and it’s been great to watch her confidence grow. She makes me laugh everyday with her crazy antics. 


A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

Meeting so many inspiring teachers, young people and environmental enthusiasts makes every day a high point. We held a great 20th Anniversary Event in 2015 and the NOM in the same year! A bit crazy but very rewarding. I look forward to watching the programme help schools and influence young people to create a brighter, greener future for all. I would love to see every school in Northern Ireland with a Green Flag!  


Activities by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

We run cluster group meetings, projects and competitions throughout the year as well as developing new teaching resources. In the last few years we have been lucky to receive funding to host a few big events. This year we have funding to provide a Teacher Eco Leadership course with Queen’s University Belfast and a Teacher’s Conference which we are really looking forward to in March.  


An inspiring story by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

It is so difficult to choose only one case story so I will cheekily mention two schools.

Fairview Primary worked on a Rethink Waste project with us in 2013 and now send none of their waste to landfill after carefully reviewing their recycling options. They audit their waste every year and are trying to reduce and recycle as much as possible in all areas.

Ballycraigy Primary have blazed a trail in outdoor learning and raised huge amounts of money over the last four to five years to develop their school grounds into a wonderful space for growing food, keeping hens, exploring wildlife woodlands, keeping fit and inviting wildlife to take up residence. They have in the process transformed the way the school is viewed and used by the community who now regularly help in the garden and classroom. The school has become a real community hub.

These two schools have won many awards and accolades over the years including becoming Ambassador Eco-Schools. I was delighted to discover this year that the two Eco-Coordinators from each school are now working together, with the support of the Primary Science Teaching Trust, to develop a resource specifically looking at how the Eco-Schools programme supports primary science and vice-versa. Teachers and schools like these two truly inspire me to deliver and develop the Eco-Schools programme in the best way possible to facilitate similar successes for other schools. 

National Operator Interviews: Elisa Pallangyo


Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, Tanzania


  • City where the organisation is based: Dar es Salaam
  • Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 151/3


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Both
  • Chocolate or chips? Chips
  • Film or book? Both
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: Conservation for the future
  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Water flows from Morogoro mountains

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I was in a vehicle when I saw two people fighting for empty plastic bottles. Some years back, empty plastic bottles were a problem because there was no recycling. The guys were fighting for the bottles because nowadays you sell them and get money. It's business.


A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

The high point of the programme is that schools, communities, and the government have been inspired in implementing the Eco-Schools programme at all levels, and aim at achieving sustainable development. The dream/hopes/vision of the programme is to see school children becoming young leaders in promoting environmental awareness, becoming environment and society change agents, and the schools becoming advocates for a better world. 


Activities by the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group

Activities include:

  • Teacher training: Teacher training is organised where most programme schools are represented. In total the programme is run at 20 primary schools in the Mvomero district
  • Eco-Schools Committee training: The Eco-Schools programme has only just recently started in Tanzania. After establishing the Eco-Schools committee, training sessions were organised to ensure that the committees were conversant with the programme. 20 Eco-Schools Committees have been established
  • Facilitating and supporting of micro-projects: About 17 schools are now running micro-projects at their schools
  • Awareness raising on recycling: Due to the huge amount of waste collected, we identified a need for raising awareness pertaining to the recycling process of waste.


An inspiring story by the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group

Lusanga Primary School: Lusanga Primary School joined the Eco-Schools programme in June 2015. The school commenced the programme by establishing an Eco-Schools Committee, developing an Environmental Review, and identifying challenges including the inadequate number of teachers, soil erosion, waste management, deforestation and scarcity of water, poor sanitation, etc. The school prepared the Action Plan and started addressing the challenges; Monitoring and Evaluation was implemented, and the school slowly started alleviating these challenges. They also improved the curriculum by using a learner-centred approach. Lusanga School is now a different school compared to those that do not participate in the programme.

The neighbouring schools and communities were inspired by what was happening at Lusanga School and now go to Lusanga for study visits to try and replicate activities at their schools and communities. Within a very short time, Lusanga is now an Eco-Schools model.

Eco-Schools launching event in Ukraine

NGO Ecological Initiative in Ukraine started their preparations to launch Eco-schools as the third FEE programme in Ukraine at the end of 2013. However, due to the challenging political situation in Ukraine the implementation was postponed.

NGO Ecological initiative and FEE are now proud to announce that the first school was awarded with the Certificate of the Participation on 12 October, 2016. This is a private educational centre"Rozumka" (translated as "smart kind"), located in Kozin community close to Kiev. Teachers, students and parents have strong commitments to implement the programme and hope to receive Green flag in September next year.    

via Eco-Schools Ukraine

Eco-Schools Celebration in Jordan

Eco-Schools Green Flags were raised in 23 schools dacross Amman and Aqaba, under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Basma bint Ali, Chair Person for the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS) and in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Environment.

Plaques and certificates were distributed to the awarded schools and teachers in return to their enormous efforts applying the the methodology of the Eco-Schools programme.

These achievements were hosted by Green Key hotels represented by the Sheraton Al-Nabil Hotel in Amman and Mövenpick Resort & Residences Aqaba, as part of their responsibility efforts towards the community, and to strengthen the integration and mainstreaming between the Foundation for Environmental Education programmes.

Meeting with Princess Basma bint Ali

On the 6 October 2016 a meeting was held with the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Basma bint Ali, and 60 schools from Aqaba city. The meeting was coordinated in full partnership and cooperation with the Aqaba Directorate of Education of the Ministry of Education.

This meeting aimed to stress on the importance of sustainable education in conserving the environment in Jordan, and the role of Eco-Schools in this regard. HRH Princess Basma congratulated all participating schools, with special attention to the awardee Green Flag schools, and encouraged other schools to increase their efforts to join the programme. HRH listened to the representatives from different schools and discussed ideas and initiatives to enrich schools with more environmental activities.  


National Operator Interviews: Daniels Truksans

Interview with Daniels Truksans

FEE Latvia, Latvia


  • City where organisation is based: Riga
  • Number of staff in the organisation / working on Eco-Schools: 6 / 2


What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Both
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Both
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: Don't worry be happy
  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?Bobby McFerrin, Don't worry be happy :)
  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? I organised an event for an orphanage house and we visited the Science Centre AHHAA. All day was very fun. One example of silly moments when you don't know that recording is still going:


A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

The existing data and observed practices affirm the promising potential of Eco-Scshools as a strong support for a formal educational establishments and local development. The highest point for the programme is that every school understands and appreciates it. The vision is to engage schools in efficient environmental management through reduced impacts on the environment, encouraging environmental protection in the work of municipalities, opening communication channels between the schools, municipalities and the local community which can be used to engage all these actors in environmentally responsible behaviours.


Activities by FEE Latvia

The activities of Eco-Schools are organised at the school level, community level and even national level, while also changing the behaviours of individual participants – teachers and students -  at their household level.


An inspiring story from a school in Latvia

  • Eco-Schools project “Eat responsibly” - Examples of cooperation between schools, municipalities and households

"Eat responsibly" is an international action-based project for Eco-Schools, that follows the European year of development 2015. The project informs about the global issues and the everyday decisions affecting them through the topic of food. The expected result is measurable long term changes in schools and surrounding communities.

In 2015/2016 there were 20 schools in the project in Latvia, that implemented the methodology based on the seven steps of the Eco-Schools programme – they formed an Eco-Committee consisting of students, teachers, members of the municipality and local organisations; they made an Environmental Review to assess the food consumption habits of families and other students, made an Action Plan, had the school curriculum include the related topics, created thematic events for the school and community, ensured the evaluation of the progress and created a related Eco-Code.

  • Ropazi Municipality and local schools:

In Ropazi both Pre-School “Annele” and the High School are Eco-Schools and both were participants of “Eat responsibly” during the first year.

Ropazi demonstrates an exemplary cooperation between the schools and the Ropazi Municipality; there is a municipality level Eco-Committee that works as a mediator between the schools, the municipality and the local community developing and implementing environmental initiatives – such as the newly founded local farmers market. There is also a good cooperation with local businesses (such as retailers and farmers) and other organisations with the goal of ensuring increased consumption of locally sourced organic products in schools and households.

There has also been good results at the school level in environmentally responsible behaviour. Pre-School “Annele” had set a priority to reduce food waste and achieved an almost 50% reduction on the amount of food wasted. It was achieved by motivating the children, making changes in the presenting the food, and in cooperation with parents, the municipality and a catering company. Through this cooperation, there is also a direct buying club started, supporting the local organic farmers. The school has also replaced the drinking water bought from a mineral water company to tap water, saving money and the environmental impact.

The nearby Ropazi High School organised a student led research and followed by a discussion about the topic of global food supply chains. The event was open both to students and parents raising awareness on food and its impacts on health and the environment.

Trash Fashion Show Macedonia 2016

On June 2, 2016 at the Youth Cultural Center in Skopje, OXO held  the sixth Trash Fashion Show contest, Macedonia 2016,  where  fashion creations made with redesigned materials from waste were created by the teams from 38 secondary schools in Macedonia.

The schools represented themselves with on-stage performances lasting 60 seconds and presented their fashion creations which were made based on this year’s topic:  "Film and cartoon characters" including Tinker Bell, Cinderella, Spiderman, The Devil Wears Prada, Maleficent  and many others made from different types of waste: plastic bags, paper, wires and even old computer chair.

This year, the three-member jury including Branislava Jankovska - Fashion Lover, famous model Katarina Ivanovska and Bojan Trajkovski - frontman of the band "Eye Cue" selected the top three places.

First place was awarded to the team from high school "Josip Broz Tito" for a creation called "She-Edward" made of buttons on keyboards, nylon ropesand cables. In second place was the school DUCOR "Partenija Zografski" from Skopje with a creation called "Michael Jackson" made of plastic, cardboard, tape, insulation tapes and paper. Third place went to school "Naum Naumovski - Borce" from Krusevo who presented their creation "Queen Elizabeth" constructed from openers for cans, plastic bags, paper and wire. The prize fund was provided by Bozinovski and Euro-Ekopak Ltd who gave vouchers to the winning teams.

Trash Fashion Macedonia 2016 was organized by Civic Association OXO and is part of the program Integration of environmental education in the Macedonian educational system.

Each year the Show is organized on the 5th of June which is also World Environment Day and represents an event which is unique  in the region in that it has been organized six years in a row, causing enormous attention in both domestic and foreign media.