Eco-Schools UAE continues to inspire a new generation of eco-leaders
Students that already gained the programme’s prestigious award of a Green Flag in the previous academic year, shared their knowledge and ideas of environmental actions through short demonstrations at the workshop, focused on applying practical steps to lower their electricity usage, water consumption and waste generation.
Lisa Perry, Programmes Director at EWS-WWF commented: “At this workshop, we saw students offering ideas and words of inspiration to other schools about to embark on their own sustainability journeys. It was a unique opportunity to engage and motivate schools joining the programme to understand how they could implement their ideas into reality, using their own creativity.
“Eco-Schools UAE aims to empower students to act on their ideas for the benefit of the environment, and help bring their ideas into reality by encouraging whole school action. It is really important for schools to adopt sustainable lifestyles and help to lower their environmental impact.”
Attendees also listened to motivational speeches from Dina Faid, Peter Milne and teacher Ahmed Al Za’abi on the importance of environmental awareness, applying environmental practices at home and nurturing creativity in schools.
Eco-Schools encourages teachers, parents and members of the local community to unite with students to lead the change towards a more sustainable world. Schools work to curb their carbon emissions by using the programme’s seven-step methodology listed below, which they also need to successfully complete to achieve and be awarded with the prestigious Green Flag.
Step 1 – Eco-Schools Committee
Step 2 – Environmental review
Step 3 – Action plan
Step 4 – Monitoring and evaluation
Step 5 – Curriculum linking
Step 6 – Involving the wider community
Step 7 – Eco-Code (creation of a school’s mission statement or motto on sustainability)
Eco-Schools is a programme of Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and in the UAE, Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF) are the national operators of the programme. It is recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme as a model initiative on education for sustainable development and implemented by more than 50 FEE representatives in countries worldwide.
30 new schools will join Eco-Schools UAE this year thanks to sponsorship from BASF – The Chemical Company. Their volunteers attended the workshop, giving them the opportunity to interact with teachers and students.
The 30 schools that are already implementing the programme since 2011 will continue their journeys towards sustainability thanks to sponsorship from HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. Applied Materials is sponsoring micro-projects, which is an element of the Eco-Schools UAE programme.