THE ISSUEIt’s no secret that our planet’s resources are stressed, and that human activities are the main cause behind that. Hence, to safeguard the future of our planet, youngsters of today must be sensitized on the importance of conserving our planet’s resources and ensuring that our lifestyles are sustainable – and the Eco-Schools UAE programme aims to do just that.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Eco-Schools ProgrammeThe Eco-Schools Programme is an international initiative on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) designed by FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) to encourage whole-school action to protect our environment.
The Seven Components of the Eco-Schools programme provides the framework for a school to embark on its journey towards sustainability. This includes :
An environmental management tool
- How to carry out an environmental review to help understand the current environmental status of the school
- Creating an Action Plan to prioritise and tackle key environmental issues identified in the school based on the environmental review
- Drafting an “Eco-Code”; an environmental mission statement for the school
A learning resourceThe Eco-Schools programme also motivates students to understand how our environment affects every aspect of our lives, and helps integrate environmental education into the curriculum of different subjects; such as math, natural sciences, language, arts and social sciences.
The programme also aims to enhance students’ communication, organisation and team skills by allowing them to work in eco-committees comprising different groups of people such as teachers, school administrators, and parents; where they can make long-term plans for the school’s sustainable future.
Schools that have been awarded the internationally acclaimed and prestigious “Green Flag” have successfully demonstrated their hard work and leadership in their school’s journey towards a sustainable future by fulfilling the Seven Steps of the Eco-Schools programme. Currently, there are 12 Green Flag schools in the UAE, and over 50 schools implementing the Eco-Schools programme.
A recognised award scheme
Before applying for the Green Flag, schools can also apply for a “Bronze” or “Silver” Award depending on how far they are in their Seven Steps, as a means of encouragement and recognition of their efforts towards achieving the Green Flag.
The Eco-Schools micro-projects provides schools with seed-funding to carry out small projects that would enable them to take the first steps towards sustainability. Students are encouraged to design simple but innovate projects that would eventually support their Eco-Schools goals. Seed funding is provided by Applied Materials in order to motivate schools to come up with creative, simple and powerful ways to create more sustainable operations on the school grounds. Some of the projects undertaken include harnessing AC water to water plants in the school grounds, adding solar panels to support their energy requirements, or re-positioning light bulbs in classrooms in order to reduce energy consumption and still ensure that rooms are lit up adequately.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
As a schoolInterested in joining the Eco-Schools programme? Contact our Education Officer or visit the Eco-Schools UAE website.
As a sponsorBy investing in environmental education, you are investing in a greener future. Contact our Business Development team to learn how you can contribute to this project.
WWF United Arab Emirates Project Office,
+971 4 354 9776 ext 216