|Ecole Propre/Ecole Verte|
Ecole Propre/Ecole Verte is an environmental education programme, which was created in 1992, as a pilot project, in four primary schools in Conakry, Guinea. Today, the project has taken root in 92 schools with 20,000 students participating. Its objectives are to: encourage schools to play an active role in promoting hygiene and environmental protection; to get students to spread the environmental message in their schools, families, neighbourhoods and villages; and to encourage parents and the community to take action.
Through their ecological clubs, the students ensure that the classrooms, latrines and yard are clean, and that flowerbeds are well managed. They control the sale of food around the school, and educate the community using plays, films, debates, radio and TV programmes and competitions. They publish a bulletin which is distributed to 25,000 subscribers regionally, nationally and internationally, and the content, including articles, cartoons, word and visual games, all dealing wit h the betterment of the environment, are produced by the students.
This programme has elicited great interest from a number of organizations, including the Canadian Study and International Cooperation Centre, which manifest their support by giving financial aid. Regular awareness campaigns and practical demonstrations are also held by the students. The success of this programme is evidenced by the concrete actions, which have been undertaken by parents and students alike. Under the banner Ecole/Quartier, the project has expanded to include other districts and villages.
Hellenic Marine Environment Protection
The Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA) Junior aims to promote the voluntary participation of children, between the ages of eight and 15, in the protection of seas and beaches. HELMEPA has an education programme, which operates in 12 geographical areas of Greece. With the support of the Ministry of Education, HELMEPA implements its programme whereby students are organized into groups of 10 and are asked to execute during the year, 12 of the following activities: voluntary clean-ups of beaches, lakes, rivers or streams; recycling of cans, paper or glass in their schools; creation and dissemination of information material; presentations at schools or at parent associations; publication of a newsletter; writing letters to the local press; presentation of group activities to the media, dissemination of information material to visitors in their area; cooperation with other HELMEPA Junior groups; creation/distribution of posters; production of audio materials with environmental messages; development of comic books starring seabirds and other marine animals; production of a weekly or monthly radio show; and conducting polls among the local population. HELMEPA produces a newsletter, which reports on the progress of the groups, and provides teachers with updated information on the marine environment and its integration into the curriculum. HELMEPA set up a permanent and mobile exhibition. More than 170,000 children have visited the exhibit to which they are transported free of charge.
Leave It To Us Junior Board
The idea of holding an International Children's Conference on the Environment in Eastbourne, England in October 1995, came from the Junior Management Board of a local zoo park. This idea was supported by Eastbourne Borough and the East Sussex County Councils, which won the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and eventually secured a major sponsorship from British Airways, whose contributed included the provision of free flights for delegates around the world. Some 800 children from 90 countries attended the Conference. They presented and discussed environmental projects they developed, devised and debated "challenges" to the United Nations and national governments, and participated in study tours and workshops on environmental themes. It was accompanied by an extensive exhibition/display area open to delegates and the general public, and a week long festival organized by the Borough Council and local business for local children and visitors. During the planning of the conference a Junior Board was established to work closely with the conference sponsors and organizers. This Board comprised members from local schools, foreign nations and played a vital role in developing the Conference programme, selecting facilitators, devising workshops and study tours. They also introduced and chaired sessions, organized and presented the environmental "challenges" and attracted media interest. Today, the Conference is being considered as a regular event on the global environmental scene.
Fifteen-year-old Akima Paul, concerned about the state of the environment, began to speak out on the issues. She began by using newsletters sent out by Friends of the Earth, as a way of passing on the environmental message. She wrote bold articles about the lack of care for the beaches of her Caribbean Island, Grenada, and the excessive use of plastic and the cutting down of trees. She then became an official member of Friends of the Earth and enthusiastically participated in all their activities. She wrote articles for almost every issue of their newsletter, The Environmentalist on a myriad of issues affecting her corner of the world, including coastal and water pollution. Her strong point is that she talks and writes, with great conviction, about issues which are close to the hearts and minds of the Caribbean people, young and old alike. In addition, to heighten Grenadian awareness, she shares her views on radio, in inter-secondary school debates, through the art form of calypso and poetry. All of this she does with the philosophy "the consciousness of well-doing is ample reward".
Red Scarf Environmental Protection Action Group
Wangyue Primary School was set up in 1989. In 1991, at the suggestion of the students, the Red Scarf Environmental Protection Action Group (RSAG) was created. Once a week, the pupils leave the school grounds to observe their environment, analyze pollution problems and propose solutions to the polluters and the Government. In 1992, RSAG discovered that a lot of wastewater from a brewery was being discharged into the Xiangjiang River without being treated. This situation was reported to the local environmental protection agency, and at RAG's suggestion and under its supervision, a waste water treatment station was built. There was a time when there were 10 garbage dumps in the Wangyue residential area, which contaminated the environment. RSAG noticed this and proposed to the area committee that the rubbish be packed locally and collected. As a result, the situated was changed and dealt with appropriately. In 1996, RSAG initiated a movement to wipe out "white pollution". Under their leadership, the movement spread throughout the school, the district and city. More than 10,000 students took part and the district government prohibited the use of all plastic foam dinner sets. RSAG has also carried out activities dealing with environmental education and summer camps. They have written essays on the environment, which have won awards at the provincial and city level. In 1998, Wangyue was chosen as an environmental education model by the Environment Protection Agency of Hunan Province.
Thirteen-year-old Kruti Parekh, one of the world's youngest female illusionists, uses magic to pass on the environmental message. She performs in schools and at public functions.
To illustrate the need to recycle, she turns herself into a paper recycling machine by eating paper and magically reproduces recycled paper. She also tells a child to put a banana peel in her bag and turns it into a bouquet of roses, to demonstrate how waste can help beautify one's environment.
She is the founder and director of Eco-Foundation, which is collaborating with Panchvati Green Movement, and has been appointed their official ambassador in Mumbai.
She succeeded in involving some 100 schools in the city to participate in the project "Rescue Mission Planet Earth". She represented India at the International Children's Conference on Environment, held in Eastbourne, England in 1995.
She is the director of Eco-Kid Club in Bal Bhavan and has created a vermiculture pit in Bal Bhavan, which transforms garden waste into manure. She uses earthworms as the vehicle for turning garbage into a reusable resource. She has put this principle into practice at her home, in a temple in Mumbai whose monthly waste is more than one ton, and she is planning to adopt a railway station where she would apply her vermiculture approach. She was interviewed about her vermiculture programme, by a Japanese television station for a documentary on children and the environment, as well as by BBC radio and TV.
Water Partnership Project Eastville Primary School & John Graham Primary School
The Water Partnership Project began in 1997 when Eastville and John Graham Primary schools in South Africa embarked on the "2020 Vision for Water Schools Project". Via this project, initiated by the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, schools around the country are ensuring that water resources are protected. The focus is for students to carry out water audits in their schools and homes, as well as of local rivers and lakes. In 1998, the project was implemented in 3,000 schools nationwide, and these two schools embarked on a unique partnership where they learn from each other and which now serves as a role model for other schools. Eastville, located in a poor Cape Town suburb with high unemployment, began with a community garden and a water quality audit. The school's garden involves 200 jobless persons and provides 200 families with vegetables. The garden is also used to produce cut-flowers, which are sold to buy educational materials and to finance the school's water bills. They succeeded in including agriculture in the school's curriculum and inspired similar projects in more than 20 schools and by several NGOs. John Graham School, located in a middle class suburb, helped water saving initiatives become part of their curriculum and based on their project, a national school water policy has been developed which will be the basis for water saving activities in schools participating in the 2020 project. The schools are exploring projects dealing with energy, waste and water quality in rivers.
The Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers (ATCV), founded in 1982, is a national, not-for-profit community organization, whose mission is to attract and manage a force of volunteers in practical conservation projects for the betterment of the Australian environment.
ATCV completes more than 4000 week-long conservation projects in urban, regional and remote areas of Australia each year. Activities range from bush regeneration, tree planting, seed collection, endangered species protection, weed control, flora and fauna surveys, walking trail construction, fencing, environmental monitoring and the protection of world heritage areas.
ATCV community participation has resulted in more than 1.8 million trees being planted in 1999, and in more than 7.3 million trees planted over the past 10 years. Community involvement totalled 200,000 project days in 1999 and more than 700,000 days since 1989.
To encourage the involvement of young people, ATCV developed and manages the federal government-funded programme Green Corps. Green Corps is a six-month traineeship for 17 to 20 year-olds, which incorporates conservation projects and accredited training. Since 1997, more than 4,000 trainees have completed the Green Corps programme.
ATCV is a founding member of the International Conservation Alliance, which brings together organizations working in conservation volunteering, and is a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
"We bet that we can achieve the Government's climate protection target at our schools within seven months, instead of the seven-year period the Government has set for itself". This was the bet put to the Federal Minister of Environment in Germany by the members of BUNDjugend, the youth branch of the Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation. A bet the Minister accepted with pleasure.
Between May and November 1999, the pupils aimed to save 10 million kg of carbon dioxide, i.e. 10% of the total emissions of their schools. They planned to reach their goal by turning down the heating, airing buildings for short intervals rather than continuously, using energy-saving light bulbs and reducing water consumption.
Some schools went further by developing activities in the transport sector and in waste separation and avoidance. Some pupils even installed solar panels, laid out school gardens and covered school buildings with greenery. Younger pupils encouraged their families and friends to get involved in climate protection. The older pupils focused on technical approaches.
The Federal Environmental Agency acted as judge and reviewed the results from 20 schools selected at random. Using these results to project those from the 192 participating schools, it determined that the challenger, BUNDjugend, and the 135,000 pupils involved had indeed won the bet. As a result, the German Government, as promised, invited the winner to a big party in Bonn on 17 September 1999. The BUNDjugend initiative can act as a model for future activities involving environmental awareness and education in schools.
Globetree's achievements include: curriculum development in Bolivia; ecological parks in Brazil; a university technology center in Indonesia; environmental education and technology in Kenya; GlobetreeNet (a network of children's advocates); GlobetreeTheatre; and GlobeEye (sound, picture and film archive).
When Globetree hosted a meeting of 600 children in Stockholm in 1986 to discuss environmental concerns, water was found to be their common bond. In the ensuing years, Globetree hosted the 'Sharing Water Ceremony' in Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Kenya, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, Norway and the Netherlands, and at the 1992 World Summit on Children at the UN in New York. These ceremonies culminated in Globetree's sponsorship of 5,000 young people from 70 countries in the Globe Arena in Stockholm on UN day - 24 October 1998. Their mission was to incorporate Agenda 21 into a group vision of a safe and healed earth, which they called Future Vessel.
For the first time in the history of global environmental activity, 200 computers linked the gathered participants with students from around the world. To symbolize their unity, the participants co-mingled water from their countries in a crystal bowl. Since then, 30 more countries have contributed water to this bowl.
Sadly, founder van Bronkhorst died three months before his Future Vessel vision was realized.