33 school classes from Central and Eastern Europe join environment education initiative



Posted on 30 September 2013  | 
Enjoying nature during European Schools for a Living Planet in 2012.
© Lukas IlgnerEnlarge
School classes from eleven countries in Central and Eastern Europe will be part of the international school environment initiative European Schools for a Living Planet of WWF and ERSTE Foundation. The kick-off event is taking place in Austria with a gathering at a one-week pupil-teacher academy south-east of Vienna. Via workshops and outdoor activities participants will receive background information on various nature and environment conservation topics. The participants now have until the end of the school year to realize individual eco-projects. A joint cross-border eco-action in all participating countries will form the highlight of the initiative.

“For the sixth year in a row the initiative links nature-loving pupils and teachers from different countries and cultures”, said Barbara Tauscher, leader of WWF Austria’s environmental education programme. “We’re eager to see which great ideas will be realized during this year’s round.”

From 27th September to 2nd of October 33 pupil-teacher-teams from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine are taking part in the one-week pupil-teacher academy in Illmitz in Austria’s Seewinkel region. Via workshops and outdoor activities WWF eco-pedagogues and various nature conservation experts will introduce the 12 to 17 year-old pupils and their class teachers to the project topics “Danube – Europe’s lifeline” and ”Ecological Footprint – Consumption’s global effects”. Project management, team building and public relations are part of the programme too.

“The main focus throughout the whole initiative is on Active Citizenship”, said Tauscher. “We want to show the students possibilities to get active, to express their opinion in public and to motivate others to take action.”

Until the end of the school year the pupils will have time to develop and implement their personal nature conservation projects. The project ideas and realisation is completely up to the pupils’ creativity. Activities may range from street theatre performances and exhibitions to newspaper series and action plans for schools. The progress of the nature conservation projects can be watched via the interactive weblog. There the school classes will keep project diaries, post pictures and videos about their projects and exchange experiences.

In June 2014 pupils and teachers will gather in Romania for a big concluding event. There they will present their nature conservation activities, share their experiences and develop ideas for a joint cross-border eco-action in the autumn of 2014.

“The initiative European Schools for a Living Planet is a very important addition to our cross-border education projects. We are very happy that the group of young people, who creatively engage with our environments’ future in an international exchange, becomes bigger every year”, said Doraja Eberle, Chairwoman of the Board of ERSTE Foundation.
Enjoying nature during European Schools for a Living Planet in 2012.
© Lukas Ilgner Enlarge

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