EWS-WWF Survey Highlights Need For Further Environmental Education

Posted on 12 December 2012  | 
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December, 2012: In a bid to uncover the depth of students’ environmental knowledge, EWS-WWF conducted a survey across schools of students aged 6 – 15. The findings show an overall improvement in the level of children’s environmental awareness after taking the online environmental education programme Be’ati Watani.

The results are encouraging compared to previous surveys by EWS-WWF and demonstrate that environmental education in schools is increasing students’ understanding of the environment. According to the survey, more than 90% of junior students (ages 6 to 9) and 96% of senior students (aged 10 – 15) were able to recognise almost all desert animals.

Ajita Nayar , Education Manager at EWS-WWF said: “The results are very encouraging, and demonstrate the impact that environmental education can have in raising awareness about environmental issues among children. There is still more to be done to make sure that every child grows up with a solid understanding of the interdependency and the connectedness that we have with our natural environment. EWS-WWF recommends for schools and parents across the UAE to encourage youngsters to learn about the planet’s natural ecosystems and the local wildlife; fuelling and nurturing their passion to protect the environment, as well as helping to instil a sense of ownership and pride in protection of UAE’s distinctive biodiversity.

“Schools are making a dramatic difference in children’s overall environmental understanding and through increased environmental education; students will be increasingly eager to take the initiative in conserving the environment and will be able to apply their learnings outside of the classroom. Environmental education in schools is extremely important given the state of our planet. Teachers and parents are in a unique position to help foster a lifetime of better environmental practice and understanding in the next generation, motivating them to become environmentally responsible citizens.”

The survey found that junior students are clued up on questions relating to pollution and global warming with a high rate of positive answers (80-90%), as well as waste management with as many as 97% of students knew the 3 Rs, ‘Reduce, Re-use, Recycle’.

In addition, 90% of junior students were aware of environment related activities happening in the UAE and a high of 92% were aware that greenhouse gases lead to global warming.

Mrs Nayar added; “The findings reflect a genuine interest in wildlife and environmental education, which is very positive and encouraging. In a bid to make learning about the environment fun, EWS-WWF launched its online environmental programme Be’ati Watani last year.

“This programme helps to lay the foundations of environmental awareness in youngsters by leading them on a journey of discovery to reach a greater understanding of the UAE environment and how to play an active role in protecting it. It is hoped that education initiatives, such as Be’ati Watani, will have an overall impact on students’ interest in looking after our planet.”

Be’ati Watani is designed to inspire children and young people to understand and be passionate about protecting the natural environment. It is created by EWS-WWF and sponsored by Dolphin Energy.

Learn more about Be’ati Watani by visiting: www.beatiwatani.com.

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