Promoting healthy ecosystems to build resilience to climate change

Projects

2.1 Education - Integrating climate change into the EcoSchools programme

The International EcoSchools Programme, an initiative of the Foundation for Environmental Education started in 1994, was launched in South Africa in 2003. EcoSchools gives recognition to schools that can show how they have improved the quality of environmental learning and sustainable management in their schools and communities. About 9 000 schools have earned green Eco-School flags in 50 countries around the world. Over 30 000 schools are registered with the programme, globally with approximately 9 million students and 628 000 teachers involved! Currently, there are around 1,200 registered EcoSchools in South Africa and this is growing fast. The EcoSchools themes followed in South Africa are Local and Global Issues, Nature and Biodiversity, Community and Heritage, Resource Use, and Healthy Living. Each of these integrates easily into the South African national curriculum. The EcoSchools Programme in South Africa is implemented by WESSA and supported by WWF-SA.

Now into its 8th year, many of the participating schools have started to tackle issues around climate change. Schools that received their 5th consecutive flag (international flag) in 2007 were required to place a special focus on climate change for 2008. This theme was continued in 2009, and in 2010 the theme was biodiversity and climate change. Through CAP, the DG Murray Trust supports EcoSchools with meeting the requirements for the new climate change curriculum and has supported the appointment of a national climate change coordinator to fulfill this objective. The launch of the CAP- EcoSchools Partnership took place at Paradise Valley in Pinetown on 21 August 2008 and was attended by 40 learners and their teachers, representing 8 schools.

The initial group of participating schools consisted of 20 schools that had been in the EcoSchools programme for at least three years and had expressed a genuine interest in being part of the climate change learning group. These schools had to demonstrate a proven commitment to learning about the environment and implementing environmental programmes in their schools. Today, EcoSchools has expanded the reach of the climate change curriculum to eleven nodes across the country, 6 of which are financially supported through the Climate Action Partnership. In addition to these schools, almost all EcoSchools explore the energy theme, which inevitably looks at climate change issues and ways to reduce resource use.

EcoSchools has developed a number of resources for educating the youth around climate change and biodiversity issues. These include a climate change picture building game, climate change lesson plans for every grade, a series of climate change and biodiversity cartoons with activity pages, and the development of several information booklets including the carbon footprint pilot booklet and the Handprint booklet series. Many of these resources are available for order through ShareNet.





For more information, contact
Bridget Ringdahl
National EcoSchools Coordinator
(033) 330 3931
ecoschools@wessa.co.za.



Click the image to enlarge: MMEAP Getting ready to perform Modjadji
MMEAP Getting ready to perform Modjadji
Click the image to enlarge: Teacher educating children about CO2 emissions and green house gases
Teacher educating children about CO2 emissions and green house gases
Click the image to enlarge: Eco-Schools National Coordination team (From left to right: Bridget Ringdahl, Caroline Peterson and Thobile Nzimande)
Eco-Schools National Coordination team (From left to right: Bridget Ringdahl, Caroline Peterson and Thobile Nzimande)
Click the image to enlarge: Eco-Schools flag award ceremony
Eco-Schools flag award ceremony
Click the image to enlarge: A teacher demonstrates how a composter is used for a vegetable garden in a CAP -Eco-School in Mphophomeni, in the Midlands Meander (KwaZulu Natal)
A teacher demonstrates how a composter is used for a vegetable garden in a CAP -Eco-School in Mphophomeni, in the Midlands Meander (KwaZulu Natal)
Click the image to enlarge: Parabolic solar cooker at WESSA headoffices in Howick
Parabolic solar cooker at WESSA headoffices in Howick
Click the image to enlarge: Eco-Schools Learners
Eco-Schools Learners
Click the image to enlarge: Indigenous biodiversity gardens
Indigenous biodiversity gardens
Click the image to enlarge: Carbon footprinting exercise
Carbon footprinting exercise
Click the image to enlarge: Photographer: Louine Boothway
Photographer: Louine Boothway
Click the image to enlarge: MMEAP 'Secret' tree planting at Hawkstone
MMEAP 'Secret' tree planting at Hawkstone
Click the image to enlarge: Messages to Mother Earth
Messages to Mother Earth
Click the image to enlarge: Poster competition - global warming
Poster competition - global warming
Click the image to enlarge:
Posted: 4/13/2011 (2:31:50 PM)

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