Singapore, 24 April 2013 – World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore today launched the Eco-Schools Programme, an international environmental education and certification programme. It will be piloted with primary and secondary schools in Singapore, before being expanded to include pre-schools and tertiary institutions. Recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a model initiative, the Eco-Schools Programme enables students to experience active citizenship and help them make environmental sustainability an integral part of school life.
“The awareness and concern for our planet must be cultivated from young. Schools, with their environment already established for learning, are fertile ground for us to spread the word on environmental sustainability. With the holistic Eco-Schools Programme, schools can now go one step further and engage their students right from the start with action-oriented learning. Making the environment a priority in the school’s agenda will go a long way in growing a generation of environmentally responsible citizens empowered to make informed choices, in support of a low carbon future,” said Elaine Tan, CEO, WWF-Singapore.
Through a simple but established seven-step process, the Eco-Schools Programme will prompt participating schools to enhance their school-based curriculum and activities for environmental education, by focusing on specific themes – climate change, nature and biodiversity, waste, schools grounds, energy and water – and involving a wide range of stakeholders, from teachers to students and even their parents, in the implementation of the programme. Schools that successfully implement the programme and continuously improve their environmental performance are then awarded the internationally-recognised Green Flag status, putting them on the global map of schools that have achieved high standards in eco-practices in their immediate environment.
The Eco-Schools Programme has also drawn the support of like-minded organisations and corporates – IKEA and The Silent Foundation will be funding the programme in Singapore.
“The IKEA vision is to create a better every day life for the many people and a better life includes living more sustainably. We share a common goal with WWF towards building a generation of consumers empowered to make informed and responsible choices for an environmentally sustainable future. Hence, IKEA has pledged to donate S$200,000 from the cost savings of eliminating disposable plastic bags in our stores, to fund this meaningful Eco-Schools Programme, with the hope of cultivating responsible citizenship in the young,” said Marcus Tay, Sustainability Manager, IKEA Singapore.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner WWF Singapore. The Eco-Schools Programme gives students a platform to take active steps to push for greater change in environmental practices not just in schools, but also in the community.” said Teng Ngiek Lian, Founder, The Silent Foundation.
The Eco-Schools Programme will be piloted with eight primary and secondary schools in Singapore this year, then expanded to the rest of the school community in 2014. Interested schools can contact WWF at firstname.lastname@example.org for futher details.
Mayor of South West District, Dr. Amy Khor said, “We are happy to take part in the pilot phase of the Eco-Schools Programme, an internationally-recognised programme with WWF-Singapore, to further promote and build capabilities for environmental initiatives among our schools and students. Emphasising student leadership and community outreach, the programme will reach out to six schools in our district, who have consistently achieved top environmental district awards – Green Schools Sustained Achievement Awards. Through the programme, we hope to help our Green Schools achieve a higher standard in environmental education and further empower our students to do their part to conserve, protect and make the South West a better place for all.”
Annex A: Factsheet on Eco-Schools
About World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore
WWF – World Wide Fund for Nature is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. wwf.sg
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