At CAS Trips, we believe that school and sustainability are two words that belong together in the same sentence. That is why we are so excited to share Eco-Schools’ mission with our readers. Eco-Schools is the largest global sustainable schools program, and from day one, they have been motivated by the belief that sustainability starts in the classroom. Their programs are engineered to provide a safe and supportive environment to cultivate sustainable literacy and then help young people expand what they have learned to the community—by engaging the next generation in action-based learning.
For over 25 years, the Eco-Schools program has provided students with a platform to take positive actions that transform their lives. From its modest beginnings in a few European countries, the program has expanded to affect change in some 59,000 schools in 68 countries across the globe. Recognized by UNESCO and UN Environment as a world-leader within the fields of Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the Eco-Schools program is a humanistic model that places students at the center of a process of change towards sustainability, connecting them to the real issues in their communities.
The UN SDGs
“We are engaging with education for the SDGs, and we are working on resources with Eco-Schools teachers to enable young people around the world to take positive actions.”-Senior Director of Education Pramod Kumar Sharma
Another reason we love Eco-Schools is that they are committed to realizing the UN SDGs. These 17 goals that were initiated in 2015 are targeting the most pressing issues in the world and aiming to alleviate poverty, hunger, and inequality as well as environmental degradation. Providing quality education is a fundamental step towards sustainable development to raise awareness and allow everyone to learn regardless of gender, origin, and income.
Eco-Schools programming supports this agenda and approaches sustainable development holistically. You can learn more about how they are supporting the principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals here.
Program for International Schools
Interested in becoming part of this powerful initiative? As an International School, by registering with Eco-Schools, you can participate in the following three programs:
- The Eco-Schools program is designed to suit all schools, whether they are a nursery, primary school, secondary school, further education college, university, or a school with special status. www.ecoschools.global
- Learning about Forests (LEAF) advocates outdoor learning and hands-on experiences, which result in the pupils getting a deeper and more involved understanding of the natural world. While the focus of the LEAF program is on tree-based ecosystems, the skills and knowledge acquired can be applied to any natural environment. www.leaf.global
- Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) gives young people a platform to research environmental issues and promote solutions. The program empowers young people to take an educated stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and gives them a platform to articulate these issues through the media of writing, photography, or video. www.yre.global
Who can join?
If you would like to get involved, you can register with the Education for Sustainable Development programs directly with the FEE Head Office if your school has:
- A multinational and multilingual student body
- An international curriculum
- International accreditation (e.g., CIS, IBO, North Eastern ASC, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, etc.)
- A transient and multinational teacher population
- Bi-lingual language of instruction
- It is situated in a country without a National Operator (See list)
If you comply with both criteria, you can register here.
Support the next generation of sustainability warriors
It is our sincere belief that through participation in initiatives like Eco-Schools, young people experience a sense of achievement at being able to have a say in the environmental management policies of their schools and are ultimately encouraged to embark on a meaningful path towards improving the environment. This commitment then plays out in both the school and the local community, creating the conditions necessary for a life-long positive impact on young people, their families, school staff, and local authorities.
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski via Unsplash