Eco-Schools


Eco-Schools

Eco-Schools is an international program of environmental and sustainable developmental education for schools.

Beginnings

The program was developed in 1994 in response to the need to involve young people in environmental projects at the local level as identified at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development of 1992.The Eco-Schools Programme aims to raise students’ awareness of environmental and related sustainable development issues through classroom study together with school and community action, and provides an integrated system for environmental management of schools based on an ISO 14001/EMAS approach.

Participation and awards

Any school may participate in the scheme by registering with the administering body for their region. Once registered each school must review and improve their impact on the environment and in recognition of their commitment and progress they can then apply for an award. In the UK, there are 3 levels of award.

*Bronze
*Silver
*Green Flag

In the UK applications both for the Bronze and Silver awards are self assessed by the school against a given set of criteria. The Green Flag award however is examined by external assessors.

The Eco-Schools Green Flag, awarded to schools with high achievement in their Programme, is a recognised and respected eco-label for environmental education and performance.

Process

To qualify for an award the school must follow the following program

*Register - usually done by an adult (teacher or parent).
*Action team - a group of pupils and adults - some elected by their peers are assembled to manage the process.
*Environmental Review - the Action Team must organise the school to carry out a review of the schools energy and water usage, waste production and state of the school grounds with respect to litter.
*Action Plan- formed from issues identified by the review
*Eco-code - the Action Team, with the participation of the whole school must develop a mission statement to be prominently advertised inside and outside the school.
*Take Action - demonstrable progress must be made 3 areas of the program.
*Monitor and Review - the Action team must record and analyse the progress made

After these processes are complete the school can apply for one of the awards mentioned above dependent on the level of environmental progress made.

Representation in the United States

As of 2007, Eco-Schools does not include representation within the United States, although 46 other countries are represented (including, within the United Kingdom, England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland) in Europe, Africa, South America, Oceania, and Asia.

According to Eco-Schools, they are open to a US organization becoming an FEE member organization and, in turn, to take charge of implementing the Eco-Schools Program and other FEE programs in the US. FEE member organizations are in charge of implementing their programs in the country in question, so FEE membership is necessarily a precondition before it is possible to start the implementation of any FEE program in each country.

Organizations in the US that might want to become affiliated with Eco-Schools can refer to the FEE website for information about requirements for joining FEE.

Links

Eco-Schools is a program of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) ( [www.fee-international.org] }, who are best known for the Blue Flag beach program. FEE is an international umbrella organisation with members in 43 countries covering Europe, North and South America, Africa and Oceania.

In England and Northern Ireland, the programme is administered by ENCAMS who run other environmental campaigns such as Keep Britain Tidy. In Scotland, the programme is run by Keep Scotland Beautiful ( [http://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org] http://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org) and in Wales by Keep Wales Tidy ( [http://www.keepwalestidy.org] http://www.keepwalestidy.org).

See Environmental groups and resources serving K–12 schools for information about other groups that are similar to Eco-Schools.

External links

* [http://www.eco-schools.org] Main international Eco-Schools website
* [http://www.eco-schools.org.uk] Uk Eco-Schools homepage
* [http://www.ecoschoolsscotland.org.uk] Scottish Eco-Schools homepage


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