The Palestine Wildlife Society /PWLS (Palestine partner of Birdlife International) has worked to implement Learning for Sustainable Living projects that target the formal education system in Palestine in cooperation with the Developing Curricula Centre/ Ministry of Education-PNA and the Environmental Quality Authority since 1997. The project will involves the production of teachers’ guides and other support materials that enable teachers to develop young people’s knowledge and understanding of the interdependence between people and environment from class 7 to 10 in the Environmental Education Curricula and concepts. This will initially be a one-year project and will incorporate the development of a training programme for teachers. The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development will commence in 2005 and this project will be the first major initiative in support of this across the Palestinian Society.
There are some key differences between Learning for Sustainable Living and other environmental education programmes. These include:
The Palestine region with important natural resources. Like most areas of the World, it needs to achieve a balance between a growing population and the increasing demand on its natural resources such as water and vegetation. This depletion of natural resources has also been a factor in the increase of poverty. Only through educating young people, decision-makers and communities can progress be made in implementing environmentally sensitive development that improves environmental management and reduces poverty. This project will target teachers and young people to commence a whole scale education process of young people and decision-makers. It will do this by producing teaching materials including the Nature Magazine and a teacher-training programme linked to sustainable development. Innovative investigations will enable students to understand the conflicting demands on environmental services, to analyse problems and human interaction with the environment. The activities will develop the students’ ability to identify potential solutions to local issues and action required to solve them.
The project will help to transform the implementation of sustainable development education across Palestinian districts. The project will also have a significant influence educating current decision-makers about the potential solutions for environmental and development issues that are prevalent in Palestine. Staff of PWLS working with the education sector and communities will also be targeted to ensure widespread and effective implementation. The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development on 2005 and this project will be an important contribution to this in Palestine.
The Educational Programme/ Eco-Schools Programme aims to raise students’ awareness of environmental and sustainable development issues through classroom study, and provides an integrated system for environmental management of schools based on an ISO14001/EMAS approach, with water, waste and energy as priority areas in initial years. In some national programmers, schools have gone on to consider the issues of transport, noise, nature and biodiversity, agriculture, healthy living and school grounds.
As a process of facilitating sustainable development at a local level, pupils are encouraged to take an active role in practical steps to reduce the environmental impact of the school. Eco-Schools thus extend learning beyond the classroom and develop responsible attitudes and commitment both at home and in the wider community. The Eco-Schools Green Flag, awarded to schools with high achievement in their Programme, is a recognized and respected eco-label for environmental education and performance.
Goal and Purpose:
To change the attitudes and behaviours concerning the conservation of the environment for students between the ages of 12-16, who will be the environmental leaders and example for others in the future?
Based on the purpose and goal, the following objectives were generated: