Green Flag honours student empowermentNovember 14, 2023
On 13th November 2023 forty-three schools have received recognition for introducing sustainable practices in their school communities. In a ceremony presided over by the President of Malta, H.E. Dr George Vella, student representatives have received the internationally acclaimed Eco-Schools Green flag eco label.
St Martin’s College and St Thomas More College, Marsaxlokk Primary School were awarded the prestigious international Green Flag Award for the first time. St Joseph School, Blata l-Bajda and St. Joseph Mater Boni Consilii School Paola received the 9th consecutive Green Flag marking their 18 years of commitment towards sustainability. The ceremony that was held at Westin Dragonara Resort was organised by Nature Trust – FEE Malta in collaboration with the Local Councils Association.
Two decades ago Nature Trust – FEE Malta embarked on a bold journey to empower young citizens to adopt an active role in environmental decision-making by launching the international Eco-Schools programme locally. From its humble beginnings in 2002 EkoSkola has now established itself as the key programme in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in the islands with 85% of the whole student population, on board. Schools flying the internationally acclaimed Green flag can now boast that they have received international recognition for successfully embedding Education for Sustainable Development as outlined in the National Curriculum Framework.
In line FEE’s strategy- GAIA 20:30 work in schools is focused mainly on climate change mitigation and adaptation, addressing environmental pollution and halting biodiversity. To provide tangible opportunities for further enrichment Nature Trust-FEE Malta has for the 4th year running organized the Sustainable Mobility Campaign. The campaign aims at fostering environmentally friendly commuting practices within school communities. During the same event nine schools were honoured for their outstanding commitment to sustainable transportation through the implementation of Green School Travel Plans.
In parallel, relentless work continues on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as students hone their skills through platforms such as NASA’s GLOBE program, Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE), and Learning About Forests (LEAF). These programs offer invaluable opportunities for investigative learning, seamlessly integrated into STEM subjects.
Educator upskilling and training opportunities are also being organised every year. This year 27 educators attended the ERASMUS+ Co-Funded educator VET Training in Athens on Non-Conventional Water Resources.
The Local Councils’ Association who is also celebrating the 30 years of Local Councils this year took this opportunity to support Nature Trust – FEE and EkoSkola in this initiative. The Local Councils’ Association believes in active citizenship, residents’ participation and the importance that children and youths are involved in the planning and conservation of our environment. Hence, this was also one of the prime events funded by the Association to commemorate this anniversary.
Since the event was hosted close to the Feast of St. Martin, the Local Councils’ Association took this opportunity to distribute the traditional Borża ta’ San Martin to all participants. This initiative gave an opportunity to students attending the Wardija Resource Centre to do all the preparation to get these sacks ready. The LCA believes in equal opportunities and inclusion hence, involving students from the Wardija Resource Centre to take an active part in the preparation of this event makes the event more meaningful and also promotes an inclusive society.
The EkoSkola programme is sponsored by the Local Councils Association, Transport Malta, HSBC Malta plc, Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation, Wasteserv and Ambjent Malta.