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Eco-school programme to promote environment

25 June 2014
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NINE schools in Honiara will be the first to undertake the eco-school programme project aimed at enhancing students and staff knowledge on environmental issues to become environmental stewards.

Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Honiara City Council and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are the implementing agencies.

The project was part of the JICA’s Project for Promotion of Regional Initiative on Solid Waste Management (J-PRISM project) which will be launched today.

The programme was part of a line up of activities focusing on the 3Rs (REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE) that started in 2012.

Schools are expected to start implementing activities based on five components namely, conservation and biodiversity, 3Rs waste minimisation, school clean up, climate change mitigation and awareness raising.

“This program will also promote and educate students to be aware of what waste is and how to manage or utilize wastes as resources,” Wendy Beti of the council’s Environmental Health Division, said.

“It will also promote students to be aware of the environment and learn about the environment,” she added.

Ms Beti said the  programme is similar to the clean school programme which was implemented in Fiji and experiences shows that it has been successful in motivating schools to be clean and students and teachers to become  environment stewards.

The nine schools selected for the this eco-school programme are Koloale school, St.Nicholas, Mbua Valley, Palm Drive, Florence Young, Mbokonavera, Vura, Lau Valley and Panatina.

The project will be implemented until the end of its timeframe in February of 2016.

“However, we would like to see that the sustainability of this programme in schools continue after 2016 and will try to work with the ministry of education and Honiara city council authorities to ensure that this programme will be integrated as part of school's activities under subjects such as health, social studies or science subjects and creative arts subjects in the school curriculum,” Ms Beti said.

The projects seeks to integrate significant messages or knowledge on climate change and environmental conservation or biodiversity as part of the activities towards keeping the environment in schools clean and to promote waste management focusing on the 3Rs concepts in schools.

By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA

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