Melaka En Route to Improve Students’ Environmental Literacy and Skills
Melaka: As part of Melaka’s effort to create a path towards sustainable urban growth, the state’s Chief Minister Datuk Seri Utama Ir. Haji Idris bin Haron graciously launched the Eco-Schools Melaka Programme at Seri Negeri Melaka Hall yesterday.
Guided by the Green City Action Plan (GCAP) developed in 2014, Melaka has initiated numerous environmental projects and has already completed award-winning work in the pursuit of becoming a green city. Eco-Schools Melaka Programme is an initiative headed by WWF-Malaysia and Green Growth Asia to complement the GCAP and raise long term awareness about environmental issues amongst school-aged children.
The Eco-Schools Programme (ESP) is the largest sustainable schools programme in the world, which is currently running in more than 60 countries. In our country, WWF-Malaysia is the National Operator of the programme and more than 170 schools have registered to date.
Commenting on the programme and partnership, WWF-Malaysia's Executive Director / CEO, Dato' Dr Dionysius Sharma said, “We are pleased that the Melaka State Government has committed to sign up all 314 schools in Melaka and be part of the global Eco-Schools community. This proves that the state is very determined to integrate its development aspiration according to the principle of sustainable development in line with various international treaties such as COP21/22, Sustainable Development Goals and 11th Malaysia Plan.”
He added, “It is also an honour to have Green Growth Asia (GGA) on board to become an intermediary between WWF-Malaysia and the Melaka State Government by facilitating the implementation of the programme with all the schools across the state.”
Mr Sri Themudu who serves as the Eco-School Melaka Programme Manager explained, “This is truly an inspirational programme as it enables our young people to be recognized as stakeholders in our environment as they work with teachers, parents, community and even the private sector to protect the environment.”
GGA has invested their expertise in training teachers and volunteers to implement the programme to a high standard and also in reaching out to the private sector. The main objectives of the programme are to empower students to lead change in creating an environmentally conscious community, and to develop leadership skills and innovative thinking through the design of the intervention activities.
Mr Balamurugan Ratha Krishnan, Executive Director / CEO of GGA said, “This programme places our young people at the centre of a response and shows to them that the community values them.” He further explained that the Eco-Schools Melaka Programme has formed encouraging partnerships with the Melaka State Government, Ministry of Education, WWF-Malaysia, Melaka Green Technology Corporation and many other partners from ministries, government agencies, universities and organizations. The programme will be rolled out in other states after completing its implementation in Melaka.
ESP is a holistic programme that strives to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and culture of a school, including students, teachers, administrative staff, non-teaching staff and parents, as well as the local community. The programme aims to build environmentally literate citizens who understand their relationship with the natural world.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Utama Ir. Haji Idris bin Haron has been instrumental in driving the Eco-Schools Melaka Programme forward. He explained, “Our ultimate vision is to see our school children become young leaders in promoting environmental awareness. The programme encourages schools to reduce their water and energy consumption as well as produce less waste. These measures are in line with Melaka’s effort to become a low carbon growth city.”
The launch ceremony was also attended by Mr Amine Ahlafi, the Vice President of Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), which promotes sustainable development through environmental education. The Eco-Schools programme is one of the five programmes that FEE runs globally. There are currently about 49,000 Eco-Schools around the world.
For more information, please contact:
Sr Communications Officer of Education for Sustainable Development Programme, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: 03 74503773
Manager of Eco-Schools Programme, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: 03 7450 3773