Learning about Forests Newsletter August 2016 
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Dear LEAF National Operators and other interested parties: welcome to the September newsletter!

This month we have new introductions to make, updates from the FEE General Assembly in India, Ted Talks videos about urban forests and news from the wonderful work being recognised in Slovenia!

We have a fantastic new resource to share with you courtesy of our friends in the Czech Republic and updates on last week's ENO Plant a Tree for Peace Day so please, read on!

I hope you enjoy reading our newsletter and don't forget to share it among your friends and work partners! If you have any stories you would like me to share, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

All the very best,

Barry McGonigal, 

International LEAF Director

Welcome new Programme Assistant, Karine Galstyan!

A native of Armenia, Karine has been active in Panarmenian Environmental Front for many years where she arranged educational activities and helped encourage social monitoring of  the environment in Armenia.
A qualified dentist, she has also worked voluntarily with children from the rural areas of Armenia through the American charity organisation, Medicine Arm in Arm. Attached to helping with the LEAF programme, you will be hearing a lot from Karine and we are delighted to have her on board!

ENO Plant A Tree For Peace Day


The event took place on 21st September to coincide with the United Nations 'World Peace Day'. It is part of a global campaign which invites children all over the world to focus on environmental issues, fostering an appreciation of peace and increasing the awareness of school children about the importance of trees and forests on a global scale.

The planting of trees symbolise hope and the continuity of life. This year the LEAF network was extremely well-represented with 137 tree-planting activities taking place involving some 5,714 students, teachers and community members. While the global figures have yet to be released, in total the LEAF network alone planted a staggering 2,147 trees: congratulations to all involved!!

Find out more about the initiative here.

A landmark General Assembly for FEE

During the two-day General Assembly in Ahmedabad, India, Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) member organisations elected a new President and Board of Directors. Officials from 75 countries represented their national NGOs in discussing and deciding on the future strategy for FEE and its five environmental education programmes.

Find out the election results and download the press release.

During the course of the Assembly, International Learning about Forests Director Barry McGonigal presented the programme in a session which included speakers from all over the world. Many countries showed a very real interest in joining the programme and it is hoped that the LEAF network will soon see some new members coming on board!

Slovenia recognises participants of
"Znanje O Gozdovih" (LEAF)

On Monday Sept. 26, FEE Slovenia organised their Annual Conference for Eco-Schools coordinators which not only recognised the work that these impressive individuals have accomplished over the past many years, but also served to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the program Eco-Schools in Slovenia.

With over 520 participants and the Slovenian Prime Minister as a guest speaker, the event was a huge success and the endeavours of LEAF practitioners was also recognised through an award ceremony which saw four LEAF Certificates of Achievement and 13 LEAF Certificates of Participation awarded to Slovenian schools.

Prepared by FEE Slovenia's Tina Ušeničnik, the beautifully crafted awards were handed out to delighted representatives from the schools. Well done to all involved and we look forward to reporting on an ever-increasing number of Slovenian LEAF schools in the future!

You can read more about the Conference here (Slovenian language only but google translatable)

How to grow a forest in your backyard

Shubhendu Sharma is an entrepreneur who facilitates the making of these forests professionally. He has helped factories, farms, schools, homes, resorts, apartment buildings, public parks and even a zoo to have one of such forests. To Shubhendu, a forest is not an isolated piece of land where animals live together: a forest can be an integral part of our urban existence.

Have a look at the Ted Talk video above and share it with your network. My thanks to Dirk Vercammen for bringin this to my attention.

Get ready for Forest Socks -

A new resource for first graders is coming to schools!

Jan Froněk has very kindly shared this unique and engaging resource with us:

Have you met our new friend, the Sock? Not yet? Our Sock friend is a new guide for pupils in the first grade (age 6-7). The Sock – a little hand puppet – helps kids to explore the forest and school surroundings. Together with the Sock, kids observe, listen and touch the forest – they´re simply learning by using all their senses.

This methodical toolkit for one school year called Exploring Forest With All Your Senses  is being delivered to schools right now, after one year of testing and evaluating. And we´re looking forward to seeing more first graders learning outside their classrooms, not only in Czechia. 

During the school year kids find out that a forest is a pleasant and safe place for their play. They also discover that they´re not alone in forest, and that respecting other creatures is necessary. Pupils will explore the forest with their eyes, they will listen, touch, taste and smell it. And all this with marvellous sock guides.

The whole document has been uploaded to LEAF's Podio site but you can also Check out the illustrations of this new resource online!

Thank you Jan and the entire Czech team for this wonderful resource!

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