Learning about Forests Newsletter October 2016 
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Welcome to LEAF newsletter for October 2016!


This month we have new introduction to make, great news from Ireland and Malta, updates from the Eco-Schools NOM in South Africa and useful links, information and activities about urban forests!

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 board member, Nikos Petrou!

Dentist prosthodontist, writer, painter and nature photographer Nikos Petrou has been Chairman of the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature since 2009.

Since September 2012 he has been Project Coordinator for the LIFE+ project which is implemented by the HSPN. The main objective of the project is to design and implement management practices in forests and forest openings for the conservation of biodiversity at species, habitat, and landscape level, in two mountainous sites of Central Greece.

During the General Assembly in India 2016 he was elected as representative of the LEAF programme, and we are delighted to have him on board!

LEAF Ireland officially launched

We are extremely happy to announce that the International Learning about Forests programme is officially launched in Ireland!

On October 6, LEAF Ireland teamed up with the Tree Council of Ireland during Tetra Pak Tree Day to officially launch the International LEAF programme in Ireland. 

The Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce is launching the LEAF programme to approximately 30 schools in County Limerick.

Read the Press Release.
Read more about LEAF Ireland on their Facebook page.
More great photos can be found on LEAF Ireland's Flickr page.

Foundation of Environmental Education invited to present at COP 22

FEE CEO Daniel Schaffer and International Young Reporters for the Environment Assistant Yukiko Tsuburaya are set to engage the international community on the topic of “Climate Change from school to home – Teaching children to modify family behaviour”

The presentation aims to address how students of all ages are powerful agents of change: their education can impact the behaviour of people close to them and move them towards more sustainable lifestyles and help to adapt to the consequences of climate change. The panel-format conference aims at exploring how this could be achieved in today’s educational systems, highlighting some good practices, addressing possibilities and the difficulties of multiplying the effects of environmental education outside of the school.

For more information please see
For side event programmes please visit

International LEAF director on Eco-Schools National Operators meeting

International Learning about Forests Director Barry McGonigal is attending the Eco-Schools National Operators meeting in South Africa.
During the meeting he delivered a workshop on The Great Plant Hunt project which is a joint initiative of Toyota Motor Europe and the Foundation for Environmental Education. The campaign focuses on biodiversity with a particular emphasis on plants and their associated species. The campaign includes educational aspects, based on the FEE Educational Principles, and practical activities based on resources developed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew with funding from the Wellcome Trust. 

We are now starting the implementation of second year of the project and we already have 473 schools joined from 12 countries.

Learn more about The Great Plant Hunt

Europe Direct Victoria Gozo
LEAF Awards 2016

Four schools in Gozo have successfully completed a LEAF project in accordance with the international standards demanded by FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) locally run by Nature Trust Malta. The best project is going to be awarded an aluminium greenhouse, sponsored by Bank of Valletta p.l.c. whilst the other schools are going to each be given gardening tools and others materials which will be sponsored by the Europe Direct – Victoria Gozo,  to support them in their efforts to increase love and awareness for endemic and indigenous trees and plants.

Read more about the winning schools and phenomenal work here!

International Steering Committee meeting in Copenhagen

The International Steering Committee (ISC) meeting will take place on the 28th of November 2016 at the FEE Head Office in Copenhagen.

ISC is responsible for supporting and advising the International LEAF Director. The ISC meet twice a year to discuss the development of the Learning about Forests programme.

Read more about The International Steering Committee and it's members here.

Useful links...

Benefits of urban trees

A beautiful infographic about the benefits of urban trees.
Learn more

The importance of urban forests: why money really does grow on trees

The Gardian's article about urban trees.
Learn more

5 reasons not to underestimate the power of plants and trees

"We've completely underestimated plants. We look at them as inanimate objects, completely unaware of the amazing, complex biology that allows that plant to survive."
Learn more

Activities for children

Lots of great, free woodland activities available for download.

Learn more
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