Eco-Schools Newsletter September 2015
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Eco-Schools Programme

Newsletter (September 2015)

Dear National Operator,                                                                          

Welcome to the Eco-Schools International newsletter for September 2015.     

In the Hello - Goodbye section,  we welcome Stéphanie Beney,
the new National Operator in France and we say goodbye to
Pamela Mercier. Thank you Pamela for your precious work with
Eco-Schools and welcome on board, Stéphanie!

Nine students from Singapore visited two Eco-Schools in the
UAE (United Arab Emirates)
to share and exchange ideas related
to the implementation of the programme, while
 the raising of the
Green Flag in twenty-two Jordanian schools was celebrated 
through an event held by the Royal Marine Conservation Society.

The fundraising campaign for an Eco-Schools Community Radio, launched by Uganda Eco-Schools, is also going on: if you missed it last month, check it out in the News section.

If you haven't already done so, follow FEE and Eco-Schools International on Facebook,
Twitter, LinkedIn and Flickr, and share your stories through these channels - see buttons below.

Any feedback or ideas on how to improve the newsletter are welcome. Feel free to share this with anyone interested. 
Enjoy reading and enjoy this sunny, cloudy or rainy September. Look forward to hearing from you.
Lead on Eco-Schools!

Bríd, Liesbeth, Anna
New people on board!
HELLO                                                          ... and GOODBYE
 STÉPHANIE BENEY                   PAMELA MERCIER              
                             Eco-Schools France

The Eco-Schools National Operators 

The Eco-Schools programme keeps on growing. As we only meet once a year, Eco-Schools International will showcase two national operators in each newsletter. In this way we get to know a bit more about the Eco-Schools programme in the different countries and the people behind it. 

In this newsletter we feature:
Hak van Nispen from the Netherlands (one of the newest National Operators)
- Idoia Arellano López and Eva García González from Spain (National Operators since 2006)

   Name: Hak van Nispen                       
   Country: The Netherlands                          
   Organisation name: SME Advies (on behalf of FEE 
   City: Utrecht                                    
   No. staff organisation: 11 employees and 4 connected
   No. staff Eco-Schools: 3 (part-time)                     


Eight quick questions

Cats or dogs?                 Dogs!
Sea or Mountains?         Sea
Chocolate or chips?       Chocolate
Film or book?                  Book

City or countryside?      Countryside

Favourite word?  Integrity.

If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be? 

None, I have no such ambition at all and my singing talent is zero. A song I like is "Wish you were here" by Pink Floyd.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
When boarding for our holidays our luggage went through the scan at customs control. After we went through, we saw that the employee was sleeping!

The Eco-Schools Programme

What is the high point of the programme for you? What are your hopes/dreams/visions for the programme?
The Eco-Schools program has a few excellent elements: the whole school approach, student led change and the link with the curriculum. It really helps the schools, teachers and students to bring structure to their separate activities for the environment and sustainability. And by doing so they can always see the next steps.

What kind of activities do you run during the year? (teacher training, clean-ups, student workshops etc.) 
1. Meetings for primary, secondary, vocational and international schools. So that they can
    exchange their experiences and good ideas.

2. Training of the freelancers we hire for the support of the individual schools
3. Workshops at the schools (in general, theme specific, or group specific like parents, teachers,
    students etc.

4. Individual celebration at school when they receive the Green Flag
5. Promotion of (inter)national days for sustainability
6. Development and sale of promotional material (Dopper water bottles, plaques, water caps, etc.)

(I would like to start a poster challenge for the best and most inspiring sentences. And maybe also a photo competition)

Please include one inspiring case story of a school in your country
A small primary school wanted to renew their Green Flag for the fifth time. Together with a vocational school nearby they developed a water collection system. But to transport the water to the toilets to flush them they need energy. So they developed and built a small windmill. Now they have their own energy-neutral water collection system. 

(Another inspiring example is a school with their own “School-Ecologist”. This student is not only committed, he also became a real expert. Gardeners and municipalities ask him for his opinion and expertise. He also started floral ribbon in the city of Amsterdam!)

Name: We are two people working
with the same responsibilities,
sharing the role of National Operator:

Eva García and
Idoia Arellano                               

Country: Spain
Organisation name: ADEAC
City: Madrid
No. staff organisation: 7
No. staff Eco-Schools: 2

Eight quick questions

Cats or dogs?                   Eva: cats /Idoia: dogs
Sea or Mountains?           Eva: sea/ Idoia: mountains
Chocolate or chips?       
Eva: chocolate/ Idoia: chips
Film or book?                   Eva: book/ Idoia: book
City or countryside?       Eva: countryside/ Idoia: countryside

Favourite word?  Eva: family / Idoia: time

If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be? 
Eva: “En el medio” (Tontxu) / Idoia: “Innuendo” (Queen).

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? 

Eva: When I arrived at the office this morning, I could not open the hall’s door because the lock was broken. After trying with three different keys (from three people that wanted to come in like me) and more than ten minutes calling the neighbours... we noticed that the door was open!

Idoia: I moved to a new place one year ago and I was not used to the new “sounds” of the apartment (like the bell ring). There is an oven with a timer in my kitchen and for a long time, when I used that timer and it rang, I automatically went to open the door.

The Eco-Schools Programme

What is the high point of the programme for you? What are your hopes/dreams/visions for the programme?
We think the networking is the high point of the programme, as well as participation. In Spain, one of the main issues is teachers’ recognition (with time reserved to work for the Eco-Schools Programme, credits, etc.). 

What kind of activities do you run during the year? (teacher training, clean-ups, student workshops etc.)
We assess Eco-Schools, prepare newsletters, organise meetings for both teachers and pupils, run projects and campaigns in cooperation with FEE as well as on our own… And we always try to make teachers’ work easier!

Please include one inspiring case story of a school in your country
A school called CEIP San José in the region of Madrid contacted another Eco-School in Puerto Rico. They started together a letter chain that continues in other Eco-Schools. 



Eco-Schools Programme in Jordan

The Royal Marine Conservation Society (JREDS) celebrated the raising of the Green Flag in 14 and 8 schools in the Amman and Aqaba governorates respectively. The event was held at Toledo hotel, the first classified three-star Green Key hotel in Jordan. The ceremony was held under the patronage of HE the Minister of Environment, and led by the Director of Activities Directorate from the Ministry of Education (MOE). 

The Director of Activities Directorate highlighted the importance of this unique programme and the efforts made by JREDS. He also expressed the intention of making it a mandatory programme for schools in Jordan, in order to enhance the environmental conditions of Jordanian schools. 

It is worth noting that three new schools have joined the Eco-Schools programme, aiming to improve their school environment and involve their students in environmental issues, at local and international levels, which will bring together the schools and their local communities.

Singapore Eco-Schools visit UAE Eco-Schools


Nine students representing Singapore Eco-Schools, along with two teacher coordinators and two WWF-Singapore staff visited two Eco-Schools in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) to share and exchange ideas related to the implementation of the programme.
They were keen to hear from the UAE students about the different challenges they faced and how they had addressed them. Two Green Flag schools – Our Own English High School, Sharjah and Al Najah Secondary School, Girls, Ras Al Khaimah, welcomed the Singapore delegation with extremely warm hospitality.

Apart from the comprehensive school tours given
by their student leaders, the schools took great
efforts to also help the Singapore delegation get
a feel of the Arabic culture through various
performances and by serving traditional Arabic food.
EWS-WWF also accompanied them on one of their
school visits.

Both Eco-Schools had a number of interesting
activities lined up showcasing their progress in
sustainability initiatives as well as cultural and
traditional practices.


Singaporean students in a traditional Arabic outfit

They also had very interesting discussions about Eco-Schools, especially about the Seven Steps implementation, the successes they’ve had, as well as the challenges encountered during the process.

Singapore delegation with staff and students of Al Najah School
© No Average Joe / WWF-Singapore

Eco-Schools Singapore visit UAE conservation site

The Singapore delegation also visited Wadi Al Wurrayah in Fujairah, a WWF conservation site in the UAE, where they had a three-hour guided tour to the Wadi to learn about the important ecological resources and the efforts that EWS-WWF is making for its  conservation. That was followed by a detailed presentation back at the camp. The students also enjoyed a short hike to the waterfall area and behind it up to the archaeological site.

Eco-Schools Singapore students at Wadi Al Wurrayah
© WWF-Singapore


Visiting the EWS-WWF office

The Singapore delegation  had a good overview of the work done by EWS-WWF. Experts working in the field of  climate change, on-field conservation, as well as  education programmes  in schools gave them an insight into the various projects being implemented by EWS-WWF. They also participated in fruitful discussions on the similarities and differences faced by Singapore and the UAE in tackling environmental issues.

Singapore delegation at EWS-WWF Dubai Office

© No Average Joe / WWF-Singapore

Fundraising for an Eco-Schools Community Radio

Uganda Eco-Schools 10-Year Anniversary

The Eco-Schools concept was introduced in Uganda in 2005, and I am glad to inform you that we are planning to celebrate the Eco-Schools 10-year anniversary in October 2015. As we commemorate the anniversary, we are fundraising for an Eco-Schools Community Radio. 
In our last preparatory meeting, members proposed that we kindly request you to help us circulate the Uganda Eco-Schools 10-year anniversary FM radio fundraising web link to Eco-Schools member countries or schools for their participation where possible.

Please find here below our preliminary list of programs for broadcasting. We would love to receive your reflections or advice, if you have any.
Proposed broadcasting programs for the Uganda Eco-Schools Community Radio:


  • Children’s Voices Program
  • Eco-Schools/Education News Bulletin
  • National News Broadcast
  • Eco-Pupils’ Parliamentary Sessions
  • Eco-Parents’ Voices Program
  • Nature Files and New World Sustainability Trends Program
  • Stakeholder Talk Shows and Audience phone calls on Sustainability Education issues
  • Eco-Music, Quizzes and Drama
  • Adverts and Announcements

You can follow our pledge card link here below and advise accordingly:

Robert M. Isingoma
Eco-Schools National Operator in Uganda


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