Eco-Schools is one of the five educational programs run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). It is an international award program that guides schools on their journey towards a sustainable school environment. The program provides a simple framework to help make sustainability an integral part of school life. Eco-Schools can help enhance the curriculum and get the whole school united behind important environmental issues. The program strives to bring about changes in the behavior of young people and those connected to them so that good habits learned in schools are followed through into homes and communities.
More than 11 million students in 53 countries around the world participate in the program, which makes it the largest environmental education program in the world. In Iceland, the Eco-School program is run by Landvernd. Each Eco-School forms an environmental committee, and works towards an Eco-Code within the school. Schools can choose to work on up to ten themes and set two-year goals for one or two of them at a time. Landvernd assesses their work and recognizes those who meet the requirements with a Green Flag. The themes are: Water, energy, waste (garbage), native place (local community), transportation, public health (health and wellness), climate change, biodiversity, Local Agenda 21 and landscapes.
School participation in the program in Iceland has increased steadily since the work began in 2001. Now in 2013, when the twelfth year of the Eco-School program is coming to an end, over two hundred schools in Iceland participate in the program, namely 210 at all school levels. About half of all preschool and primary school children participate in the program and the number is steadily rising in secondary education and at university level.
Eco-Schools is funded by the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, as well as municipalities throughout the country.
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