Originating with an innovative idea, to develop and collate the best practice in environmental education, BirdLife Malta has pioneered new approaches to outdoor learning in Malta, resultantly impacting thousands of children, youths and adults across Europe. The project is called ‘Lifelong Learning through Nature’ (LLN).
In September 2014, BirdLife Malta embarked on a three-year journey to research and develop new ways of connecting people to nature. Lifelong Learning through Nature developed a strong network of partners from Poland, Ireland and the U.K. through the BirdLife International partnership.
This partnership also included the Ministry for Education and Employment in Malta, whose support has been vital to pilot new programmes in education on a national scale in Malta.
During the project’s timeline the partnership has developed new programmes for Early years (0-5 year olds), Primary and Secondary schools, Teacher Training, Youth groups of all ages, as well as hosting numerous events for members of the public.
Research carried out by Dr Mark Mifsud from the University of Malta, on the impact of environmental education, demonstrated a desperate need for people to have regular contact with nature due to the physical and mental health benefits gained. This is increasingly important with the majority of the Maltese population living in urbanised settings.
However, the journey in BirdLife Malta’s development of best practice environmental education programmes continues with our new Erasmus+ project, ‘One World Learning’. This project aims to promote diversity, citizenship, language learning, integrated science, team work and critical thinking in an environmental context for children, youths and adults.
The overall aim is to trigger behavioural changes that will lead to inquisitive, empowered, socially inclusive and environmentally responsible individuals and communities. One World Learning will also develop a blueprint of best practice environmental education programmes to be shared by BirdLife Europe and Central Asia amongst the other partner countries.
Through these projects, Malta has become and will continue to grow as a centre for excellence in environmental education on an international level. We strongly believe that regular contact with nature is the right of every child, youth and adult to develop environmentally responsible citizens and positively impact health and wellbeing across all generations.
Read the Maltese version of the press release here.