In February BirdLife Malta took part in the first conference on education for sustainable development in Malta. The conference was organised by CEER – Centre for Environmental Education and Research, with participants attending from NGO’s, government, teachers, university students and other interested persons.
The conference marked the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) and had the primary objective of creating a forum in which to share local experiences, practice and research on education for sustainable development (ESD).
BirdLife Malta’s presentation was entitled ‘The evaluation and evolution of the Dinja Waħda Programme’, and was prepared in collaboration with Dr Mark Mifsud from the University of Malta. An initial assessment of the education programme was completed last year including gathering feedback from teachers and students. Key findings show that the programme is effective in increasing nature knowledge, awareness and appreciation, and that more emphasis can be put onto empowering students to take action to look after the environment around them.
This information is particularly important as through an Erasmus+ funded project entitled Lifelong Learning through Nature (LLN), the BirdLife education team are now developing new resources that will complement Dinja Waħda and provide more opportunities for students to get outdoors and learn through nature. Research is a key component of the LLN project as through international partnerships we plan to share lessons learnt, best practise and transferable resources with other European countries. We look forward to sharing more stories of students learning through nature with you in the coming months.
By Hannah Chisholm, BirdLife Malta’s Education Manager.