BirdLife Malta leading the way in environmental education

June 8, 2016 3:41 pm

‘Lifelong Learning through Nature’ resources trialled and tested in Malta being adapted for use in Poland and Ireland.

BirdLife Malta officials are this week in Poland where they are sharing the experience gained in Malta during the last two years through a collaborative partnership project in environmental education with two eNGOs based in Poland and Ireland – the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds (OTOP) and BirdWatch Ireland.

‘Lifelong Learning through Nature’ was launched in Malta in September 2014 and the project is designed to develop an environmental and sustainability education programme which engages young people aged 5-21 through formal education, vocational training courses, non-formal and informal education. This will be done by promoting the positive effects of outdoor learning and the benefits that learning outside the classroom can bring for the young people involved.

The project will also provide documented evidence to show the importance of connection with nature for health, well-being and education, which can then be used by the international project partners to support implementation in their own and other European countries. The project aims to achieve these objectives by enhancing transnational cooperation between education and training providers and other stakeholders.  By working together, all the partners can share their experiences and learn from each other to develop transferable resources suitable for the different age groups.

Another important international partner contributing to this initiative is the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) of the UK. In Malta the project was fully endorsed by the Ministry for Education and Employment. In the first stages of the project, Malta was used as a model of best practise, and following the successful implimentation of the proposals here in Malta, the ideas and resources will now be adapted for use in the European partner countries.

During this week’s meeting in Warsaw, BirdLife Malta’s delegation is meeting the international partners and all the resources developed and trialled in Malta are being reviewed and a clear plan will be agreed on the resources and methods of implementation that Poland and Ireland will adapt. Prior to their involvement in ‘Lifelong Learning through Nature’, both OTOP and BirdWatch Ireland had only small scale education activities taking place and they want to develop this area of their work. The resources being developed in Malta focus on connecting children to nature through hands on activities.

Funded with support from the European Commission, and running for three years from September 2014 until August 2017, this project will receive a total of €253,700. This funding will be used to develop new environmental education resources and initiatives during the lifetime of the project to allow young people more opportunities to learn about the world around them. Environmental education is one of the pillars of BirdLife Malta’s work and its ongoing Dinja Waħda programme reaches out to all local primary and secondary schools in its mission to lead education towards connecting children with nature.

This project is the perfect example of BirdLife Malta’s mission to lead the way in environmental education.

To read the Maltese version of the press release, click here.