PRESS RELEASE 2011-08-31

International school environment competition: Still free places for young naturalists

Up to the 15th September 2011, 12 to 16 year old pupils together with their classmates can apply for the international school environment project "European Schools for a Living Planet" of WWF and ERSTE Foundation. Pupils from 11 European countries are invited to develop nature conservation projects on the subjects ecological footprint and healthy rivers. The most creative ideas will be chosen at a concluding event in June 2012 in Romania. The winning classes will be treated to a nature camp week in Romania.
International school environment competition: Still free places for young naturalists

„With ′European Schools for a Living Planet′ we want to show pupils the possibility to get active for their environment and to shape their future”, stated Barbara Tauscher, leader of WWF Austria’s environmental education programme. „The project’s main focus is on enjoying nature and meeting like-minded people from all over the world. Thus in the long run we want to establish a cross-national network of young people active in nature conservation.”

The school environment competition starts with a one-week pupil-teacher academy in Austria. Via workshops and outdoor activities WWF eco-pedagogues and various nature conservation experts will introduced the pupils and their class teachers to the project topics ‚Ecological Footprint – Consumption’s global effects’, ‚Danube – Europe’s lifeline’ and ‚active citizenship – mobilising and motivating others’. Project management, teambuilding and public relations will be on the programme too. Until the end of the school year the pupils will have time to develop and implement their personal nature conservation projects. The project ideas and realisation is completely up to the pupils’ creativity. Activities may range from street theatre performances and exhibitions to newspaper series and action plans for schools.

During the school year the progress of the nature conservation projects can be watched via the publicly accessible interactive weblog There the school classes will keep project diaries, post pictures and videos about their projects and exchange experiences. Pupils, teachers and anyone else visiting the site can comment on every project activity. In June 2012 pupils and teachers will again gather in Romania for a big concluding event. There they will present their nature conservation activities, share their experiences with each other and choose the best four projects. The winning classes will be treated to a youth camp in a Romanian national park in autumn 2012.

The participation in the school environment competition is free. In addition, the participating classes receive financial support for the implementation of their nature conservation projects. Language of the academy, the project documentation and the final event is English.

Further information on „European Schools for a Living Planet“ and application form under