a Whole-School Approach to Climate Change was launched in 2016 as part of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education
for Sustainable Development (ESD) with the goal to introduce a whole-school
approach to ESD and to transform schools into climate-friendly institutions.
Over a period of
two years, each of the 266 participating ASPnet schools developed and
implemented their own climate action plan, which targeted teaching content and
methodology, school governance, campus and facility management, as well as
cooperation with local partners and communities.
activities included, for example, elaborating monitoring tools to measure energy consumption, creating artwork
or handcrafts from waste material, developing initiatives for solar panels,
constructing school gardens and eco-walls, reusing sewage water, using
alternative modes of transportation to school, planting of local species and
setting up vegetarian days at school canteens.
The pilot showed
that the whole-institution approach to ESD had a strong positive impact on students’
attitudes, behaviours and actions towards sustainable development and
lifestyles, as well as on how they perceive their schools and the role they
play in their community. Generally,
students changed their attitude and thinking towards climate change – identifying
it as a global issue, requiring compounded local actions – and strengthened
their environmental conscience. Moreover, in some countries, results and
lessons learnt from participation in the pilot project supported recent
national initiatives for the integration of ESD into national curricula.
Building upon the positive experience of the
teachers and students in the participating countries, the implementation of a
whole-school approach to climate change will be expanded to the entire ASPnet.