Headlines: November 13th, 2006



The Welsh Assembly Government is putting more money into a programme which aims to make the country’s schools more environmentally friendly as well as making pupils more aware of ways in which they can combat climate change.

More than 1,300 schools in Wales are already participating in the Eco-Schools programme, which is now to get another quarter of a million pounds of public funding. The money will be made available over the next two years and some of it will be used to improve the Eco-Schools website and to enable an annual competition to take place.

The scheme covers educational establishments from nurseries to secondary schools and encorages pupils to come up with ways to make their schools more environmentally friendly and to consider how their own individual actions can affect the environment and climate. Assembly Environment, Planning and Countryside Minister Carwyn Jones said the way in which children cared for their environment and the planet would influence the world’s climate for years to come.

“The Eco-Schools programme gives children the opportunity to be fully involved in shaping their school environment, and they can take that knowledge home and out into the community to encourage others to think responsibly too,” he said.

Education and awareness raising about environmental issues make up one element of the Assembly Government’s plans to improve the local environment. Other measures include a Local Environment Quality forum in which key stakeholders are helped to determine the direction, policies and priorities of the initiative. Draft guidance on the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act is also currently out to consultation. Proposals include new powers to make it easier, more effective and cost efficient to tackle obstacles to improving the quality of local environments.