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Introducing a new project in July: The Environmental Education project

Lack of passion about restoring and conserving green nature is a major challenge that Malawi faces. The tendency is prerequisite to environmental degradation, pollution, or overexploitation of a natural resources as observed in Malawi. It is evident in Malawi that trees have been lost and as a nation we continue to lose them without replacement. Data recorded for Africa indicate that the continent has seen average annual deforestation rates fall to 0.5 percent in 2000–10, down from 0.6 percent in the previous decade, where Malawi and a considerable number of countries continue to experience annual losses of forests and savannah woodlands of over 2 percent (World Bank 2012-2022).

 

Though schools are critical for sustainable community development, and frame the norm of the communities, Malawian schools do not embrace the culture of conserving nature resulting into lack of community’s passion about conserving the environment around them. Communities around the 8 schools we work with are almost bare, and schools themselves are not working on making the school grounds green. Classrooms are generally hot in summer which makes learning difficult during the period.

 

Green school environment is critical for resilient teaching and learning environment. Hence, the green school environment must be sustainable, and equally be used sustainably. Generally, conserving nature is the major attribute for sustainable use of planet resources. BFM holds the view that the culture of using the resources sustainably is nurtured in schools, hence, the need to create more resilient populations given that we know climate impacts are going to be worse in the next decade. In other words, schools participation in addressing climate change is not only relevant today, but also in the long term. Students are future decision makers, and they have a long time dependence on the environment. Consequently, teaching students pragmatic environmental education is the best way to enhance “ecologically sustainable development”. Randell and colleagues say;

 

In this regard, BFM has put in place a number of activities so that schools take part in addressing climate change through adaptation. According to Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III, adaptation enhances “preparation for and negate the effects of climate change, thereby reducing vulnerability of communities and ecosystems”. Our adaptation approach is through establishment and maintenance of green school environment. Though we address SDG 13, our focus will be reinforced by SDG number four which is about education; “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.