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Horta ,  April 17, 2018

Eco-School Programme involves 75 Azorean school in favour of environmental sustainability

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism stated Horta that the Eco-School programme is one of the main assets in the efforts developed with the school community on environmental sustainability, involving the participation of 75 Azorean schools in the 2017/2018 school year.
"Today, we have 75 participating schools, which contrasts with the first four in 1999, the year when the oldest environmental education programme for sustainability started in the Azores," said Marta Guerreiro. She spoke during the flag hoisting session at Manuel de Arriaga School Secondary.
The government official recalled that "1999 was also the year when department overseeing the environmental area created the first Azores "Ecoteca" - Environmental Awareness-raising Centre on the island of Pico. It has since extended to all the islands of the archipelago and allowed a growing number of schools to participate and be distinguished by the Eco-School programme."
"Currently, 30% of Azorean schools are Eco-Schools, while the implementation rate in Mainland Portugal is at 17%," said the Secretary for the Environment.
Marta Guerreiro mentioned that the "Eco-School programme reaches a coverage rate of 100% in some Azorean municipalities," adding that the support allocated by local authorities is "one of the conditions allowing a school to implement this programme."
"The hoisting of the Green Flag each year is the recognition that the school continues to comply with the Eco-School goals and methodology, which are inspired by the principles of Local Agenda 21. It involves the participation of children and young people in decision-making and in building a more sustainable school and community," said the government official.
Marta Guerreiro recalled that the Manuel de Arriaga Secondary School "has been participating in this programme since 2002, having received the Green Flag award in 14 of the 16 applications submitted. Therefore, it should be regarded as an example of the excellent work it has done towards environmental education."
The government official also highlighted the work carried out by the Regional Directorate for the Environment insofar as it has, since 2001, promoted a parallel and complementary initiative to this programme, through a training programme for teachers: the Regional Eco-Schools Seminar." From 2009, it became associated with the Regional Meeting on Environmental Education.
According to Marta Guerreiro, "this is an international programme, implemented in more than 65 countries and 52,700 schools, covering around 1,600 schools in 230 Portuguese municipalities." In this regard, she emphasised the contribution "to make everyday life more sustainable, whether in every educational establishment or in the community."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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