The Great Plant Hunt: Eco-Schools Toyota Biodiversity Educational Project

Eco-Schools – Toyota Biodiversity Educational Project

The project will focus on biodiversity with a particular emphasis on plants and their associated species. The project will include educational aspects, based on the FEE Educational Principles, and practical activities based on resources developed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew with funding from the Wellcome Trust. Kew and the Wellcome Trust will be acknowledged on all material adapted from the Great Plant Hunt (GPH). Where possible links with Toyota retailers will be encouraged, especially in MM5 countries (countries with strong Toyota presence). The project will run for five years.  


The Foundation for Environmental Education is a non-governmental, non-profit charity aimed at promoting sustainable development through environmental education. A global presence, more than 80 countries around the world are engaged in working with various FEE programmes. The organisation is recognised by UNESCO as a world-leader within the fields of Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development.

Toyota Motor Europe established the Toyota Fund for Europe to collaborate with non-profit organisations on community activities that support the environment, technical education and road safety. The projects supported by the Toyota Fund for Europe aim at raising awareness and creating positive change.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Kew’s mission is to be the global resource for plant and fungal knowledge and the world’s leading botanic garden. The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health by supporting bright minds in science, the humanities and social sciences and public engagement.   

The Great Plant Hunt was commissioned and funded by The Wellcome Trust to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth.  The materials were developed and created by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Objectives of the project

  1. Develop young people as advocates for conservation & promotion of local biodiversity actions
  2. Develop science based resources in line with the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) principles to allow teachers to promote biodiversity education activity
  3. Meet Kew/FEE principles
  • Easy to apply
  • Promote critical thinking by “go and see”/study approach (learn by doing)
  • Consistent with CBD/Green Corridor
  1. Help meet EU/UN targets for biodiversity education
  2. Develop module as part of FEE school programmes.

Materials prepared for schools will follow the FEE Educational Principles and will be living examples of Education for Sustainable Development.


Eco-Schools implementation of the project

Step I Registration

Interested schools wishing to take part, must register with the National Operator (NO) to begin. The NO approves the list of schools taking part. NOs register the schools and enter the school’s information to the FEE database.

Step 2 Review

Following the guidelines and resources, schools will review the initial situation to get a baseline before any actions take place. This part is vital if schools are to track their progress and celebrate their success. Schools must carry out a baseline Biodiversity Awareness Survey to examine levels of awareness surrounding biodiversity and its importance. There will be a number of essential questions which schools will need to answer. However, schools are welcome to come up with a more extensive set of questions as part of the review process. The questions will take into account the age and ability of the user. The results should be publicised.

Another important element of the review is to create a habitat map of the school grounds and record the species present. Schools will need to think about the seasons, weather and time of year, as biodiversity is strongly influenced by all. Schools will use ID charts adapted from Kew’s Great Plant Hunt. Sample ID charts will be made available. Schools will also be able to fill in/create their own ID charts based on the species they find. Students will be encouraged to take pictures of plants found on their schools grounds include some brief information, record them on the charts and upload them on the project page.

The schools stories/information will be uploaded to ‘Exposure’. Guidelines will be circulated re. Exposure.  It is hoped that a basic database of plant species in schools around Europe will be created and added to in subsequent years.

As well as local resources, it is hoped that knowledgeable family and community members and local experts will offer assistance in identifying species. 

Step 3 Action

The Review will have helped pinpoint some issues of concern in the schools, perhaps even in the surrounding area or nationally. Once schools have a clear baseline they can focus their attention on ways of helping biodiversity and various plant species.


Top 2 Biodiversity Actions: 

ü  Increase the levels of awareness throughout the school and wider community

ü  (If possible) increase the number of native species and the species diversity in the school’s environs.

Examples of actions will be uploaded by the schools/National Operators and published on ‘Exposure’.


Step 4 Monitoring and Evaluation

From the beginning schools should plan how they will measure the success of you Biodiversity Action Plan. The monitoring process is extremely effective when it comes to identifying progress and comparing past and present behaviour and attitudes.  It is important that changes in behaviour and practical measures are measured over an extended period of time.

Evaluate levels of awareness by revisiting the awareness survey carried out at the beginning of the year.

Evaluate progress on practical improvements

ü  Create a new map showing off any practical improvements

ü  Check if species richness and numbers have increased

More at

More about implementation actions in Serbia at: (in Serbian) and (in Serbian)




Meeting with European Parliamentarians

European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety had a meeting with the civil society sector dealing with environment, public health and food safety issues, on 28. October, 2013. at the EU Delegation to Serbia premises.

On behalf of the EP ENVI Committee Vice-President Ms Christa Klass and her team had a discussion with CSO representatives, including EASD team, on important environmental and health issues, as well as on the recent problems with the milk issue in the field of food safety.

EASD in the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint: 2013 International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action

EASD, as the CSO National SAICM focal point, active participated in the 2013 International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, October 20-26, 2013 (Color pencils with and without lead).

On October 22, at 11:00, EASD/ Serbia Team participated in the central event in Serbia in, the Institute of the Public Health of Serbia - Agenda of the event : program skupa

On October 23. from 9:45 in Eco-School  OŠ “Drinka Pavlović” ,Beograd , EASD team, in partnership with the   APOS , gave a public lecture on “The sources of lead in the environment” , related lead in environment and lead poisoning (by different pencils and paint products). Our hosts and audience were biology professor Tatiana Tursijan, chemistry professor Dragana Ilic, and 7. and 8. grade students.

EASD presentation on lead from environmental angle : AOR Olovo 22.10.2013.

Events have media attention, for example.


Lead is well-known toxic chemical with ability to harm human health and cause wide range of health disorders including neurological disorders, anaemia, tiredness and muscle weakness, paralysis, kidney and liver damage and stomach upsets.  According to WHO assessments lead exposure is estimated to account for 0.6% of the global burden of disease, with the highest burden in developing regions.

In children, the potential for adverse effects of exposure to lead is increased because of their physiological, metabolic and behavioural specificity. Lead can pose the risk to unborn child due to its possibility moves through placenta. Childhood lead exposure causes cognitive functions disorder resulted in about 600,000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year.  Latest scientific findings confirmed that there is no safe threshold for lead and that lead poisoning is entirely preventable.

The  phasing  out  of  lead  from  petrol,  first  in  western  Europe  and  later  in central and eastern Europe, has resulted in a significant fall in blood lead levels in children over the last two decades. Nevertheless there are still a lot of sources of lead releases into environment such as industrial processes, paint, solder in canned foods and water pipes.  It is still necessary to further reduce  the  levels  of  lead  in  the  blood  because  there  is  no  known  safe  level  in children and pregnant women.

To facilitate action aim preventing of  lead poisonings globally and especially exposure to lead from paint WHO together with UNEP created Global Alliance to Eliminated Lead from Paint (GAELP) that includes United States Centres for Diseases Control, US EPA and International Paediatric Association as well as Who and UNEP. The GAELP aims to elimination of lead from paint till 2020 in the majority of countries.

To raise awareness about lead poisoning, highlight countries and partners’ efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning  and urge further action to eliminate lead paint WHO through the GAELP will facilitate an international campaign on lead poisoning prevention (with a focus on lead paint), to take place 20-26 October 2013. This will be a campaign involving voluntary country-led activities, and we are now at the stage where countries (and NGOs) can volunteer to take part.

In WHO European Region four public health institutions and poison centres  in Albania, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Serbia and a number of non-governmental organizations located in Armenia, France, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Republic of Moldova and Serbia  registered events that they will organize during Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.  The diversity of events that are planned reflect countries priorities in elimination of lead poisonings that for WHO/ Europe Member States includes awareness raising workshops with decision-makers, legislators, industry representatives, TV events and mass media publications, distribution of booklets, national conferences are planned in the participating countries.  Interesting events such as exhibition on lead poisonings and screening of the preventive movie will take place in France. Clinical toxicologists will inform from CHRU Lilly (France) Poison Control Centre will send mail to approximately 1500 City halls and to Paediatricians and Child Professionals.

Action to eliminate leaded paints should take place in all countries.

SAICM Regional Meeting, Skopje, September 2013

EASD representative participate at the 5th CEE regional meeting on SAICM in Skopje, Macedonia FYR, from 23 to 26 September 2013. EASD is National NGO/CSO Focal Point for SAICM.  Besade the EASD representative, the representative from Cleaner Production Center – Belgrade participated. Overall, the dynamic of the meeting was very positive with a total of 48 people participating, including 11 Governments, 6 IGOs, 3 regional centres and 9 NGOs. List of participants is available (  CEE Rm 5 INF15_LOP ),

First day CEE regional workshop on endocrine disrupting chemicals, lead by UNEP in collaboration with WHO and OECD.

Second day: Technical Information Sharing session – featuring information on Chemicals in Products, Lead in paints, Children’s environmental health, nanotechnologies and nanomaterials and other themes of interest for the region

Third day - SAICM priority setting workshop, looking at progress to date, identifying gaps and regional priorities and setting the course of action to reach the 2020 goal in the framework of the Overall Orientation and Guidance exercise mandated by ICCM3.

4th day: 5th Central and Eastern European regional meeting on SAICM. 

Some of the key highlights of the meeting outcome include:

(i) Selection of Poland as the Regional Focal Point for the remainder of the term until ICCM4;

(ii) identification of priority Strategic Approach implementation activities for the region (that will also feed into the Overall Orientation and Guidance document);

(iii) request to review synergies from a Strategic Approach perspective; and

(iv) identified need and request for WHO to build capacity in the region for Poison Control Centres.

Documents from the meeting are available

In the corridor of the Meeting, networking meetings took place.

Scientific Signals

Different researches are under one umbrella project “Research and scientific signals”. Recently  team conducted:

1. Achieving sustainable development through infrastructure

2. Scoping the future trends in natural resources availability using selected indicators as measures of progress: the links with interests and values, presented at the 7th CONGRESS OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT – X CONVENCIÓN INTERNACIONAL SOBRE MEDIO AMBIENTE Y DESARROLLO, 6 -10.07.2015, Havana, Cuba

3. RETHINKING WASTE MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE RESOURCE-EFFICIENT CONCEPT ; Scientific signals: Waste as the crosscutting issue of SDGs Waste, health, sustainability: what way forward? ,

4. Transforming education for children and youth ; FEE General Assembly 2016 and International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, Ahmedabad, India

5. InWASTEgate

6. 6th UN regional meeting on SAICM, Poland, February 2018: we participate


News and signals:

EASD participate at 2017 Vienna UN Conference – Implementing the 2030 Agenda

WED Messages from Serbia: 12th Regional Conference “Environment to Europe”


Connecting regions: participation at 10th International Convention on Environment and Development in Havana, Cuba, July 2015

Research: Waste Technology Transfer

Places and Technologies 2014

Scientific signals No 4Evaluation of the long-term environmental performance of lignite-fired power stations 

  Acknowledgement of expertise

Eye on EU approximation environmental challenges  

Research results presented to scientific community

Ranking of universities for 2013



EnE13 – Environment to Europe 2013 Conference

Chemical and Product Safety

European Resources Forum 2012


Scientific signals No 3Science of the Total Environment


Scientific signals No 2Recognition

Hristina Stevanović Čarapina, President of EASD Council

  • 7– 10  May, 2013, Hotel Mediteran, BEČIĆI, MONTENEGRO

Anđelka Mihajlov, EASD President


Scientific signals No 1:

Fishing area management programs have to be implemented  

Environmental protection in protected areas must be coordinated and harmonized with the Program management of fisheries in the area. We point out the consequences of failure to follow the Program in protected area of exceptional quality “Gorge Gradac.” will have serious consequences, as presented in the scientific statement given to the 2010th in Yellowstone in the Wild Trout Symposium X – “Conserving Wild Trout”, Proceedings, pp.354

Program initiatives

Program Initiative:  to measure progress in ensuring a safe and healthy work environment through reducing spending for paper, batteries, toners, cleaning products, etc.


Program Initiative: Chemicals – harmful substances, Hazardous Waste and Environmental Health

In developing SAICM activities, EASD is promoting activities related to the sound management of chemicals, including activities on related environmental health consequences. 

6th UN regional meeting on SAICM, Poland, February 2018: we participate

Mercury Initial Assessment in the Republic of Serbia Workshop – we participate

Toxic pesticide globally banned after (un)precedented vote at UN meeting on chemicals


Program Initiative: Women Participation Assessment

EASD is organisation lead by women, and presence of women experts within the team should be noted. Organisation is piloting assessment of women participation within activities.


Programming initiatives are in particular focused to multisectoral and intersectoral cooperation to fullfill goals:

  • Development of mutual cooperation and cooperation with relevant international organisations of the same and similar professions;
  • Development of all forms of successful cooperation with other professional organisations and associations in the interest of its members;
  • Initiating and support of those activities and initiatives aimed at preserving the environment and spatial planning, savings and rationalisation of consumption of all types of energy, eco-system services and inclusion of environmental protection in the other sector’s policies;
  • Cooperation with relevant scientific, profesional, economic and other organisations and bodies on the implementation of tasks of common interest;
  • Affirmation and protection of fundamental values, interes and positions of sustainable development and environment in the society through the promotion of human, professional, scientific and artistic aspects on environmental protection in all areas of profession.