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Forest – our lifelong teacher (Erasmus+)

ForLife is a joint project of three partners: Doves, Slovenia (project leader), Jump (Italy) and Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development (Serbia), under the Erasmus+ Program.

EC Project Number: 2021-1-SI01-KA210-SCH-000031290
National Project ID: KA210-SCH-2/21
Project title: Forest – our lifelong teacher

The projects is in line with the new EU Priority “European Green Deal” which is a strong claim and a new strong message of the EU towards all citizens. The project aims to train and empower teachers in the field of global challenges of environmental education (with emphasis on forests and the connection to climate change), through quality lessons and outdoor activities to achieve goals in the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The professional support of experts who will share their knowledge in the field of forestry will be provided to teachers, in order to enable them the opportunity to exchange experience of good practice that they will transfer to their work. At the end of the project, teachers will be sufficiently qualified, confident, with new skills and knowledge to be able to pass on to students and educate them about the importance of forests in relation to climate change. It is expected that students will, in following period, change their attitude towards forests and show the concern for nature and the future of our planet through their activities (not only in schools, but also widely) and to become active citizens. The role and importance of forests and their main functions (social, production and especially ecological) will be emphasized during the project, as well as the inclusion of forest visits in regular school work will be proposed, in order to improve knowledge regarding forest as a natural environment in Europe, to emphasize the importance of forest protection, but also afforestation and sustainable forest management. Teachers that teach students with special needs, marginalized and sensitive groups (Roma and immigrants who often have difficulty learning due to their knowledge of terminology, women and girls) will be included in the project, having in mind they do not have as many opportunities to participate in international projects. Through practical activities, games and outdoor activities, the mentioned groups can actively participate, learn and gain new knowledge about forests. The sustainable forest management requires the adoption of practices that take in account scenarios of future climate. Information/educational instruments are foreseen as the important tool of the resilience of the forest to climate change (educational institutions have important role, including Eco-Schools and others).
The implementation of these measures needs to be supported by a training and awareness raising that builds both general knowledge on climate change and forest management. The project is primarily aimed at teachers who teach students aged 5 -15. Teachers who educate children with special needs or work with marginal groups (Roma and immigrants), with the project activities they will help these children to easily integrate into society and encourage them to contribute to the overall progress.
The project goal is to achieve state in which teachers will feel equipped and competent to transfer knowledge in the first place to the secondary group indirectly involved in the project: colleagues, school managements and further students, which will gain new knowledge in the field of forests. The teachers involved will continue to share their knowledge and experience at professional meetings for teachers, study groups, thematic conferences, the network of Eco-schools in Slovenia and Serbia also have its own monthly newspaper, through which they inform the teachers involved in the programme.
Project ForLife started in February 2022, and lasts until July 2023. It is supported by EU, throught the Erasmus+ programm.
Kick-off meeting was held on February 24-25, 2022 in Portorož, Slovenia, with participation of all three partner organizations. It was very good opportunity to discuss upcoming activities in each country, as well as activities that will be organized jointly, as trainings for teachers involved in the project. During the meeting there was also opportunity to visit Skocijan cave, to see how on of the forest track in the vicinity of Skocijan looks, to learn about educational activities that National forestry institute from Slovenia organize with school children, and to see how Eco-schools program is running in pre-school in Slovenia.

The first national meeting on the ForLife project “Forest – our lifelong teacher” was held in Forestry school in Kraljevo

Erasmus+ mobility in Serbia ForLife

IPEN global plastics monitoring project

The aim of the IPEN global plastics monitoring project is to raise awareness locally and globally about hazardous chemicals in recycled plastics used for consumer products. The project targeted recycled plastic pellets of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sold from small-scale, local operations, since this is one of the most commonly used material for consumer products. These have been analyzed for UV stabilizers, Decabromodiphenyl ether (deca BDE) and PCBs.

Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development participated in the project as IPEN participated organization. The recycling facility EASD used as project site is situated in north-west Serbia, and there are app. 75 employees. The facility was founded 15-16 years ago. 75% of products are for the export, to the Central European Countries (Poland, Czech Republic…). Other 25% is sold to the domestic plastic producers (placed around Serbia), which use these recycled plastic pellets to produce plastic products, but not for food storage.

There are several steps performed to produce recycled plastic pellet, from yield small pieces of plastic (flakes or fragments) to the pellet that is using in next steps of production cycle.

All secondary raw material is used in the recycling process (“zero waste” at the end of the process). They use plastic breakage and waste from its production to make plastic buckets for the construction sector, black colored.

The input plastic is coming from unformal secondary raw collectors, but the large number are also imported.

The samples of plastic pellets were used from the facility and sent to IPEN to be analyzed. The samples were analyzed at the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague in the Czech Republic. More at …..

The results are shown in the study: Widespread chemical contamination of recycled plastic pellets globally.

Presentations:

Widespread chemical contamination of recycled plastic pellets globally

Global plastic pellet samplings – Results and briefing

Press Release:

Embargoed Press Release

Further promotion of results:

April 28, 2022 – Participating  at Local Round Table in Perlez, municipality Zrenjanin, presenting issues of toxic additives in plastics pellets and IPEN study, as well as  capturing synergies between plastic pollution (and with decarbonization and climate change. About 10 people from this small town participated.

Activities of awareness raising in Serbia  are posted on site in Serbian language.

EASD more focused to activities against plastic pollution

Energy Efficiency in Eco-schools

Through the Eco-schools Serbia network, series of workshops regarding raising awareness on energy efficiency, especially related measures that can be implemented in Eco-schools, at homes and wider in local communities, are organized. Participants are pre-school children and students from primary and secondary schools which are members of Eco-school network in Serbia. Educational material was prepared, printed (with original illustrations and design) and shared during the workshops. The material served for building capacity of teachers and professors to deal with energy efficiency issue. Workshops are organized in cooperation with the staff from the Public enterprise “Elektroprivreda Srbije”, using and sharing their knowledge regarding energy efficiency.

Every can counts in Eco-schools

Through the Eco-schools Serbia network, series of workshops regarding raising awareness on recycling process (collection, separation, recycling), with focus on cans, are organized. Participants are pre-school children and students from primary and secondary schools which are members of Eco-school network in Serbia. Educational material was prepared, printed (with original illustrations and design) and shared during the workshops. The material served for building capacity of students, teachers and professors to deal with waste collection and recycling issues. Competition in collection of used can is organized through Eco-schools Serbia network, using pre-defined system for awarding the most successful Eco-schools.

Project activities supported by RECAN foundation.

Education and raising awareness regarding need to protect the environment

With the support of the City of Sombor, the Environmental Ambassadors of Sustainable Development Environment realized workshops in primary schools in suburban settlements. These activities were a continuation of the cooperation that began in 2013, when the first workshops were organized during the summer camp on Golija Mt., for high school students.
Based on previous experience and taking into account the interest of students and teachers, as well as their engagement during the workshops on sustainable development and environmental protection, preparation and implementation of workshops covered several topics, such as water, biodiversity, waste, adapted to primary school students.

Mapping recyclers and purchasers of secondary raw materials through an international Eco-schools program

Project contributed to the development of skills and raising the awareness of the need for separation and the importance of recycling among educational institutions and local communities involved in the international Eco-school program.

Through Eco-schools Serbia network information were collected and the results are processed, regarding the types and quantities of waste collected. This served to develop map of locations where recyclers and purchasers of secondary raw materials are registered, which can become partners of Eco-schools in their activities related to waste collection and separation.

Supported by Government of the Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection.

Eco-Paket (Eco-Package) in Eco-Schools

Eco-package is a project implemented in Serbia since 2013/2014 school year, exclusively run in the framework of the International Eco-schools Programme.
Until 2019 the number of Eco-Schools participating in the project increased continuously. This project supported Eco-schools network in their activities performed to be linked to the education for sustainable development through realization of UN Sustainable Development Goals, primarily Goal 4 (Quality education), Goal11 (Sustainable cities and communities) and Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
The project consisted of three activities:
• creative art work competition: based on different theme, every year the students are collecting used beverage cartons (UBC)
• collection of used beverage cartons (UBC) and
• educational workshops for school children including the demonstration how UBC can be turned into paper (these workshops are being conducted by EASD since 2015/2016 school year).
The main goal was to raise awareness among pre-school children, school children and students of Eco-schools, their families and wider community about the need for sustainable use of resources on the example of correct methods of separation, disposal and recycling of used beverage cartons
Specific goals were:
– Educate pre-school children, school children and students about correct methods of separation and disposal of used beverage cartons.
– Encourage wider community to participate in the process of collection and recycling of used beverage cartons in order to raise their environmental awareness.
– Introduce sustainable forest management principle through FSC model, including sustainable production and consumption of used cartons.
– Present and promote companies and businesses that have incorporated the principles of sustainable development and social responsibility towards the environment and natural resources into their operation.
Main target groups were children in kinder gardens (pre-school institutions), pupils in primary and secondary schools and university students, as well as teaching and non-teaching school staff
Other target groups were parents/families/neighbours, local communities (including local companies, institutions, organizations) and media.

Outreach include Eco-schools Serbia network management, workshops organization, preparation of educational material, knowledge based advocacy, raising awareness among educational institutions and local communities on circular economy issue, establishing good cooperation with local communities where Eco-schools exist

From 2019/20 project is not active at national level

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More about Eco-Schools Program in Serbia.  

Also, detailed instructions are posted in Serbian, as well as most news and announcements.

In addition, there is separated dedicated web sites (in Serbian) for this  Eko-paket (Eco-Package) project, supported by Tetra Pak in Serbia.

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October 2018: Circular economy knowledge based advocacy in Eco-schools network in Serbia

October 2017: Eko-paket – Eco-Schools annual conference for the school year 2017/2018

May 2017: Eko-paket 2017 outcome

September 2016: Education for Sustainability

September 2016:  FEE General Assembly 2016 and International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, Ahmedabad, India

June 2016: WED Messages from Serbia: 12th Regional Conference “Environment to Europe”

May 2016: EASD Knowledge Partner with CEE for ESD for transforming education for children and youth

November 2015: Eco-Schools 2015 NOM in Northern Ireland

October 2015 –  SDGs as the relevant part of the context within which FEE operates

January 2015 – Eco-schools Serbia in the International Eco-schools news

December 2014, status: ECO-SCHOOLS FAMILY IN SERBIA IS GROWING, CATALYZED BY ECO-PACKAGE ACTIVITY, On December 12, 2014 in Belgrade, two different activities, merged in one great and successful event, happened: Green Flags Award ceremony and Annual meeting of Eco-Schools Coordinators. Over 50 participants were present from all levels of education institutions.  The main topics discussed include different ideas and methods on how environmental education in schools could be enhanced and better represented in school curriculum. Positive experiences are shared, in particular related motivation through ECO-PACKAGE activity, supported in Serbia by Tetra-Pak Production Company (Tetra Pak Production d.o.o Beograd in 2013/14 and 2013/14 supports Eco-Schools Program in Serbia, as a socially responsible company). From 3 Eco-schools in 2012/13, 15 in 2013/14, in Serbia there are in the moment 24 schools in different stages of Eco-School Program implementation 2014/15 (2 higher education institutions level, 1 secondary school level, 18 elementary schools and 3 pre-schools). Behind this growing success is NO Team in Serbia (from organization Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development): National FEE Mentor for FEE Programs Prof.dr. Andjelka Mihajlov, National Eco-School Coordinator (until October 2014 Milica Petrovic, from October to December 2014 Dragana Grujicic, and in 2015 expecting new dedicated person on the board), National FEE Council (with representatives of supporting ministries, other relevant institutions and experts), Prof. dr. Natasa Zugic-Drakulic – Executive Director, assistance of Milena Tabasevic and Marina Marjanovic, as well as Coordinators and dedicated teachers, professors and principals in Eco-Schools (participants of 2014 Seminar): Andrijanić ZoranAngeleski AlmaBabović Dragana Božilović DragicaBursać Slađana,Davidović Stevan,Despotović Slavica, Đurović Ljiljana, Gligorovski Tatjana, Grahovac Prole Milijana, Ivanović    Vesna, Janković Danijela,  Jeličić Biljana, Joksimović Ana, Jovanović Dragana, Kocić     Vesna, Luković      Verica, Luković Brankica, Maksić Marina, Mandić Miroslav, Miloradović Dragana, Milosavljević Zorica, Momčilović Verica, Nikitović Dragana, Nikolić Perčević Đulica, Pantović Zoran, Perić Snežana, Sekulić Dragojle,  Simendić Siniša, Stoiljković Slavica, Strugar Aleksandra, Vasiljević Milka, Večei Funda Valerija, Vidojević Mirjana, Vranić Darko, Grujičić   Marina, Malinić Uglik Sanja, Planić Vasilie, Marković Jasmina, Radić Marija, Stanojlović Dragana and Ceranić  ĐuroMoments from the Event are available at: http://ambassadors-env.com/gallery/eko-skole-12-12-2014/ and http://ambassadors-env.com/gallery/eko-skole12-12-2014-deo-2/

December 2014 – Eco-schools National Operators Meeting 2014 ; National Meeting of Eco-Schools Coordinators

May 2014 – With children, parents and teachers “cleaning up Serbia”

January 2014. : There are 18 schools in the Program, 3 of them already awarded with Green Flag

Meeting with Eco-Schools Coordinators, December 2013

Tetra Pak Production d.o.o Beograd in 2013/14 start to support Eco-Schools Program in SerbiaTetra Pak, as a social responsible company takes part in this Program in order to raise awareness of children and local communities on the importance of responsible behaviour towards environment. 

The first GREEN FLAG ceremonies : September 19 and 12, 2013 , November 19 2013

National FEE Committee Meeting, September 6, 2013 : 3 schools awarded

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3 schools applied and started process in 2012-13 .

June 2013: International Mentor visited school “Drinka Pavlović” in Belgrade.

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Program activities include summer schools, summer camps, etc.

Related activities: Education for Sustainable Development

Zlatibor Mona hotel – the only hotel in Serbia outside of Belgrade with international ecocertification “Green Key”

The Zlatibor Mona hotel has always been renowned as a business dedicated to upholding the tenets of social responsibility. This has recently been officially recognized with our having satisfied the requirements for the Green Key, the reception of which marks a new epoch in the social awareness of our business operation. Through numerous activities, we continue to contribute to environment protection, raising ecological awareness of staff and guests alike, as well as local community development. We strive to continue to advance in the sphere of sustainable business and to implement all the measures possible toward the realization of the Green Key aims. We proudly point out that we are the first Serbian hotel brand, as well as the only hotel in Serbia outside of Belgrade to receive this prestigious certificate.

“It is with great pleasure that I can say we received the “Green Key” certificate thanks to the dedication of our entire team and that all our employees have recognized the importance of the initiative and came on board of this global environmental movement. With regard to the fulfillment of the certificate requirements, many were completed already in 2007, with the renovation of the hotel, and our operation now accommodates all the criteria, including water consumption control, electrical energy expenditure, and the exclusive use of environmentally friendly chemical products.”

Ivan Vitorović, Chief Executive Officer of Mona Hotel Management

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/ENV.net 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.

Participation in two-day study tour for CSOs representatives

Office for Cooperation with Civil Society with the support of the OSCE Mission to Serbia organized a two-day study tour for CSOs representatives who are engaged in the field of protection and conservation of the environment,especially in terms of raising public awareness of the need to seal the flood as well as in activities related to the mapping of risks and developing plans to protect the environment from these natural disasters .

Purpose of this study tour was the promotion of enhanced mechanisms of public participation in the prevention and flood protection and mitigation of their consequences. The aim of these visits was CSOs capacity building for their greater involvement in decision-making related to water management.  Dragana Grujičić, as the EASD representative, participated in this action.

 

Participants visited the following locations in Central and South Serbia: Lake Gruža, gravel pits near Kruševac and municipality Trgovište.