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French Version


Environmental clubs swap green ideas

Environmental clubs at a first-ever group conference Saturday decided to establish a network to keep clubs in Lebanese schools in contact. More than 100 environmental clubs, represented by students and teachers and supported by Al-Bia wal-Tanmia (Environment & Development) magazine, attended the meeting at the Sacre-Coeur school in Gemmayzeh.

Following discussions, participants vowed to promote environmental education by improving environmental content in school curricula and organizing training sessions for teachers on modern methods of environmental education.

Other decisions included creating joint environmental activities and nature discovery trips for schools from different regions and involving parents actively in the clubs.

The idea of school environmental clubs was initiated by the magazine soon after it was launched in 1996.

Since then, students and teachers have been working on issuing annual reports on the state of the environment in Lebanon, according to Najib Saab, editor-in-chief and publisher of the magazine.

Over the past eight years, more than 2,000 teachers benefited from training programs on how to create and run school environmental clubs, Saab said.

He said that the magazine was planning to organize more training sessions for teachers during the coming school year.

Divided into different debate groups, participants discussed the importance of private initiatives in preserving the environment, the need for more widespread awareness programs and the lack of effective actions to stop environmental violations. They also called on the Environment Ministry to implement more effective measures in order to help in the enforcement of environmental laws.

A report on the outcomes of discussions will be drafted for the World Environment Day in June.

"It was a new experience for us to engage different groups of teachers and students in real conference deliberations," Saab said.

"The result was great and beyond our expectations. Students and teachers carried out meaningful discussions and came up with really strong comments and recommendations," he said.

In addition to discussions, environmental songs were performed by artist Paul Abi Rached and environmental games were organized by the association Green Line.

Saab said that the magazine, in coordination with school environmental clubs, will carry out environmental road shows, book fairs and lectures in Lebanon throughout the next two years.

Beirut 09-05-2006
Redaction
The Daily Star



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