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Welsh young people lead the way championing 30 years of Eco-Schools

Hundreds of thousands of pupils in Wales are taking action on climate change as the Eco-Schools education programme celebrates 30 years.

Eco-Schools is one of the largest global sustainable school programmes – engaging millions of children across 73 countries, by starting in the classroom and expanding to the community to engage the next generation in action-based learning.

In Wales, 90 per cent of schools across every local authority take part in Eco-Schools. This equates to more than 400,000 pupils – one of the highest participation rates in the world!

The Eco-Schools programme empowers and inspires young people to make positive environmental changes to their school and wider community, it supports the learners in planning and executing positive actions whilst championing environmental action in their school.

These topics break large, global issues like climate change into more manageable and directed themes that prompt young people to consider environmental changes that they can make in their school and everyday lives.

On a recent trip to the Senedd, Betws primary school in Bridgend who are one of the thousands of Eco-Schools in Wales, met with the Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs and were very excited to learn that Wales are now number two in the world for recycling rates, especially as their current eco topic is ‘investigating recycling’.

Cabinet Secretary, Huw Irranca-Davies said: “I was really pleased to welcome the pupils of Betws primary School.

“The pupils told me how they value the space outside their school and how important it is for wildlife, education, and play.

“I also heard how they are working hard to achieve their 4th Green Flag award – also known as the platinum eco award – and I wish them all the very best in achieving it.

“It’s clear these pupils, like so many other young people around Wales, have a genuine enthusiasm for recycling, protecting nature and the environment.”

Cabinet Secretary for Education, Lynne Neagle said: Cabinet Secretary for Education, Lynne Neagle said: “Supporting our learners to become ethical and informed citizens, who are committed to the sustainability of the planet, is at the heart of our new curriculum.

“Over the last 30 years eco-schools have helped us to support this ambition and provide learners with a greater knowledge of environmental issues and how they can help care for our planet.

“Wales has high ambitions for more young people to make positive environmental changes within their school and wider communities. We will continue to champion eco-schools so that our next milestone can be 100% of schools being an eco-school.”