Environmental delegation visits Minister of Education and presents to him the Schools with No Walls Walls Program

Al-Halabi: The vitality of civil society and civic participation is very important in promoting environmental awareness

A delegation of environmental NGOs visited the Minister of Education and Higher Education in the caretaker government, Abbas al-Halabi. The delegation included the head of the national committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Mr. Fadi Ghanem, the President of the Lebanese Assembly for the Environment Mr. Malik Ghandour, the President of the Supreme Council for Bird Protection and Director General of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) Mr. Assad Serhal and the President of the Higher Matn Association for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Mrs. Ghada Nemer. The event was also attended by the director general of the Ministry of Education Mr. Imad el Ashqar as well as members of the various NGOs.

The delegation briefed the minister on the project entitled School With No Walls (SNOW), which was created in cooperation with the ministry. The minister expressed his satisfaction with the activities being done in many regions of Lebanon, and praised the “effort made to open the doors of schools to extra-curricular activities related to the beauty of nature, the conservation of the environment, its educational and psychological benefits, and the importance of volunteer work to protect the environment.”

The minister also stated: “The vitality of civil society and community participation is very important in promoting environmental awareness.”

After the meeting, Serhal said: The meeting with his excellency was a distinguished one, and this meeting came as a comment on the agreement between the Society for the Protection of Nature and the Ministry of Education to spread environmental awareness in schools, especially on the “SNOW” program, especially as the minister called it “Schools With No Walls”, and its aim is to reach all of Lebanon’s schools, especially public schools, and to encourage visits to hima in various Lebanese regions to conserve nature through focused and targeted programs for biodiversity, climate change, and the conservation of water resources, wild birds, as well as sustainable development. Both sides stressed the implementation of these programs in order to keep local people on their land and to conserve the environment. Serhal also spoke of “Homat Al-Hima”, a new program that targets university students, which was welcomed by all attendees.

Ghandour, in turn, handed the minister an invitation to participate in the consultative workshop for the “Blue-Green” project to rehabilitate natural resources to in limit climate change. The project fosters scientific studies and reasons for protection due to its biodiversity and economic and tourism importance.

Ghanem, for his part, expressed the importance of cooperation between environmental NGOs and the Ministry of Education in order to plant the seeds of awareness about conserving the environment in students’ hearts and minds, and praised the programs that were presented and the work that was accomplished in this field. Ghanem thanked His Excellency the Minister of Education for his support for the environment and all those present for their sincere, diligent efforts.

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