Slovenian President stresses importance of environmental education of children
Brdo pri Kranju, 25.9.2012 | press release
The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk, attended the closing part of the conference of coordinators of the Eko¹ola programme intended for the education of children and young people regarding sustainable development. The priority areas of the programme are energy, waste and water, while additional areas are biodiversity, transport, healthy food and school landscaping. Twenty-one Slovenian kindergartens and elementary and secondary schools that successfully carried out the activities within the Eko¹ola programme received green flags, an internationally recognised environmental symbol, from the President.
In his opening address, the President highlighted that the environmental education of children is of paramount importance for our future development. He said that, as honorary sponsor, he has been participating, since the commencement of his term in office, in the action “The Earth was Lent to Us by Children”, meaning that the current generation must understand the environment as something belonging to future generations. Therefore, all our activities today must be carried out so that future generations will be able to live in a healthy environment where nature will be protected, thus enabling the creativity and well-being of a number of generations of people who will be organised in an energy-efficient way in which a better culture of living will develop.
These are indeed important tasks, in particular at this time when environmental protection efforts at the world level are not always successful, since countries are not always capable of achieving the necessary agreement on measures for the protection of the planet and creation of a healthier environment for future generations. This must be a reason for concern, pointed out the President, but at the same time we must understand that all the necessary changes will only be realised with the conscious action of many people. President Türk explained that we cannot only rely on the behaviour of the state, of businesses or of organised communities of adults; rather a culture of behaviour will have to change, as demonstrated by eco-schools and work with the young.
The President emphasised the high motivation and commitment of children to environmental protection projects. Further, he stressed that while these projects may not look as if they in themselves might change the world, many such project and their extension to all children may indeed have that effect. “You are changing the world, and be sure that in the future, when today’s children are grown up, the world will already look better,” said the President, adding that children can teach their parents and adults in general a lot about environmental protection and help them to change their habits. This “training” of adults is also of significant importance from the point of view of changing of our culture of living, concluded President Türk.