Together in Environmental Solutions Learning Activities

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At the beginning of May 2022 (May 4 to 6), the training and cooperation activity "Erasmus + green mobility + green schools", the European conference on climate protection and sustainability in school education, was held in the German city  Potsdam near Berlin. More than 230 participants from twenty EU countries were present at the conference.

During the conference, professor Marina Mirković from Technical School in Požega presented the three-year Erasmus+ project "Together in Environmental Solutions Learning Activities" (TESLA), of which she is the coordinator, through an exhibition and presentation.

The use of renewable energy sources is a key factor in the security of supply and the fight against climate change. The project encourages students' awareness of sustainable development through the use of renewable energy sources and conscientious use of energy. Partners in the project are schools from Estonia, Austria, Romania and Croatia.

The conference participants were addressed by: Dr. Stefanie Hubig, Minister of Education of the Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate; Marta Gutierrez Bennet, Erasmus+ program coordinator for the Erasmus+ program, European Commission; Prof. dr. Matthias Barth, Professor of Education for Sustainable Development, Leuphan Faculty, University of Lüneburg, Germany, and Dr. Thomas Spielkamp, ​​director of the German National Agency for the Erasmus+ program.

Climate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to Europe and the world. In order to overcome these challenges, all 27 EU member states committed to the "Green Deal", to turn the EU into the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The second generation of the Erasmus+ program (2021-2027) is an important instrument to support the implementation of the Green Deal. Therefore, environmental protection and sustainability are even more in the focus of the new program and are already addressed in many exchange projects in the school sector.

Green Erasmus aims to improve the ecological footprint of the program itself, and Erasmus+ projects want to contribute to a climate-neutral Europe. Traveling by more environmentally friendly means of transport, teaching skills for living in a sustainable and resource-efficient society, as well as promoting projects on green topics and using digitization can significantly contribute to this goal.

The conference highlighted projects that show how diverse and creative environmental protection and sustainability projects can be. Best practice projects from Lithuania, Luxembourg and Germany were presented:

MEGA - Make our Environment Great Again

The safeguarding of the environment

SOS. – Save Our Sphere

With the support of experts, the conference participants reflected on the way in which environmental and climate protection can be included in projects, but also in everyday school life. The conference enabled networking of school representatives to find partners and discuss project proposals for mobility projects and activities related to climate protection and sustainability.

The various contents that are presented enable the creation of creative activities that aim to raise awareness among school students and young people in general about the environment and climate emergency situations, and to empower and encourage them to take a stand for the environment and solve environmental problems in their communities.

Sustainability competencies can help students become systematic and critical thinkers, as well as develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to live, work and act sustainably as people who care about the current and future state of our planet.

The meeting was held in the Kongresshotel Potsdam, a hotel certified as a "Green Hotel".

The conference was organized by the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst, Sekretariat der Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK) with the support of the National Agency for Mobility and EU Programs (AMPEU).