The vision of LEAF is to see an increased awareness and knowledge on the key functions forest play for a sustainable life on earth.
Learning about Forests’ mission is to spread environmental education concerning forests and all their values among school children all around the world, through the action-oriented, participatory and positive methods of the Programme.
The programme aims at involving a child in practical forestry education to appreciate the crucial forests functions developing responsiveness and proactively create positive change in the environment. Stimulating activities that will help students reach a higher degree of environmental maturity irrespective of age, stage and previous experience
Planting of trees is conducted as a part of the ordinary education. A number of schools in Uganda are joining the tree planting campaign. The planting activities are done as a part of environmental activities concerning the key role forests plays in the climate change debate in schools.
The programme reflects on all the functions forests fulfill for people; cultural, ecological, economical and social. Multiple-use of forests is a reality all over the world. Understanding the balance between those uses is crucial when studying how humans interact with forests. The planting of trees is the planting of ideas. “By starting with the simple act of planting a tree, we give hope to ourselves and to future generations”. – Wangari Maathai
The LEAF programme encourages environmental education through awareness raising among students, teachers and the wider community. The LEAF programme aligns itself with Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the Global Action Programme (GAP) and the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The LEAF programme is operated in a thematic manner. Participating countries encourage schools to work on the current LEAF theme. The programme looks at all the functions of forests.
The forest cycle
The Forest Cycle methodology is a series of carefully engineered measures to help schools maximise the success of their LEAF ambitions. The method involves a wide diversity of individuals from the school community – with students playing a primary role in the process. Schools work through the cycle and once they have successfully completed the cycle the school applies for the LEAF Award. Once a school is awarded, it can be renewed every year. For a school to be considered for the prestigious award they must fulfill certain criteria. While the LEAF Award will be given to schools that complete all the essential elements of the Forest Cycle, it should be remembered that the programme is flexible, and that different countries will find different routes to achieving the LEAF Award.
Step I: Set up a Forest Committee
The Committee aims to direct and address all phases of the LEAF programme.
Step II: Research
Schools conduct awareness surveys to assess the levels of awareness in relation to forests and chosen LEAF theme.
Step III: Action Plan
Implement actions that help raise awareness about forests and chosen theme. Stimulate activities that help reach the goals and objectives of LEAF.
Sep IV: Check and report progress
To show increased levels of awareness and change of behavior.
Step V: Inform and Involve
Spread the LEAF message throughout the whole school and the wider community
Step VI: Forest Code
Decide on the common code of the forest and let others know about it.
The Foundation for Environmental Education, has agreed upon these eight Educational Principles to guide our work towards excellence in Environmental Education/Education for Sustainable Development.
Ensure that participants are engaged in the learning/teaching process
Empower participants to take informed decisions and actions on real life sustainability issues
Encourage participants to work together actively and involve their communities in collaborative solutions
Support participants to examine their assumptions, knowledge, and experiences, in order to develop critical thinking, and to be open to change
Encourage participants to be aware of cultural practices as an integral part of sustainability issues
Encourage participants to share inspirational stories of their achievements, failures, and values, to learn from them, and to support each other
Continuously explore, test, and share innovative approaches, methodologies, and techniques
Ensure that continuous improvements through monitoring and evaluation are central to our programmes.