Sustainable education or training

Be inspired by our three finalists listed below and help to choose a winner in this category.

The public vote will count towards 60% of the overall score and the winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony on 28 November.

Black Mountains Land Use Partnership - Mountain and Moorland Ambassadors

Using local expertise to drive awareness of conservation among visitors to the area

The Black Mountains Land Partnership (BMLUP) was awarded a Sustainable Management Scheme grant as part of the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.  This funding has allowed the Partnership to promote the restoration and sustainable management of the natural resources of the Black Mountains area of the Brecon Beacons National Park (BBNPA).  This is being achieved through the delivery of a series of landscape-scale projects focused on bracken, peatland and visitor management.

The primary issues the project was seeking to address in regards to visitor management was deterring antisocial behaviour and promoting the Black Mountains as a living working landscape. The Partnership recognised that engagement of local businesses who could act as Ambassadors were crucial in conveying sustainable messages to visitors. They could also help to support landscape-scale collaboration with issues such as illegal off-roading, which contributes significantly to peatbog erosion.

In the last twelve months the project has made significant progress and impact. A total of 56 Ambassadors have been trained. Training was delivered to three cohorts over a bespoke two-day training programme followed with an ‘action planning’ session with partners. The focus of these sessions identified the actions that might be undertaken by Ambassadors to both support the Partnership in its work and to sustain their ongoing role into the future. Some of the suggestions evolving are being used to continue and sustain the engagement initiated by the training for the benefit of the Black Mountains environs, its communities and visitors.

Severn Wye Energy Agency – Our Future’s People

Secondary school initiative to inspire the environmental professionals of the future

Our Future’s People (OFP) is Severn Wye Energy Agency’s sustainability project for secondary schools.

Severn Wye’s education team works with groups of pupils in secondary schools across Wales, training them in environmental issues, energy management and renewable energy. Pupils are offered work placements’ with local businesses to replicate the same survey and campaign there, too.

Between April 2018 and March 2019 the project built on its first phase of delivery with its second (and final) phase “ appointing four new Powys schools campuses and adding a natively Welsh-speaking Project Manager to the team so that the programme was delivered in the Welsh language.

Working with Llanfyllin High School, Llanidloes High School, and two Newtown High School campuses, the project recruited students to School Energy Management Teams (SEMTs) that led energy-saving campaigns. Once trained, the SEMTs surveyed the whole school, wrote a report and presented the findings to the school’s SMT and Governors. After the subsequent awareness-raising and energy-saving campaigns designed to affect positive behaviour change amongst staff and peers to reduce the school’s energy consumption through no cost actions, the four schools achieved combined energy savings of 165,000kWh, £18,000 and 72 tonnes of CO2 when compared to readings from the previous year.

The project is now in talks with Monmouthshire County Council regarding rolling out OFP in the county, and in Pembrokeshire it is beginning to deliver a similar secondary school engagement project, ENERGE (Energizing Education to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions), to apply OFP principles to school students elsewhere in the country.

Size of Wales & WCIA - MockCOP

An innovative educational programme to enable and empower young people across Wales to debate and negotiate resolutions on climate change

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and will be an even greater challenge for future generations. Tackling climate change is crucial to the well-being goals of a prosperous Wales, a resilient Wales and a globally responsible Wales.

MockCOP is an exciting and innovative educational programme run by Size of Wales and WCIA across Wales. The events are modelled on the UN’s Climate Change Conferences (COPs), where representatives from countries around the world meet to negotiate resolutions to tackle climate change. The difference is that the negotiators in MockCOP are 14-18 years from Welsh schools!

Schools send delegations of three students who are each allocated a country to represent. They research and prepare their position in advance and come to the COP ready to represent and role play their country, aiming to negotiate a global agreement on climate change.  As part of this year’s programme we are also encouraging young people who take part in the programme to become Climate Change Champions

This year we have been able to substantially expand the MockCOP programme thanks to support from the ScottishPower Foundation. In the past we have run one MockCOP event a year, in Cardiff. This year we have been able to expand the programme to run six events across Wales, reaching young people that would not previously have been able to take part in the programme.

The programme hopes to continue to expand and offer the opportunity for the Climate Change Champions that we recruit from this year’s programme the chance to play a key role in designing and running next year’s events.