UNESCO award for VERBUND Hohe Tauern National Park Climate School

12/7/2012Vienna

Climate education of the exciting kind awarded as valuable contribution to the World Decade "Education for Sustainable Development"

In 2010, VERBUND, Austria's leading electricity provider, and Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria's oldest national park, launched a joint-venture educational programme together with VERBUND Hohe Tauern National Park Climate School. The free, four-day course offer involving a climate project has so far brought learning fun around climate and climate protection to some 4,500 male and female students from Carinthia, Salzburg and Tyrol. Now it has also convinced UNESCO, who today awarded this project the title of "UN Decade Project" of the decade termed "Education for Sustainable Development".

VERBUND and Hohe Tauern National Park are not neighbours in the Hohe Tauern mountains, but also partners when it comes to climate protection.

2010 saw the birth of VERBUND Hohe Tauern National Park climate school. Since then, specially trained national park rangers visit fourth- to eighth-year students. They own a repertoire of exciting and educational material, enough to last for a four-day project course revolving entirely around the topics of climate and climate protection.

Creating awareness
In the climate school, there is no need for wagging fingers; by means of experiments, observation of nature and the creation of an understanding of causality, students are made aware of the necessity of climate protection. At the same time, they realise how they themselves can contribute to climate protection on a day-by-day basis.

This unique educational offer is free for fourth-year to eighth-year students in Carinthia, Salzburg and Tyrol. So far, some 4,500 students, male and female, have attended the climate course. Evaluation has shown that the young climate protectors take their acquired knowledge back home with them and effectuate a change in conduct, for example, when it comes to preparing school snacks from regional or seasonal products.

UN Decade Project
This unique and sustainable education offer to promote climate protection has also convinced the UNESCO jury.
At yesterday's award ceremony, the award "UN Decade Project" was officially awarded. Karl Gollegger, one of the founders of the VERBUND Hohe Tauern National Park climate school, accepted the award on behalf of VERBUND and expressed his optimism regarding the future with the following words of thanks: "In the VERBUND Hohe Tauern National Park climate school, we want to convey the importance of every contribution that the individual can make towards climate protection. In order to reach even more young people, we are already working on the expansion of the offer to include the ninth and tenth school years."