Environmental education (EE) in Cyprus formally began in 1997 when the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association (CYMEPA) began cooperation with the Pedagogical Institute to establish the contents of the major themes of the Eco-Schools programme.
Policy & Practice
EE as a subject is only obligatory in primary education. Teachers have a binding framework which incorporates the topic.
EE in K-12 Education
The curricular framework of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports has EE as a pillar of the school curriculum. Science was the basis for integrating EE in school life and teaching about the environment and relevant issues. In Cyprus, Eco-Schools formed the springboard for change in the National Curriculum and is still the most widespread program of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in the country.
Professional development programs in EE have been developed by universities, especially at the Master’s level.
National EE Campaigns and Funding
EE in schools as part of the curriculum receives no funding, and NGOs working on EE in schools receive sponsorships from private donors.
In 1997, CYMEPA began cooperation with the Pedagogical Institute to establish the contents of the major themes of the Eco-Schools program. The biggest challenge continues to be the financial sustainability of the program. In 1999, the Hellenic Bank became the program's major sponsor. In 2019, CYMEPA received the Award of Golden Protector on the Environment from the President of the Republic of Cyprus. The award recognizes the overall contribution of CYMEPA, including its work with Eco-Schools.