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Chief Minister praises schools’ work with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man

Monday, 16 April 2018

Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK is praising young people’s significant contribution to the Island’s future.

The Chief Minister announced that all 37 Department of Education and Children (DESC) schools have signed up as partners to UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man.

The Island is the only entire nation to be a member of UNESCO’s world network of Biosphere areas, reflecting it is a ‘special place for people and nature’.

In making the Biosphere Pledge, the DESC’s five secondary and 32 primary schools are committing to make a positive impact on the environment, protect natural resources, support culture and heritage, engage with the community and play their part in the sustainable development of the economy.

The DESC has supported the UNESCO Biosphere project since the Island was a candidate for admission to the world network.

Schools undertake a wide range of activity that supports the Island’s Biosphere status.

Among environment initiatives, they are recycling, reducing use of plastics and energy, cleaning up their communities, holding eco clubs, creating outdoor classrooms, planting wildflowers and trees, growing their own food and designing and selling reusable shopping bags.

Manx heritage, language and culture form an important part of the curriculum and schools engage with dozens of events and opportunities run by DESC and partners.

Schools participate in community initiatives such as supporting charities, visiting residential homes, contributing to improvements in their area and observing town and village traditions.

The Chief Minister is chairman of the Biosphere initiative in the Island.

He said:

‘I am pleased all schools are involved in UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man.

‘Our young people embody the spirit of Biosphere, working towards a valued environment, vibrant community and resilient economy. 

‘Perhaps more so than my generation, they are conscious of threats to the long-term future of the planet and the contribution they can make to sustainability.

‘They display the community spirit the Island is famous for and are upholding the fine traditions of Manx language, culture and heritage.’

Jo Callister, Advisory Teacher for the Manx Curriculum with DESC, coordinates schools’ Biosphere work.

‘We are proud that all our education establishments are signed up as partners to UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man,’

she said.

‘This gives schools a platform to share all the amazing work that is already occurring, supporting and promoting our cultural heritage, making a positive environmental impact and engaging with the community.

‘As a next step, we hope to showcase, through an event, the work schools are doing to promote the unique accolade we all share.’

King William’s College and University College Isle of Man are also long serving partners of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man.

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