Amid growing concern over urban pollution in cities across Sri Lanka, there is a dire need for active based environmental education targeting young students. In response and under the auspices of City Net Yokohama, a programme to bring unique learning and lifelong environmental awareness in students between the ages of 8 –12 years was conducted over a two year period. A curriculum directed by the Yokohama based Tsurumi River Network with the close coordination of City Net civil society partners, Colombo-based Sevanatha and Galle based, HELPO, was developed and implemented for students belonging to Eco Societies and Clubs in selected schools. Approximately 160 students participated in the programme that focused on the collection of bio-diversity through field work followed by observation and discussion in the classroom.
The activity based knowledge gathering process has raised deep curiosity and awareness among the participating youth and has resulted in students taking their own actions to conduct environment protection measures. For example, conducting active discussion with the community and parents about their neighborhood bio-diversity and appreciating the importance of that flora and fauna for their living. Other actions taken by students included cleaning waste in the school neighborhood, growing herbal plants in the school and also a project to develop a landscape for their school garden through the selection of native plants to protect the natural eco system.