Sustainable Development Success Stories
|Location||Flanders Region, Brussels-Capital Region and Walloon Region, Belgium|
|Responsible Organisation||WWF Belgium in partnership with Luxembourg University Foundation (FUL); University of Ghent: Teacher Training Department (DLO); UAB Assurances (since 1996); Aminal (Ministry of the Environment for the Flanders Region).
Funding is provided by Spa Monopole; UAB Assurances; Ministry of the Environment for the Flanders Region; extra funding has been asked to the Ministry of the Environment for Brussels - Capital Region and the Ministry of the Environment for the Walloon Region.
|Description||Population high density, agriculture and industrialisation exert significant pressure on the environment and freshwater resources. The Springs Project is an educational project aiming at informing and promoting awareness and a sense of responsibility among its target population in relation to sustainable water resources management. The main activities include data gathering on ground and surface water quality; publishing the results in the press; describing and analysing local problems; searching for solutions; exchanges and networking; discussions with various main players in the community, managers and political decision-makers.
Target groups include:
Primary schools : based on an annual theme (1998: rational use of water) teachers encourage children (aged 10-12) to become involved in an information or action project in their local area by measuring, twice a year, the nitrate concentrations found in water in natural springs or wells. Their results are incorporated in the national groundwater quality map. Each participating class receive a "Spring Watchman certificate. Teachers receive all necessary material regarding measuring procedures and a full teaching kit free of charge.
Secondary schools : Pupils (aged 14 to 18) choose a subject enabling them to carry out research on a problem linked to the quality and management of ground or surface water. Teachers in different disciplines are available to help them carry out their multi-disciplinary, individual or group research. Once a year, these French- and Flemish-speaking pupils meet to exchange their points of view and to share the results of their work. This national meeting day is organised in workshops and attaches enormous importance to youth expression (music, art,& ).
Families : A specific scheme intended for families has been in preparation since 1997. It comprises 3 proposals: measuring the nitrate concentrations in water intended for consumption, preventing water wastage; preventing domestic pollution.
World Day for Water, 22nd of March: every year is used as a key day to inform people of the project with a press conference, publication of a map of results in the national press, press reports and inviting the press to cover field work and a press conference given by the children and questions put to local or regional authorities.
|Issues Addressed||Freshwater management; Changing consumption and production patterns; Education and public awareness.|
|Results Achieved||Primary schools: almost 2000 primary school classes are involved in the project and have participated in at least one of the 8 monitoring campaigns which have been organised to date. This represents more than a quarter of primary schools in Belgium and almost 150.000 «Springs Watchman» children.
Adoption of the Springs Project Charter, a document which formalises the commitment of different partners.
|Contact||Mr. Jo Van Cauwenberge / Mr. Luc Michiels
WWF Belgium, Springs Project
608, Chaussée de Waterloo, B-1050 Brussels
Tel. (32 2) 3400 961; Fax (32 2) 3400 938