ATP Environmental Education Program Receives Energy Globe Award in Prague

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WATERTOWN, Mass.—Armenia Tree Project was selected as a National Winner of the Energy Globe Award for Sustainability during a public ceremony on April 13, 2009 in Prague. The winning program, “Plant an Idea, Plant a Tree: Advancing the Next Generation of Armenia’s Environmental Stewards,” is based on ATP’s environmental education curriculum. An international jury chose 76 national winners for environmental and energy efficiency projects from 111 countries.

ATP’s backyard nursery micro-enterprise program received an Energy Globe Award last year at the European Parliament in Brussels. The backyard nursery program is mitigating poverty-driven deforestation by creating micro-enterprise tree nurseries in the Getik River Valley of northern Armenia, which are owned by hundreds of families who have doubled their annual income by participating in this ATP program.

“The ‘Plant an Idea, Plant a Tree’ teacher’s manual is based on a combination of experiential learning, practical experience, theory, and research. Delivery methods include open-air classes, internet-based learning, and interactive lessons that raise environmental awareness and foster respect for and understanding of sustainable resource use,” stated ATP Executive Director Jeff Masarjian.

“The curriculum introduces teachers to the conceptual framework of environmental education through modules that encourage students to link art and science, build analytical skills through observation, and understand the links between environmental conservation and Armenia’s cultural heritage,” added Masarjian.

The Energy Globe Awards were held at the opening of the meeting of the European Environment Ministers, which was convened by the Czech Republic as head of the European Union Presidency. “We are happy about this recognition through the European Policy,” said founder Wolfgang Neumann of Austria in a press release from the Energy Globe Foundation. ”We find it really important that the world sees how many really good projects and ideas there already are.”

The gala event was attended by top European environmental leaders, including EU Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas, European Council President Mirek Topolanek, and Environment Council of Ministers President Martin Bursik. “Projects from 111 countries were submitted. The spectrum is big: from innovative wind power for ocean-going ships to solar energy system for hospitals in the troubled area of Myanmar to the first computer-recycling project of South America,” noted the Energy Globe press release.
“ATP is honored to again be selected as the National Winner from Armenia of the prestigious Energy Globe Awards. This award acknowledges not only the tremendous efforts taken by ATP in the field of environmental education, but it is really a testament to the unwavering support of our donors, whose investment in our programs allows us to address the critical environmental challenges facing Armenia. We dedicate this award to all of our supporters,” stated Masarjian after the award was accepted by the ATP leadership.

ATP’s award-winning “Plant an Idea, Plant a Tree” curriculum is available in Armenian and English at the following link: http://www.armeniatree.org/whatwedo/eea.htm

Since 1994, Armenia Tree Project has planted and restored more than 3,000,000 trees and created hundreds of jobs for impoverished Armenians in tree-regeneration programs. The organization’s three tiered initiatives are tree planting, community development to reduce poverty and promote self-sufficiency, and environmental education to protect Armenia’s precious natural resources. For additional information, visit the web site www.armeniatree.org.

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