Maryland’s Environmental Literacy Standards receive prestigious international award

Securing Children’s Rights

Maryland’s Environmental Literacy Standards receive prestigious international award 

The Future Policy Award is presented at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.

Embargoed to 1900 CET 20 October

Geneva – October 20, 2015: Maryland’s “Environmental Literacy Standards” is the winner of a Silver 2015 Future Policy Award on securing children’s rights.  The Award will be presented at a ceremony in Geneva today by the World Future Council, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UNICEF during the 133rd IPU Assembly.

The state of Maryland was recognized for becoming the first to require students to be environmentally literate as a high school graduation requirement. The award jury was impressed with results pointing to positive school-wide impacts in knowledge, behavior and local action projects as well as broad improvements in student’s learning outcomes across a range of subjects. Other states, such as Kentucky and Utah have since developed education plans based on Maryland’s “Environmental Literacy Standards”.

In his congratulatory speech, World Future Councillor, Prof. Alexander Likhotal, said: “[text to be inserted]”

In his acceptance speech, Guffrie Smith, President of the Maryland Board of Education, said: “We are grateful for the recognition of Maryland’s innovative work. Maryland worked hard to create environmental literacy standards in our schools and we are proud to be a national model in environmental education. Since 1990 such standards are embedded in our curriculum. To this day we work hard to ensure teachers and students have the resources and support they need. We pledge to continue our efforts to support global environmental standards and help all students become capable stewards of our planet.”

The gold award was granted to Zanzibar’s “Children’s Act” for its effective response to child abuse and violence and for its promotion and protection of child rights that have led to a marked societal change in attitudes towards children in Zanzibar.

The second silver award was bestowed on Finland’s ‘Basic Education Act’, for guaranteeing children’s equal access to high-quality education and training, irrespective of ethnic origin, age, wealth, language or location.  Finland’s holistic and trust based education system produces excellent results, both in terms of child well-being and international test scores.

Jakob von Uexkull, Founder and Chair of the World Future Council, said: “This prize celebrates policies that help us to do the right thing by creating the right rules. Children are among the most vulnerable group facing a host of the world’s emerging challenges. We need more laws that support a just world and protect the rights of future generations.”

The Future Policy Award is the only award which honors policies rather than people on an international level. The World Future Council will now work to globally raise awareness of the winning model policies and assist policy-makers to develop and implement similar initiatives.

More information on the award and the winning policies can be found in our brochure, which can be downloaded in EnglishFrench and Spanish.

Press Pictures from the Award Ceremony can be downloaded from 9 p.m. CET October 20 from the WFC’s Flickr or from IPU’s Flickr page


Follow the awards on Twitter with #2015fpa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *