June 5, 2019
The earth is in a period of unprecedented environmental change. Climate change and species extinction are changing the natural world around us. Our youth need to learn they have the power to positively impact the health of the only planet we have.
Today, important figures from the French community and members of the school community gathered at Cousteau, The French International School of Vancouver to raise a Green Flag, celebrating the school’s accreditation as Canada’s first Eco-School.
As an Eco-School accredited by the international Foundation for Environmental Education, students will have a say in the environmental management policies of Cousteau. They will tackle problems at a level where they can see tangible results, teaching them they can make a positive difference.
The Eco-School program ultimately instills a sense of responsibility and a proactive, sustainable mindset in students. Through the international Eco-School network, students are also exposed to different languages and cultures by working together with other participating schools globally.
This celebration marks the completion of a two-year journey for Cousteau, who implemented a series of measures to earn this distinction, including:
Forming a student-led Eco-Committee that meets regularly to plan, execute and evaluate
environmental actions for the school.
– Integrating activities concerning environmental themes like biodiversity and nature, climate
change, energy, food, water, global citizenship and health and well-being into the classroom
– Creating an Eco-Code for the school reflecting Cousteau’s on-going commitment to the
Cousteau is named after Captain Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997), and integrates his love and curiosity for the natural world as a guiding inspiration for its approach to education. For over 20 years, Cousteau has been the only school in British Columbia that offers a rigorous academic curriculum
approved by both the B.C. Ministry of Education and the French (France) Ministry of Education.
Cousteau teachers nurture student curiosity, develop their international mindset, and grow their lifelong willingness to protect our planet.
“Climate change is all about youth – it is about their future, the world that they will grow up in and raise their children in. In a world where climate change has emerged as a real and very imminent threat, actions like establishing the Cousteau Eco-school are vitally important in order to further educate students on the ways they can work towards a greener, more secure future on a local and global scale.”
– Jonathan Wilkinson, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver
“France is committed to working on an international level to reduce environmental inequalities and create a fair ecological transition in favor of preserving biodiversity and the oceans. We’re really happy that Cousteau School is part of the Echo-Schools family and strengthens its mission to raising global citizens, aware of the current climate emergency and advocates for biodiversity. Congratulations to all students and staff for their commitment to protect the environment!”
– French Consul, Mr. Philippe Sutter
“This year Eco-Schools is celebrating its 25th anniversary. In 1994, Eco-Schools was launched in just four countries, and today it has a global reach of 52,000 schools in more than 68 countries – engaging 19 million students who are supported by 1.4 million teachers. Cousteau, The French International School of Vancouver has invested a great amount of work in Education for Sustainable Development and the Green Flag award is well deserved!”
– Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
The Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE) is recognized by UNESCO as a world-leader in the fields of Education and Education for Sustainable Development.
The FEE’s Eco-School program includes over 52,000 schools from 68 countries world-wide. Cousteau is the only Canadian school to earn this accreditation.
Cousteau offers full-day childcare for children 3 and 4 years old and classes from K – Grade 8.
Cousteau’s class size (maximum 16 students) is smaller than the B.C. average across all grades, by as many as 8 fewer students per class. This allows for more one-on-one time between teacher and student – a proven, positive influence on academic performance and adult wage potential.