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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
95/APRIL: EARTH DAY 25 -- SERVICE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
SERVICE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
AN EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE BEGINNING EARTH DAY 25
In honor of the 25th anniversary of Earth Day and annually, dedicate the
period from Earth Day 25 (April 22) to World Environment Day '95 (June
5) to "Service for the Environment" involving schools worldwide and
engaging young people in the spirit of environmental involvement.
Encourage ongoing learning, service and sharing via an Internet
connection called "GreenServe" and with educational materials.
Begin with the period from Earth Day (April 22) to World
Environment Day (June 5) as a special annual season for environmental
service. Foster ongoing efforts to serve the environment all year
Primary, secondary and college level schools overseas that are
affiliated with U.S. public and private institutions (DOD & State
overseas schools, GLOBE schools, Peace Corps assisted schools, etc.),
overseas international and local schools, voluntary youth and
environmental organizations abroad with ties to American NGOs (e.g.
Sister Cities, EarthWatch, National Geographic Society...), also schools
and groups in the U.S. that want to participate.
(1)To foster global environmental involvement and awareness among
young people, schools and youth groups are encouraged to engage in
environmental service (from Earth Day to World Environment Day and
ongoing) with projects of their choosing - such as the clean-up of
special urban areas, parks or beaches, tree planting on community
grounds, developing a local recycling program, or an outdoor
environmental science project or contest.
(2)Then schools and groups record their experiences and share
lessons learned and ideas for service via "GreenServe" Internet,
fostering distance learning about global environmental activity. To
participate in the Internet discussion group, send an Internet E-mail
message to: "firstname.lastname@example.org" and in the text of the message
type: "subscribe greenserve". The initial phase of Internet interactions
should occur by June 12, 1995.
(3)In addition to the GreenServe Internet, link together via media
coverage students internationally and in the U.S. that participate in
Service for the Environment to enable public awareness of their efforts.
Department of State, Peace Corps, AID, USIA, DOD, USDA Global Change
Program, Department of Education, GLOBE, Americorps/Vista, Campus Green
Vote, National Geographic Society, EarthWatch, The National
Environmental Education & Training Foundation, Center for Environmental
Citizenship, Center for Environmental Education, Sister Cities, others.
Responding to the new era of international cooperation and public
participation, where global communication is possible at the touch of a
computer keyboard, the Department of State is committed to working with
young people at home and abroad on the great challenges and
opportunities we now face. Among these, are a host of environmental
issues that increasingly are engaging the imaginations and concerns of
young people. Linking our desire for outreach and our concern for the
environment, the U.S. State Department and non-governmental
organizations have begun a global educational initiative known as
"Service for the Environment."
The goal is to help schools and youth groups around the world as
they organize environmental service efforts throughout the school year,
particularly during the special period from Earth Day (April 22) to
World Environment Day (June 5). "Service for the Environment" will
help young people look for ways to work together with their communities
in hands-on projects such as planting trees, or cleaning up streams.
An Internet system called GreenServe has been established to
enable schools and youth groups participating in environmental service
initiatives to share experiences and exchange ideas. GreenServe will
facilitate distance learning and awareness of the global environment.
It is our hope that through service and the exchange of creative
ideas, young people will learn more about the Earth's ecological systems
and environment, and gain an appreciation for the rewards of civic
involvement and responsibility. After all, Earth Day is fundamentally
about preserving the environment we pass on to future generations.
Working together, children and adults, the public and private sectors,
communities and states, we can demonstrate our commitment to the Earth's
environment, as well as our ability to protect and preserve it.
Timothy E. Wirth
Under Secretary for Global Affairs
Department of State
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