Ekoetxea Meatzaldea launches a new initiative to mobilise schoolchildren against climate change


Ekoetxea Meatzaldea has launched a prototype aimed at the school community to raise awareness about the significant influence of human activities, both those that speed up climate change and those that contribute to mitigating the effects of this global phenomenon. The activity is targeted at students in the first years of secondary education and is part of the transformation process of the Ekoetxea network, which offers new initiatives geared towards getting citizens to make specific commitments.

As in previous prototypes developed in some of the network’s other centres, the activity is closely related to the ecosystem where the environmental centre is located in the mining area of Bizkaia and, in this particular case, to the impact on the environment caused by one of the human activities traditionally linked to the economic development of the region: iron ore mining.

During the first few weeks of May, several groups of first year secondary school pupils from Itxaropena Ikastola in Trapagaran and the Zunzunegi Secondary School in Portugalete took part in this activity, which integrates the natural environment as an educational tool and, in addition to the aforementioned objectives, encourages children to develop a critical spirit, fosters relationships outside school, and at the same time stimulates dialogue, tolerance and respect among members of the group.

The initiative

This Ekoetxea Meatzaldea prototype starts in the classrooms of each educational centre thanks to the collaboration of the teachers and is structured around a fictitious story linked to the area’s mining past. The story puts the participants face to face with the dangerous plans of the villain Aldakor, who wants to get rich by developing a state-of-the-art device in the old mines of La Arboleda, which would mean destroying biodiversity in order to dominate humanity and the planet. 

In the second phase, the student group goes for a walk through the former mining area of La Arboleda, where they analyse the current landscape and are given different missions and challenges to complete. The aim of each team of pupils is to get the elements that the story's villain needs to carry out his evil plan before he does. Participants will see how nature has gradually recovered and new ecosystems have been created after mining activities have ceased.

Prototypes in the network

The initiatives devised by the Ekoetxea network's environmental education team aim not only to raise awareness among participants, but also to encourage specific personal commitments and actions which, once integrated into their daily activities, will contribute to slowing climate change. The objective, which is in line with the new purpose of the Basque network of environmental centres, emphasises the idea that every gesture counts in terms of preserving and ensuring a sustainable future.