WWF Nature Academy - cooperation of schools and protected areas

WWF Adria
Published: 17 April 2019
Last edited: 17 April 2019
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„WWF Nature Academy“ is an 8 months long environmental education program that aims to develop key competencies of teachers and their students that lead to active citizenship for nature conservation. Each school participating in the program implements an environmental project in cooperation with the management of the protected area in their close proximity. Since 2016 we have engaged 20 schools in Serbia that became Ambassadors for one of the 5 protected areas involved in the program. During the program, participants learn about protected areas, ecological footprint, project-based and experiential learning, as well as about media relations in order to promote their results and the protected areas. Within the 20 implemented school projects 110 teachers and 333 students were actively involved in the implementation of various activities and approximately 3900 students benefited from these activities.


East Europe
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Pool, lake, pond
Temperate deciduous forest
Temperate evergreen forest
Wetland (swamp, marsh, peatland)
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Ecosystem services
Health and human wellbeing
Not listed
Outreach & communications
Protected area management planning
Traditional knowledge
Other theme
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Ecosystem loss
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor governance and participation
Social conflict and civil unrest
Sustainable development goals
SDG 4 – Quality education
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 11: Protected areas
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge


Bajina Bašta, Zlatibor District, Serbia | National parks Đerdap, Fruška gora, Special Nature Reserve of Gornje Podunavlje, Protected Landscape of Avala
Show on Protected Planet


WWF Nature Academy brings an innovative approach in advancing the competencies for environmental education and active citizenship and provides opportunities and models for a higher degree of association between protected areas and local communities. Parents and wider families whose children (more than 3900) were part of ambassador schools were affected by the programme. This led to increased awareness of locals on the importance of the protected area in their region. Local residents become ambassadors of the PAs and changed their attitude towards nature protection. For the first time in Serbia, 20 local schools with its 110 teachers connected with 5 PAs in their vicinity and started collaborating on education in and about nature. WWF academy initiated cooperation between nature protection sector and education sector (Ministry of Education). WWF Academy workplan, its approaches and methods become part of the curricula for participating schools, thereby making the programme sustainable. Parts of the program has been replicated in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

Contributed by

Kasandra-Zorica Ivanić WWF Adria

Other contributors

WWF Adria