LEAF is an international programme that was introduced locally during the scholastic year 2011-2012. The programme works in parallel with the already established environmental education programmes; Eco-Schools (locally known as EkoSkola) and YRE (Young Reporters for the Environment) which are considered as main vectors of Education for Sustainable Development. All three programmes complement each other and in their own distinctive way empower students to adopt an active role in environmental decision-making and action in their school community. LEAF is locally run by Nature Trust Malta as FEE representatives.
The need to learn about forests goes beyond how green or less green the Maltese islands might or should look to the odd tourist or the keen environmentalist. In essence it is a deeper need to understand the key role forests play for sustainable life on our planet and whether that role is being compromised by the way of life we lead.
It is not just about luring young learners to become intrigued by the joys and wonders of the forest and its inhabitants. It is an opportunity to sensitize young learners and youth alike to appreciate the intricate relationships that take place in local woodlands and in forests around the world and how these can be compromised by the choices we make each day. The programme addresses all the functions forests fulfill for people; cultural, ecological, economical and social.