The blueprint for the “environmental zero impact” schools to be built by UNRelief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) inpartnership with award-winning architect Mario Cucinella, renowned for greenarchitectural design and technology, will be showcased at the ongoing UN ClimateChange Conference in Durban, South Africa.
“This project is a first for UNRWA, which we hope will lead to the creation ofenvironmentally friendly schools in the five areas where we work,”said Filippo Grandi, the UNRWA Commissioner-General. Such schools will also be built in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria in future, he said.
“We teach half a million students throughout the Middle East region. UNRWA isgrateful to the Kuwait Fund, which is funding the pilot school through theIslamic Development Bank. We hope that all donors will come forward as thisexciting initiative moves ahead,” Mr. Grandi added.
At a cost of $2 million – about the same cost of building a regular UNRWA school– the schools will provide educational facilities for 800 students each in anatmosphere conducive to the highest levels of academic achievement, according tothe agency. The schools are self-sustaining in water and energy.
The aim is to promote high academic standards within the schools, while creatinggreater awareness and respect for the environment outside.