Environmental Action Education

Group 28

Location: Middle East, UAE


Partnership: Greening Schools


Language: English


Format: Curriculum Development, Extracurricular Activities


Audience: Policymakers, School Leaders, Teachers

Meet the teacherLinks

Luka Hargan

Luka studied in Dublin, Ireland completing a B.A.(Hons) in Humanities in St. Patrick’s College of Education before moving on to complete a M.A. in English in Mater Dei Institute of Education. She then undertook teacher training, qualifying with a Professional Diploma in Education and a M.Sc. in Education from Dublin City University.


Luka began her career teaching English, Geography, History and CSPE in St. Brendan’s College, Bray, an all-boys secondary school. She then made the decision to relocate to the Middle East and was based at Rak American Academy, a top performing girls’ school in the northern Emirates of the UAE. After five years there as Head of Humanities, she moved to Mamoura British Academy, Abu Dhabi, to take on a pastoral role as Head of Year 6 and Humanities teacher. As part of this role, she has led the school’s Sustainability committee which has resulted in being shortlisted in the top three schools in the world for Environmental Action along with amazing opportunities such as becoming a facilitator for the world’s largest lesson on climate change, a Guinness World Record attempt.


In her free time, she loves to travel and experience new cultures.

Usefull links related to the Solution

School website


Luka has been the driving force behind the development of Environmental Action Education within Mamoura British Academy, in Abu Dhabi. After launching an initial commitment to recycling, it became clear that many of the students wanted to become ‘part of the change’. From these small recycling projects to being one of the top three schools in the World’s Best School category for environmental action, the Academy’s journey has centred on education and action.

Theory of Change

Learning about a problem without having the opportunity to act in a meaningful way can lead to helplessness. Environmental Action Education has empowered learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of issues affecting the modern world and how they can be part of the change. A through-school, collaborative approach has enabled the learners to grow, develop and promote change to their peers.

Approach and Actions

Luka and the team at the Academy have led a range of sustainability projects across the school. The approach has included integrating sustainable action topics throughout the curriculum; introducing school-wide recycling initiatives; working with the wider school community including suppliers, to reduce their environmental impact; and the students taking part in sustainability challenges. After analysing carbon footprint data with the school’s operations team, the students also developed a retrofitting plan which prioritised energy reduction through the installation of light motion detectors in each classroom. The students have recently demonstrated their passion for sustainable action in the Academy’s series #AMATalks – in the series, the learners confidently articulated a variety of topical issues and their keen desire to ‘be the change they wish to see’.


Students are also encouraged to develop an affinity for nature and many initiatives within the school focus on this theme. Luka and the team have implemented the development of aeroponic gardens – with the produce being either used in the school or given to the wider community- reinforcing ideas about reducing food waste. Luka has worked closely with Madar Farms to develop the aeroponic garden and to incorporate learning resources related to sustainable farming into the curriculum. A vegetable garden for younger students was also developed through a relationship with Gracia Farms. Luka also utilised a relationship with Burjeel Hospital to obtain 500 saplings which were planted by lower school Sustainability Ambassadors. The wider school community is regularly invited into the school to see and be involved in the sustainable projects taking place and to be educated about climate change.