UN environment strategy for environmental education and training

In this strategy, environment is understood to encompass the natural and built environment, socioecological and economic aspects of environmental issues, and political dimension of environmental protection. In this context, environmental education and training includes aspects related to a wide variety of environment and development issues that affect and are affected by human activities and natural phenomena.

Recognising that the capacity of human society to address environment and development issues and risks differs according to context, culture, skills and patterns of environmental change, this strategy recognises the need for appropriate education and training, skills, technology, infrastructure, access to resources and information for enhanced environmental management capabilities. As such UN Environment recognises education as the primary agent for social change towards sustainable development and as a vital tool for the achievement of UN Environments mandate.

UN Environment's vision for Environmental Education & Training for Sustainable Development (EETSD) in the next decade is to support the holistic approach to the protection of the environment and the improvement of people's quality of life by developing and strengthening initiatives which are responsive, locally relevant, and aimed at transforming people's visions and aspirations into reality for the present and future generations.

This strategy also considers environmental education as continuous lifelong learning that emphasis the complexity of environmental issues and calls for the use of different and innovative educational approaches to teaching and learning. The strategy is also consistent with the environmental education principles which recognise environmental education as a continuous and lifelong process, based on interdisciplinary approaches, active participation and individual and group responsibility for the environment. Working towards sustainable development is the responsibility of every citizen. This makes environmental education important for everyone. Recognising this diversity, education in this strategy includes the different educational sectors, namely formal, non-formal and informal. In this context, education includes public awareness and training as away of including all citizens in the efforts to assess and address their environmental and developmental problems. This also enables processes of empowerment of young and old to enhance greater public participation in decision-making processes.

For more information on the UNEP strategy, please contact:

Environmental Education and Training Unit
Ecosystems Division
UN Environment
P.O. Box 30552 - 00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254-20-7624027
E-mail: env.edu@unep.org