What is Environmental Education?
Environmental education (EE) properly understood, should constitute a comprehensive lifelong education, one responsive to changes in a rapidly changing world. It should prepare the individual for life, through an understanding of the major problems of the contemporary world, and the provision of skills and attributes needed to play a productive role towards improving life and protecting the environment with due regard given to ethical values. (UNESCO, 1977)
What are its goals?
EE aims to develop:
- awareness, sensitivity and a positive attitude towards environment.
- knowledge and understanding of the ecological processes.
- greater participation in activities that help to overcome environmental challenges.
Why do we need to look at EE now?
A clean and healthy environment is quintessential for the very survival of the human race. A vast country like India faces formidable challenges in the form of exploding population, widespread poverty, recurring natural disasters and a dwindling natural resource base. A majority of the population lives below the poverty line and are illiterate. They depend exclusively on our diminishing natural resource base. So we need to think and act now.
Against this background, Environmental Education (EE) becomes indispensable.