Community Environmental Education
Staff Training/ Teaching Materials
The United States was the first country in the world to enact legislation specifically on environmental education, along with Brazil, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, and Taiwan currently implementing environmental education laws. Through legalization, environmental education is strengthened in depth and width by improving the implementation system, funding, and certification system to promote the involvement of all citizens.
The government promotes environmental education at all aspects of society through a variety of policy tools, such as legislation, personnel training, financial stability, professional certification, information and educational materials provided, penalties, evaluation, counseling and incentives.
The impact of climate change is critical to the sustainable development of countries worldwide and the survival of human species, which is an urgent challenge faced by the international community. The Paris Agreement, announced at COP 21 in Paris, France, at the end of 2015, calls for all countries to share responsibility for greenhouse gas reductions in accordance with their historical, present and future obligations.
Most of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region are the Island countries, which are the most vulnerable to global climate change. Therefore, the countries in the region should take active greenhouse gas reduction actions, focusing on various impact-oriented prevention strategies. In addition to the reduction of greenhouse gases, it is also necessary to improve the legislative system, actively implement reduction policies and education, and strengthen the ability to adaptso as to ease the impact and influence due to climate change.
The issue of marine waste is increasingly critical, and many countries bordering the ocean have considered it a significant environmental issue and been seeking solutions.
More than 80% of marine waste originates from terrestrial sources, with human activities, the use and improper disposal of plastic products accounting for the majority, and a minor percentage from vessels or marine aquaculture discharges. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that 10 to 20 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year, causing $13 billion in damage to marine ecology. According to data published in the journal Science by American scholar Jambeck, coastal countries around the world produce 275 million tons of waste plastic each year, and it is estimated that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons go into the ocean. Marine waste not only affects the marine habitat environment, economic development and human activities, but also produces chemicals and microplastics that can be transmitted through the food chain, endangering the lives of marine organisms and human health.
In order to solve the problem of plastic pollution, UNEP held a transnational conference in Geneva, Switzerland in 2019, proposed to strengthen the control of plastic waste export trades. In June of the same year, the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision was adopted at the G20 Summit, with the goal of “reduce additional pollution by Marine Plastic Litter to zero by 2050”, it is expected to reduce the impact on marine life and the environment through international cooperation in response to marine pollution problems.
As the average temperature rises around the world due to global warming, disasters caused by extreme climate are frequently reported, as well as food security is under great threat. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, called on all the countries to improve the productivity and capacity of agriculture and food systems to ensure sustainable agricultural development, and set the theme of World Food Day in 2016 as “Climate change: Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”
Traditional farming methods that use excessive pesticides and herbicides have caused environmental damage. Eco-friendly farming practices contribute to increase agricultural productivity and environmental resilience, conserve water and soil environment, and store carbon while also reducing the impact of climate change. Eco-friendly farming makes agricultural areas not only a land for food production, but also a habitat and a food source for living creatures, thus achieving biodiversity on farmland, which is a sustainable act of coexistence between human development and nature.
The International Eco-Schools Program, initiated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), has been implemented in more than 60 countries with more than 59,000 schools certified over the past 25 years and continues to attract participation from many countries, making it one of the major international environmental education programs.
The main spirit of the program is to provide action-oriented, entertaining and socially responsible learning for the younger generation, ensuring that they are on track to achieve sustainable action that meets the SDGs. Eco-schools value the importance of developing student independence, where students actively participate in discussions and decisions, and take environmental actions that can further influence the community.
Eco-schools consist of an action team of students, teachers, operators, and community volunteers to integrate the school's environment, facilities, and curriculum and achieve the spirit and goals. To implement an eco-friendly school action, there are 12 main themes with 7 steps that can be followed.
Energy, water, climate change, transport, school grounds, waste, litter, health & wellbeing, biodiversity & nature, food, marine & coast, global citizenship
1. Form an Eco Committee
2. Carry out a Sustainability Audit
3. Create an Eco-Action Plan
4. Monitor and Evaluate
5. Link to Curriculum
6. Involve the Community
7. Create an Eco Code
The promotion of environmental education in the community can strengthen the autonomy of residents and public participation, and even stimulate the development of local industries and promote the local economy. Environmental education can also be an effective strategy for local resource protection and environmental management, and has a positive impact on the preservation of traditional culture and cohesiveness.
By learning and participating in environmental education, residents of the community can even become promoters. In addition to being the frontline of environmental protection, local communities can also become the site of environmental education with unique natural environment or local cultural characteristics. Communities are able to express the richness of life and gradually implement environmental education in society.
Environmental education is the integration of environmental issues into educational processes to seek solutions to environmental problems. In addition to instructing people about the relationship between human beings and the environment, it also equips people with the knowledge, attitudes and skills to understand the interrelationship between cultures and the environment, enabling people to make eco-friendly decisions when actually confronted with environmental issues.
The key to promoting environmental education is "professional capabilities in environmental education". Curriculum can be designed to incorporate local environmental issues into the school or regional characteristics. Alternatively, the course themes and learning content can be defined in relation to the current global environmental issues, inspiring the learners to recognize, feel and act on the environmental issues around their lives and global sustainability.