The issue of environmental education (EE) has been thoroughly discussed at several national and international seminars, workshops and conferences after the deliberations at Fourex in 1971 and in United Nations Conference on Human Environmental at Stockholm in 1972. The outcome of Stockholm conference was the establishment of United Nation Environment Program (UNEP). There was held an International Workshop on Environmental Education-“The Belgrade Charter” at Belgrade (Yugoslavia) in 1975 organizes by UNESCO and later an international Conference on EE (UNESCO, UNEP) at Tbilisi, USSR in 1977. Belgrade workshop formulated the guiding principles to achieve the objectives of Stockholm conference, whereas Tbilisi conference followed closely the footsteps of Belgrade workshop.
In a national seminar, organized by the Indian Environment Society in Collaboration with the International Program on Environmental Management at the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi in 1979, emphasis was given to incorporate Gandhian thoughts and values environmental education. A number of recommendations were made in the seminar.
On the occasion of the First International Conference on Environmental Studies held in New-Delhi, in 1980, the late Mrs. Indira Gandhi observed that environmental education is to help arouse, social consciousness and make community aware of the fact that the good of the individual and that of community are of the fact that the good of the individual and that of community are both harmed by ecological disruptions. In 1985, there was the Second International Conference on Environmental Education at New Delhi. Several important points could emerge from the deliberations of the international, regional, national and even conferences of EE.
Environmental Education Programs
Based on different disciplines, Newman (1981) proposed a threefold classification environmental education programs.
i) Environmental Studies: This is concerned with the environmental disturbance and minimization of their impacts through changes in the society (social sciences).
ii) Environmental Science: It deals with the study of the process in water, air, soil and organisms which lead to pollution or environmental damage and to know a scientific basis for establishing a standard which can be considered acceptably clean, safe and healthy for human and the natural ecosystem (physical and natural sciences).
iii) Environmental engineering: This is the study of the technical process which is used to minimize the pollution and the assessment of impact of these on environment (engineering sciences).
Environmental Education in India
The environmental scenario of India is very wide. Ours is a country highly diverse climatically geologically, edaphically, floristically, fanatically, ethnically, lingual, socially and economically. Therefore, EE has to be essentially location-specific. At the first level, special attention must be paid to school going children and women (about of the population). They are to be made aware of health, family planning, nutrition, rural development, slum improvement, sanitation, hygiene, water and food contamination, fodder, fuel wood etc. Non-government organizations have to play a significant role in the Directory of the Dept. of Environment. There are more that 200 non-governmental organizations of which nearly 150 work in the area of environmental Studies and awareness. Moreover, children are to be told the real meaning of wild life. Most children think only tiger, lion or elephant as wildlife. They are to be educated for plant, smaller animals, microbes etc i.e., holistic approach to wild life.
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