Educational Intervention and Environmental Action
1. Educational Intervention
In accordance with the Tbilisi declaration, the ultimate objective of environmental education is for the general populace to get actively involved in trying to achieve the mitigation policies towards solving environmental problems (intergovernmental conference on environmental education 1977).
In order to achieve this ultimate objective, awareness, knowledge, concern for the environment, sacrifice and special skills are paramount.
Hungerford and Volk (1990), noted that environmental educators typically assumes that when simply impact knowledge to their students‟ responsible actions will follow.
However contemporary studies shows that the antecedents of environmental actions are much more complex than knowledge alone and the responsibility of solving these environmental problems are a holistic effort and everybody in the society has a very vital role to play since the solutions to environmental problems are multifaceted.
The role of education to every individual, groups, societies or mankind as a whole is to provide the experiences, skills, response and every necessary action needed to lead to a personal independence and social responsibilities (National Research Council, 2001).
Education intervention therefore provides, Man with the necessary and required skill needed in order to be able to respond and tackle decisively any academic, cognitive, behavioural, social, cultural or environmental upsurge that tends to affect man’s ability in the core areas of life. Every intervention is therefore goal oriented and aimed at skills needed to be acquires or that need to be performed more often in order to lead to a successful result (NRC, 2001).
Education is widely seen as a means of eradicating both national and international problems associated with our environment, industrialization, insecurity and food insecurity.
2. Environmental Action
The environment forms us, deforms us and transforms us, as we form it, deform it, and transform it (Lucie Sauvé, 2005). International conferences, such as the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (earth Summit) held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 1992, have introduced the concept of the Sustainable Development and described how it could be achieved.
In order to achieve the aimed action, measurable targets and goals must be set in order to be able to assess these environmental actions after a stipulated period.
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The Nigerian government for example, having ascend to the IPCCC Paris protocols sets in motion measurable actions in areas of its energy, as thus, renewable energy, particularly decentralization, multi-cycle power stations, scalable power stations of 20–50 MW, enforced energy efficiency, use of natural gas rather than liquid fuels.
The oil and gas sector sets action such as improved enforcement of gas flaring restrictions, development of gas- to – power plants at gas flare sites (Micro grid), Blending 10% by volume of fuel-ethanol with gasoline (E10) and 20% volume of biodiesel with petroleum diesel (B20) for transportation fuels.
Set targets and goals in the agriculture and land use includes, climate smart agriculture and stopping the use of charcoal.
The Nigerian government also has action for the Industry such as benchmarking against international best practice for industrial energy usage and adoption of green technology in industry and in the transportation sector are actions such as modal shift from air to high speed rail, moving freight to rail, upgrading roads, urban mass transit, toll roads/ roads pricing, increase use of CNG and reform petrol/diesel subsides (INDC 2017).
The idea of sustainable development gained in popularity during the mid-80s and gradually penetrated the environmental education movement and takes the responsibility of a dominant perspective.
In order to respond to the recommendations enshrined in the earth Summit in 1992, UNESCO replaced its International Environmental Education Program (1975-1995) by a program entitled Educating for a Sustainable Future (UNESCO, 1997), the goal of which is to contribute to the promotion of sustainable development through massive public and private education on environmental problems.
It emphasizes that economic development is at the expense of human development and that a sustainable economy is directly linked to the conservation of natural resources and the equitable sharing of resources.
Educating to make rational use of today’s resources is vital if there are to be enough for everyone and enough remaining to meet the needs of future generations. Environmental education then becomes one tool among others in achieving a sustainable development.
Education for sustainable development would grant that the deficit information on environmental problems be mitigated at last. As early as 1992, proponents of the sustainable development ideology proposed a reform of the entire educational system for this purpose.
The function of education in sustainable development is mainly to develop human capital, encourage technical progress and facilitates the flow of trends and latest information, as well as fostering the cultural conditions favouring social and economic change.
This is likely to maximize utilization of human potential and all forms of capital, ensuring rapid and more equitable economic growth while diminishing to the barest minimum environmental impacts.
Empirical evidence demonstrate that general education is positively correlated with productivity and technical progress, because it enables companies to obtain and evaluate information on new technologies and economic opportunities. (Albala-Bertrand, 1992).
Environmental education for sustainable consumption is mainly concerned with promoting supply information product information concerning mode of production methods, possible environmental impacts/ mitigations on products.
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