Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Environmental Education: Swimming with the Tide

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Environmental Education: Swimming with the Tide

Article excerpt


This paper examines the necessity to embrace and adopt environmental education. Essentially, environmental education has to do with the creation of awareness and spread of knowledge and understanding about the environment and environmental challenges. Fundamentally, it deals with decision making about environmental actions. Hence, it engages in actions to improve and sustain the environment. Environmental education is about good governance. It is highly indispensable. It is required in solving environmental problems with unimaginable consequences. On this note, the salient issues addressed in this paper are human-environment interaction, environmental awareness, environmental literacy, and sustainability. The reviewed literature revealed that the level of environmental education in developed countries of the world is far higher than that of the developing countries. To this end, this study recommends that the developing countries should move with the tide in terms of environmental education. They should attach more value to the environment. Moreover, they should promote responsible behavior towards the environment. Above all, individuals, institutions the government, non-governmental organizations, as well as community-based organizations should be involved in environmental education.

Keywords: awareness, education, environment, knowledge, management, sustainability

1. Introduction

Environmental sustainability is one of the major issues that are in vogue in contemporary civilization. It is a crucial prerequisite to other concomitants of environmental management and sustainable development (see Anil & Arnub, 2014). Others include environmental impact assessment, environmental sustainability environmental movements, environmental cost benefit analysis environmental quality assessment, and environmental management and planning. Environmental education includes thinking scientifically about the environment. It involves the understanding of the inter-relationships that exist between human and his environment. It is occasioned by the creation of awareness and concern about global environmental issues like hazards and risks, decline in native species, climate change, waste disposal, oil spillage, pollution, global warming, destruction of forest, hedge grow loss, and environmental degradation.

The concern for the environment is based on the premise that there are so many ways through which human is affecting his environment. Also, some environmental problems that were confined to some specific localities are now national or global problems. Apart from this, the effects of the consequences of some environmental problems are irreversible on human and his environment. This concern geared up environmental education. Consequently, environmental education helps people to develop the cognitive skills of decision making and problem solving. Also, it tells us the course of action, solutions to environmental problems, as well as alternative actions. Thus, environmental education teaches us how to think about the environment, helps people to investigate issues, weigh various sides of issues and take the appropriate decision. Environmental education is needed in order to counteract the careless intervention in the environment through the use of available technology and excessive power, coupled with human greed for lavish consumption which can eventually lead to environmental degradation and resources depletion, which could ultimately serve as seeds for future local, national and international unrests and conflicts (Santra, 2011: 981).

Environmental education informs us about the changes that are taking place in the environment as well as their negative consequences. It therefore becomes a necessity in the recent time because some people are ignorant of, or insufficiently sensitized to issues relating to environmental problems, conservation, and degradation, as well as their impact on human health, welfare, and indeed, the survival of the human species. …

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