J. Chem. En. Sci. A.

Environmental Education and its Role in Achieving Environmental Sustainability in India

Mohammad Shehbaz

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Environment Education, Sustainable development, Primary and secondary education system, Policymaking

PUBLISHED DATE September 6, 2017
PUBLISHER The Author(s) 2017. This article is published with open access at www.chitkara.edu.in/publications.

This article explores the interactions of environment, education and development particularly in the context of India. Basic purpose of environmental education is to give next generation a vision for a better sustainable future full of prosperity. This article tries to give a brief analysis of strategies and policies promoting environment education to achieve the goals of environmental sustainability. The challenges to environment education as a tool to achieve sustainable environment are also studied along with suggesting policy prescription for making environment education effective in overcoming issues related to environmental sustainability.


During the last century, sustainability of environment has emerged as one of the biggest challenge for humanity. With ever increasing world population and per capita consumption of this population the burden on the available resources is enormous. Many essential resources are on the verge of near exhaustion. The current food production system is degrading land, soil and water resources. Rapid urbanisation and industrialization in developing countries is further magnifying the already existing problems. Changing anomalies of temperature and precipitation due to climate change, ozone depletion, inundation of coastal areas, desertification and deforestation, acid rain are the signs of deteriorating environment. The man-environment relationship has reached to a conflicting juncture. World community has realized this threat in last half of 20th century and continuously working towards its plans and strategies to deal with this challenge. To address the environment challenges in 1972 world community met at United Nation’s conference on human environment known as ‘Stockholm conference’. The conference was followed by a number of conferences, summit and collaboration to discuss actions for sustainability of environment. ‘Our common future’ report of Brundtland commission, Vienna conference 1985, Montreal protocol 1987, ‘Agenda 21’ of earth summit 1992, kyoto protocol 1992, Earth summit 2002, Copenhagen agreement 2009 and Paris agreement of 2016 are the notable efforts by global organization in this direction. Mentioning of these efforts is significant as it is in these conferences it is been decided deliberately that how we can move towards a world with sustainable environment and how to combat different problems of environment pollution with a holistic approach. One thing which is common in action proposals of all these conferences is the role of environmental education. Major recommendations emphasized on the organisation of formal and mass level environmental education programme. The due importance given to environmental education in future course of action for sustainable environment also makes it the one of the foundation pillar for modern environmentalism.

Page(s) 25-29
URL http://dspace.chitkara.edu.in/jspui/bitstream/123456789/798/1/JCE%204-1-4.pdf
ISSN Print : 2349-7564, Online : 2349-7769
DOI https://doi.org/10.15415/jce.2017.41004

The challenges to environment conservation and protection are enormous and of complex nature in India. The size and growth of population and consequently burden on natural resources makes the task very difficult. Environment education has emerged as an important strategy to achieve environmental sustainability by making aware policy makers and people ways of striking a balance between development needs and environmental sustainability. But the policy of environmental education is riddled with various challenges which are coming in its way of becoming a game changer. To be an effective tool for achieving environmental sustainability, environment education as a subject needs specialized manpower in the form of quality teachers. Diversifying curricula of environment education by focusing on regional problems pertaining to environmental sustainability and making field based learning important part of teaching pedagogy can make environment education more effective. Lastly, major thrust should be to build synergies between institutions working at national, state and local level promoting environment education.

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