The Role of UNEP in Environmental Education
A major goal of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is to catalyze and encourage international and national action for more effective management of the environment. There are three fundamental tasks associated with this goal: (a) Indentification of major environmental problems through environmental assessment; (b) Promotion of solution to these problems, and prevention of new ones, through effective environmental management; and (c) Measures to support the functional tasks of assessment and management, for which education, training and information are important and indispensable tools.
The environment is considered not as an issue of discipline, separate and apart from others, but as a dimension which must be brought to bear on a whole range of activities which impinge upon the physical, biological, social and cultural aspects of the human environment. By its given mandate, UNEP is charged to promote environmental coordination among national and international organizations, encourage them to give due emphasis to the environment in their deliberations, and to catalyze actions which will enhance the prospects of a better quality of life through a healthier environment resulting from effective environmental management.
The fundamental principle of UNEP’s catalytic action in the area of environmental education is based on the need to ensure that the environmental dimension is adequately covered in education programmes. Actions within the functional tasks of environmental assessment and management are expected to identify and produce environmental materials which should be reflected in educational curriculum content and methodology.