ASEAN Cooperation on Environmental Education

    1. Environmental Education (EE) has been defined as the process of helping people, through formal and non-formal/informal education, to acquire understanding, skills and values that will enable them to participate as active and informed citizens in the development of an ecologicallysustainable and socially-just society.
    2. ASEAN developed and implemented the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan 2000 – 2005 (AEEAP) which ended in 2005. The ASEAN Environment Ministers at their 10th Informal Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand endorsed the AEEAP 2008 – 2012 as the successor  plan to the AEEAP 2000 – 2005 and in particular as ASEAN’s contribution to UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
    3. The AEEAP 2008 – 2012 serves to realise a clean and green ASEAN, rich in cultural traditions, with citizens who are environmentally literate, imbued with environmental ethic, willing and capable to ensure the sustainable development of the region through environmental education and public participation efforts. The AEEAP 2008 – 2012 focuses on the formal sector; non-formal sector; human resources capacity building; and networking, collaboration and communication.
    4. The ASEAN Environment Ministers also approved the establishment of an ASEAN Working Group on Environmental Education to oversee and coordinate the implementation of AEEAP 2008 – 2012. The Working Group is also guided by the ASCC Blueprint 2009-2015.
ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2009-2015
Section D.3: Promoting sustainable development through environmental education and public participation
Strategic Objective: Establish a clean and green ASEAN, rich in cultural traditions where the values and practices of the people are in accordance with the rhythm and harmony of nature, with citizens who are environmentally literate, imbued with the environmental ethic, and willing and capable to ensure the sustainable development of the region through environmental education and public participation efforts.
Actions:

  • Implement the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan (AEEAP) 2008-2012;
  • Establish a baseline assessment on the extent to which national curricula in the basic education system include Environmental Education (EE) and Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) content;
  • Establish a baseline assessment on the extent to which teacher education programmes and in-service and pre-service training address EE/ ESD theory and practice;
  • Ensure that Quality Assurance (QA) systems for formal education (that is, national standards) require the inclusion of EE/ ESD issues in the relevant disciplines;
  • Promote research on EE/ ESD issues to ensure continuing development in formal education;
  • Promote sustainable schools (for example, eco-schools/ green schools) concept and practice throughout ASEAN;
  • Develop EE curricula, materials and resources that are locally relevant and complement ESD at the local/ community level;
  • Promote EE as a key integrating tool for the development of ‘environmentally sustainable cities’ in each ASEAN Member State;
  • Use appropriately designed and targeted EE for promotion of environmentally sustainable business practices;
  • Promote ASEAN Environment Week which serves as platform for national level activities to celebrate and raise awareness of the region’s environment with all stakeholders in each of the ASEAN Member States;
  • Establish a baseline of EE for sustainable development training needs for stakeholders in both the formal and non-formal sectors;
  • Provide EE and ESD training opportunities for key stakeholders;
  • Provide ASEAN EE for Sustainable Development Leadership Training Programmes for key target groups (e.g., government officials, members of parliament and other elected officials, media and communication professionals, youth, women, etc.);
  • Create an ASEAN EE/ ESD scholarship scheme for the region’s stakeholders;
  • Actively promote and manage the ASEAN Environmental Education Inventory Database (AEEID) as the central platform for information dissemination, exchange and learning for EE and ESD in ASEAN;
  • Develop an ASEAN-wide ‘Youth for Sustainable Environment’ Network;
  • Establish an ASEAN sustainable/green/eco-school network;
  • Establish an annual ASEAN EE Conference/ Forum for the region’s EE stakeholders as a platform for the exchange of information, materials, experience, networking, etc;
  • Build and strengthen existing networks of NGOs, universities and media throughout the region to be effective practitioners, promoters, communicators and agents of change for EE and ESD; and
  • Enhance the participation of community leaders, such as those religious leaders who have close contact with local communities, in promoting public awareness on the importance of sustainable development and environmentally sustainable practices.
  1. Activities carried out under the purview of the AWGEE include ASEAN Eco-schools Award Programme, ASEAN Plus Three Youth Environment Forum, ASEAN Plus Three Leadership Programme on Sustainable Production and Consumption, ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable Development Film Festival, and ASEAN Environment Year.
  2. The ASEAN Environment Year (AEY) celebration is held once every three years as a part of ASEAN’s efforts in promoting environmental awareness at all levels of society, highlighting ASEAN’s environmental achievements, and strengthening partnerships among AMS as well as with ASEAN Dialogue Partners, private sector, civil society and non-governmental organisations, in addressing environmental challenges in the region. The first AEY was held in 1995, followed by AEY 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009.