Scope, objectives, Principles, and Importance of environmental education

Environmental Protection Act (1986) defines “Environment as the sum total of water, air and land, their interrelationship among themselves and with the human beings, other living beings and property.” 

Scope of Environmental Education:

1. It creates awareness about environmental problems. 

2. It generated basic knowledge about ongoing environmental problems.

3. It helps in developing a concern for the environment.

4. It motivates the people to take part in protecting the environment and improving it as well. 

5. It helps in attaining harmony with nature. 

Objectives of Environmental Education

UNESCO (1971) states the objectives of environmental studies are as follows:

1. Creating the awareness about environmental problems among people.

2. Imparting basic knowledge about the environment and its allied problems.

3. Developing an attitude of concern for the environment.

4. Motivating public to participate in environment protection and environment improvement.

5. Acquiring skills to help the concerned individuals in identifying and solving environmental problems.

6. Striving to attain harmony with Nature.

Principles of Environmental Education 

According to UNESCO, the principles of Environmental Education are as follows: 

1. Environmental education should be compulsory, right from the primary up to the post graduate stage.

2. Environmental education should have an interdisciplinary approach by including physical, chemical, biological as well as socio-cultural aspects of the environment. It should build a bridge between biology and technology.

3. Environmental education should take into account the historical perspective, the current and the potential historical issues.

4. Environmental education should emphasise the importance of sustainable development i.e., economic development without degrading the environment.

5. Environmental education should emphasise the necessity of seeking international cooperation in environmental planning.

6. Environmental education should lay more stress on practical activities and first hand experiences.

Importance of Environmental Education

1. It gives clarifications about modern environmental concepts such as the conservation of biodiversity. 

2. It enables students to learn about sustainable ways of living. 

3. It encourages learners to use natural resources more efficiently.

4. It also helps us understand the interrelationship between organisms in populations and communities.

5. It educates people regarding environmental issues and problems at local, national and international levels.

“Environmental studies are the scientific study of the environmental system and the status of its inherent or induced changes on organisms. It includes not only the study of physical and biological characters of the environment but also the social and cultural factors and the impact of man on environment.”