On January 26, World Environmental Education Day is celebrated around the world. It is a celebration that has its origins in 1972, and is protected by the United Nations. Its main objective is to raise awareness and educate about the importance of caring for the environment, both from a purely environmental and social perspective. It is a celebration that is closely related to World Environment Day (June 5).
However, these are different celebrations, as each one places special emphasis on different aspects of the environment.
World Environmental Education Day: why and how it is celebrated
World Environmental Education Day is celebrated on January 26 . This celebration arises from the 1972 Stockholm Conference (Sweden). This conference marks the official beginning of environmental protection, since it is the first international and official event in which the problem of environmental degradation is addressed. environment as a consequence of human actions. From this conference, World Environment Day will be established on June 5, in commemoration of the date on which said conference took place. However, in this same conference, one of the issues that were addressed within the set of environmental problems was the importance of education in society to fight against climate change and environmental degradation. Specifically, it was the so-called Principle 19, which stated that “educational work on environmental issues is essential.”
After the Stockholm Conference, the International Seminar on Environmental Education in Belgrade (Serbia) took place in 1975. This seminar did not focus on the protection of the environment in general, but on the importance of education in society. as a whole for the protection of the environment. In this way, the foundations of what is known today as environmental education were laid., which is nothing other than the training of all social agents in environmental matters and how their actions affect the environment. Thus, a new branch of education is established. This environmental education is aimed at both children and young people as well as adults, as well as public and private institutions, governments and companies, in short, any social agent related to the environment.
In commemoration of the International Seminar on Environmental Education in Belgrade, January 26 was established as World Environmental Education Day, whose main objective is not the protection of the environment itself, but the awareness and education of society so that it can be carried carry out such environmental protection.
Phrases for World Environmental Education Day
As a consequence of the International Seminar on Environmental Education in Belgrade, the so-called Belgrade Charter was published . This document contains the main objectives and guidelines that summarize what environmental education is and what its purpose is . Some of the phrases that it includes and that determine the importance of environmental education are the following:
- “It is absolutely vital that all citizens of the world insist on measures that support a type of economic growth that does not have detrimental repercussions for people, their environment, or their living conditions.”
- “We need a new global ethic, an ethic of individuals and of society that correspond to man’s place in the biosphere.”
- “These new approaches to development and improvement of the environment require a reclassification of national and regional priorities.”
- “The foundations must be laid for a global Environmental Education program that will enable the development of new knowledge and skills, values and attitudes.”
- “The goal of environmental action is: To improve all ecological relationships, including the relationship of humanity with nature and of people with each other.”
- “The main recipient of Environmental Education is the general public.”
- “Environmental Education must consider the environment as a whole, natural and created by man, ecological, economic, technological, social, legislative, cultural and aesthetic.”
- “Environmental Education must be a continuous, permanent process, both inside and outside the school.”
- “Environmental Education must be based on current and future environmental conditions.”
- “Environmental Education must promote the value and need for cooperation at the local, national and international levels in solving environmental problems.”
On the occasion of the celebration of World Environmental Education Day, multiple interdisciplinary activities are carried out around the world. Most of them are usually seminars or workshops focused on both children and adults where ways to protect the environment are taught and where the need to take care of the environment is studied in depth .
Likewise, there are other activities of a more dynamic nature that are carried out on the occasion of World Environmental Education Day. In this sense, it is worth highlighting activities organized by institutions, both public and private, that emphasize sports or cultural activities aimed at obtaining funds for environmental protection. You can also find activities related to Environmental Education that are carried out in natural environments, such as reforestation workshops, from organic farming or related to more sustainable transport and mobility. All these activities, in one way or another, are always aimed at the same purpose, promoting ecological awareness and responsibility, which is one of the best means we have at our disposal when it comes to protecting our planet and counteracting the damage. caused to the environment.