Environment and Climate literacy

by Kavitha A

Environmental Education involves developing a good understanding and awareness of local and global environmental issues by involving various stakeholders as well as the general public. It entails introducing the public to a process through which they could get involved in taking responsible actions towards adapting to a changing environment.

Public awareness may not always be at par with the latest academic knowledge about the environment and its degradation. A large volume of specialized knowledge of the subject and its effects on societies is not always communicated to the general public in the most effective ways. However, with nuanced educational opportunities about the environment, awareness and sensitivity towards pressing needs of the environment could be addressed and people could be motivated to participate in conservation, protection, and management of the environment and natural resources. And to achieve this goal, skill development among the public on identification, communicating and mitigating of environmental issues is the key.

By imparting the skills to observe, measure, classify, gathering data, etc, participants in the environmental education can foster critical thinking, problem solving, and actionable decision-making skills. Environmental knowledge must also adapt science with traditional knowledge and practices for an improved quality of life, without causing an imbalance to the ecosystem or its essential services.
This present day consumerism that fuels rapid industrial growth needs a serious inward look. Environmental education is one of the ways to alter human actions, change behaviors and daily attitudes and provide a structured and well informed approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help mitigate climate change. Additionally, pedagogic interventions to integrate environmental concerns in schools could play a major role in helping young students engage with impacts of environmental degradation and climate change. This can not only have a positive local impact, but can define their actions in the future.

Environmental education can help children, general public, stakeholders, corporate houses and concerned citizens to understand and act, which in turn helps individuals and communities. A deeper penetration of environmental knowledge can inform people about ecological and social perils of environmental degradation and empower them to make choices that will, in small measures, help the surrounding environment.