Complete text of Agenda 21: Chapter 36
Chapter 36: Education, Training and Public Awareness
Many people do not understand the close ties between human activities and the environment because they have inaccurate or insufficient information.
There is a need to increase people’s sensitivity to, and involvement in, finding solutions for environment and development problems. Education can give people the environmental and ethical awareness, values and attitudes, skills and behaviour needed for sustainable development. To do this, education needs to explain not only the physical and biological environment, but the socio-economic environment and human development.
Basic education is the underpinning for environment and development education. All countries should strive for universal access to education, and achieve primary education for at least 80 per cent of all girls and boys, through formal schooling or non-formal education. Adult illiteracy should be cut to at least half the 1990 level, and literacy levels of women brought into line with those of men.
To improve sustainable development education, nations should seek to:
The world needs a flexible and adaptable work force, equipped to meet growing environment and development problems, and changes during the transition to a sustainable society. Countries should:
- Make environment and development education available to people of all ages.
- Work environment and development concepts, including those of population, into all educational programmes, with analyses of the causes of the major issues. There should be a special emphasis on training decision makers.
- Involve schoolchildren in local and regional studies on environmental health, including safe drinking water, sanitation, food and the environmental and economic impacts of resource use.
- Set up training programmes for school and university graduates to help them achieve sustainable livelihoods.
- Encourage all sectors of society, including industry, universities, governments, non-governmental organizations and community organizations, to train people in environmental management.
- Provide locally trained and recruited environmental technicians to give local communities services they require, starting with primary environmental care.
- Work with the media, theatre groups, entertainment and advertising industries, to promote a more active public debate on the environment.
- Bring indigenous peoples’ experience and understanding of sustainable development into education and training.