Expanding environmental management education and training

Educating in environmental science
Training specialists in sustainable development of ecosystems
Sponsoring environmental technology training

Formulating and implementing environmental policies and programmes demands a broad range of environmental skills and knowledge.

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

Agenda 21 recommends that:

(a) environmentally focused training activities in sustainable land resources planning and management should be undertaken in all countries, with developing countries being given assistance through international support and funding agencies;

(b) governments at the appropriate level, and with the support of the relevant international and regional organizations, should promote members of local rural organizations and train and appoint more extension officers working at the local level;

(c) regional and international economic organizations and non-governmental research institutes with expertise in this area should be encouraged to provide training sessions and seminars for government officials.


High level training of specialists includes among others, the training of energy specialists at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in the US. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) established the Industry Advisory Group on Environmental Education which developed the Learning and Environmental Action Programme (LEAP). LEAP improves existing corporate environmental activities, internal company training and external environmental training. The World Industry Council on Environment, has a working group on education and training which promotes LEAP and cooperates with AIESEC.

Two recent examples of government action on environmental education are the [US National Environment Education Act] and the [National Strategy for Environmental Education] produced by Finland's National Commission for UNESCO. The European Community Programme for Education and Training in Technology (COMETT) promotes the exchange of students, recent graduates and staff from higher education with enterprise personnel from industry to facilitate exchange of experience and mutual expertise, particularly in advanced technologies. COMETT is working to develop a European network of University-Enterprise Training Partnerships (UETPs) at the regional and transnational level. COMETT is planning at least 25,000 transnational exchanges, primarily student placements, funding 5,000 courses (150,000 people), and helping the continuing training of employees and graduates.

At the international organization level, various UN agencies and departments such as the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) among others, are working on international environmental education. In 1975, the International Environmental Education Programme (UNESCO and UNEP) was launched, and since then has operated in 160 countries, distributed educational materials to more than 150,000 institutions and individuals, contributed to the training of more than 30,000 key personnel, and helped prepare national environmental education strategies in 12 countries. UNESCO and UNEP have facilitated training of environmental specialist, particularly through the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) project, the International Geological Correlation Programme, the International Hydrological Programme, the International Oceanographic Commission and the Programme on Natural Hazards. In ten years UNEP has trained over 10,000 professionals and specialists from developing countries, particularly through the Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme Activity Centre, the Programme on Desertification Control, and INFOTERRA. The International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC) also offers training. UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), has formed an international network of centres of excellence on resource evaluation and environmental management programmes.

Training in rural development
Educating for environmental identity
Training in population and development
Educating about alternative technology
Training environmental impact assessors
Training protected natural area managers
Preparing guides for environment training
Educating for integrated island management
Recruiting women for environmental research
Providing environmental education in schools
Strengthening sustainable development economics
Increasing environmental management education capacities
Training youth for employment in sustainable development
Providing training for urban environmental health workers
Training in environmental aspects of enterprise management
Training decision-makers in use of environmental economics
Providing training on environmental information technology
Expanding public awareness of environmental health hazards
Training workers on environmental safety, health and welfare
Conducting training for protection of the marine environment
Providing training about integrated environmental accounting
Providing in-service training on sustainable development laws
Exchanging information about environmentally sound technology
Educating in natural systems, ecosystems and resource management
Establishing environmentally sound technology training for women
Developing environmental education on transboundary air pollution
Including sustainable development issues in journalistic education
Improving ability to analyse information on sustainable development
Establishing training centres on environmentally sound technologies
Training local environmental technicians to assist local communities
Training mountain communities in integrated environmental management
Expanding training on the environmentally sound use of biotechnology
Training demographers and ecologists in population-environment links
Identifying workforce training requirements for sustainable development
Training integrative approaches to environmental management and planning
Developing new approaches for training on environmentally sound practices
Providing environmental monitoring equipment in development aid programmes
Training urban staff on environmentally sound management of urban development
Establishing environmental training programmes to meet needs of special groups
Providing technology and training for local environmental information services
Expanding exchange of experience on environment and development training methods
Supporting regional training programmes on environmental planning and management
Training scientists to integrate environment in research and development projects
Including environmental management in training programmes for all sectors of society
Integrating basic learning needs into environmental education programmes at all levels
Involving workers in the design and implementation of environmental training programmes
Extending environmental training programmes of United Nations system to employers and workers groups
Assessing impact of environmental training programmes on productivity, health, safety and environment
Assessing environmental training needs of people in geographically, socially or culturally isolated situations
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal