ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING PILLARS, UNEP
Environmental Education and Training Unit (EETU) at UNEP is visible through many programmes, networks and resources. These cut across UNEP’s thematic areas and are organized around three pillars namely Education, Training and Networking.
The Education Pillar focuses on: Inspiring, informing, mentoring, supporting, and facilitating institutions of higher learning to undertake curriculum innovations for sustainability. Additionally, institutions of higher learning are encouraged to reorient their curricula in support of sustainable development.
The Education pillar also focuses on: Inspiring, encouraging, and supporting universities to develop and implement their own transformative strategies for establishing green, resource-efficient and low carbon campuses. This provides an opportunity to build stakeholder capacity to deliver systemic, institution-wide integration of sustainability principles into all aspects of university business with the view to improve the sustainability performance of universities globally and to provide support to other stakeholders embarking on their own sustainability journeys. Further, this initiative aims to enhance the practical relevance of universities to sustainable development.
Current education initiatives:
- Guidance to universities and other institutions of higher learning on curriculum review and reorientation towards sustainable development, in line with the principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD);
- Greening Universities initiative;
- Environment and Sustainability Seminars and Leadership Programmes and;
- Development and dissemination of information and knowledge resources e.g. Source Books to aid development of graduate level (masters) curricula and programmes on Green Economy and Ecosystems Management.
The Training Pillar focuses on developing applied competence by enhancing knowledge and awareness on UNEP’s priority thematic areas as well as equipping the target audience (mainly mid-level managers and policy makers) with relevant skills, values and attitudes on key environmental and sustainability themes, issues and emerging concepts such as ‘Green Economy’. This is implemented through scheduled training courses and leadership programmes in universities.
Current training initiatives:
- The International Post-graduate Training Programme on Environmental Management (Dresden University, Germany);
- Youth Encounter on Sustainability (YES)/ Activating Talent in Sustainability (ACTIS) programme;
- Sustainable Communities Course (Helsinki University of Technology, Finland);
- International Environmental Law-making and Diplomacy Training (University of Joensuu, Finland);
- International Training Programme (ITP) on Education for Sustainable Development (Ramboll Natura, AB, Sweden);
- UNEP- Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development Training Courses (Tongji University, China); and
- Central Asian Leadership Programme on Education for Sustainable Development.
Focuses on encouraging and strengthening regional and sub-regional higher education networks for environment and sustainability. These are modeled around continents, UNEP regions as well as the North-South and South-South frameworks. It also aims to further establish linkages with other higher education initiatives for sustainability around the world and recognize programmes of excellence.
Some flagship networking initiatives:
- Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African Universities (MESA) for Africa;
- Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in the Caribbean Universities (MESCA) for the Caribbean; and
- Regional University Consortium (RUC) for Asia and the Pacific.
All these networks feed into the Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability (GUPES).