Environmental Education

Educating the greedy of the world

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 06, 2006

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Illegal trade in endangered species can't be attributed to socioeconomic factors. People doing this, in most cases, have other means of finding income. It is pure greed and the ability to manipulate the uneducated tribals which fuel a flourishing trade.

Most people committing wasteful acts are doing it out of ignorance. Will creating awareness help? Yes, to some extent. Will Environment education help? Yes to a large extent. Not just informing them about the issues but also providing solutions.

Environmental Education

Media and Educators -a distinction

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 03, 2006

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There could be a reason why -quote- the "newly industrialized" countries are not starting from the enhanced ideas on environmental protection unquote-.

The way I see it, it is a communication problem. "Marketing" is an important issue, not only with environmental problems but with most problems in general. It is not only important to identify a problem, it is equally important to be able to present it to the public in a way that people can identify with it and express it in a way that is easy to comprehend.

Problem solving in a developed country has to be adapted to the realities of a a developing country. Who will do this job? Our own environmental educators have this big responsiblity.

Media generates public interest, but stops short of suggesting solutions to problems. That is where environmental educators must pitch in.


Environmental Education

We already have the Information Needed

Posted by Amin Adatia on July 31, 2006

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The information needed to protect and enhance the environment is and has been available. The only thing that has not changed is, as you say, the greed and short-sightedness. It is a wonder why the "newly industrialized" countries are not starting from the enhanced ideas on environmental protection. But then, they are neither too concerned about the safety of the workers. Cheap labour and "throw-away" human resources a plentiful. Why would this be any different than the way the IT companies have been treating the workers -- cheap labour so that the "Developed" countries can still exploit. Maybe having been exploited for over 400 years has something to do with it.

Environmental Education

Food Security

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 27, 2006

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For a poor country like India, filling one's stomach is priority. But the poor are not vandalising wildlife or forests. It is the greed of short sighted people which does this. The development vs destruction debate does not serve any purpose when pursued at parallel lines. There is need for environmental education to be part of all developmental projects.

Environmental Education

Does it matter when I have no food?

Posted by Amin Adatia on July 27, 2006

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Why would it matter when all I really want is some wood to burn to cook my food? Actually what I really want is some food to begin with. The real culprits are the "educated persons" who need the extras which directly or indirectly cause the polution/land-fills/Greenhouse Gases/. If it needs eduction to realize that polution is bad then I doubt if we are in a position to do anything about it. What kind of education is necessary to convince people in a village that it is not a good idea to use the streets as toilets, not to spit on the roads, not to sit in a smoke filled room, etc. Are we just worried about the North American style polution which is being imported by the rapidly expanding economies of India and China and Brazil? After all the education and talk, why have these new economies not started out with sound environmental practices? It is always the lure of the rupee and damn the environmental consequences; after all people and their lives are really worth very little compared to the profit to be made from the sale of the products.

Environmental Education

A lot needs to be done!

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 19, 2006

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The time has come for environmental education to move out of class rooms and address real problems out there. Environmental Education, I have always believed, is a life long learning subject. It cannot be straightjacketed as biology, chemistry, economocs law, etc- It has to take from all disciplines to be meaningful. This can really be achieved by any educated person.

We had an interesting chat on the topic with Lima Rosalind of WWF(I).

Read the transcript by clicking HERE.

Environmental Education

Environmental education has no borders

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 14, 2006

Forum Post

Courses in environmental studies are very good at describing issues. Educators must also give techniques or tools for aspiring environmental professionals. Here is the gist of a discussion in a group at myspace.com which I found interesting.

"A bricklayer layes bricks, a graphic designer designs PR and websites, a teacher teaches, a car mechanic fixes cars, but environmental professionals? In my thoughts you have to specialize in a set discipline, then you can later slant it towards conservation. You must frame the issues, not describe them.

I've learned this the hard way because for me it's been hard to develop a resume with concrete assets, not abstract thoughts."

"If there are tools for environmental professionals in conservation, what are they? Teaching this is not easy. Environmental problems are very site specific, and any good solution needs to factor in social and economical aspects. It comes with experience, and with asking lots of questions.

What does an environmental professional use? That depends on the environmental problem, its scale, temporality, spatial extent, etc. I would be pretty confident to say that mathematical models, geographical information systems (GIS), statistical analysis, and a thorough understanding of the specific field of interest, field and lab equipment and procedures. This is ideally complemented by a knowledge of law, economics, sociology at the minimum."

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