Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Sunday, 17 February 2008

Education an excuse for failing policy?

Key actors that have the largest impact on wetlands, e.g. politicians, hunters and farmers are receiving minimal attention from environmental education and communication activities. Instead environmental education is mostly targetted to audiences that have no or little impact on wetlands, e.g. the general public, housewives, local administrations or schools. This is the outcome of research done by Friends of the Earth in Spain. Theo Potma, one of the pioneers in environmental management in the Netherlands, used to say: "environmental education is the excuse of politicians for their failing policies". And he was and is right. CEPA as a stand alone instrument is not very effective. Of course he did not argue that children in schools have no right to good education, including environmental education. What he meant was that CEPA is only effective when it is integrated in a strategic mix of instruments to solve a particular environmental problem. Susana Calvo, CEC CEPA Co-Chair just reminded me of this issue when commenting on the CBD CEPA work program priorities.

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