What is Environmenal Education?
Environmental education is a learning process that increases people's knowledge and awareness about their environment and associated challenges, develops the necessary skills and expertise to address the challenges, and fosters attitudes, motivations, and commitments to make informed decisions and take responsible action. (adapted from UNESCO, Tbilisi Declaration, 1978)
The goal of environmental education is to develop a citizenry in Oregon that is aware of, and concerned about, natural systems and the associated effects of human activity. Oregonians need the knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations, and commitment to work individually and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones.
- To foster clear awareness of and concern about economic, social, political, and ecological interdependence in urban and rural areas.
- To provide every person with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, values, attitudes, commitment, and skills needed to protect and improve the environment.
- To create new patterns of behavior of individuals, groups, and society as a whole towards the environment.
We also recognize that the practice of environmental education may look different from community to community. We acknowledge environmental education is a segment of environmental justice and supports solutions that affirm the diverse strengths and needs of communities of color, low-income, and other marginalizations, ultimately strengthening our state as a whole. We understand that there are many ways to practice and define environmental education beyond the Tbilisi Declaration.