Environmental Education is defined by UNESCO as a process that aims to raise people’s for environmental and related issues through the development of knowledge, attitude, skills, intention, and a determination to confront current problems and to prevent the new problems both by individuals themselves and through cooperation with the others.
Even though economic growth and technological advancement have brought benefits to a lot of people in many countries, ancillary effects, including environmental deterioration and income inequality, have and will be felt by people around the world. Comprehensive environmental education is a key path to developing skills to address some of these issues.
TEI has worked since 1997 worked to develop education materials for integrating knowledge of natural resources and the environment into formal education across Thailand. Environmental issues were integrated into curriculum, learning activities and processes, and educational tools. Instructors and administrators are also trained to be able to support and integrate environmental education.
The Development Centre of Excellence Education for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific project has supported the activities of informal education and sustainable development. From 2006 to 2013 TEI worked with the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO as the Center of Excellence and Educational Support for Sustainable Development of the Region.
TEI’s Rung Arun Project is working to integrate learning processes on energy and environmental conservation into formal education for primary and secondary school children in grades one through six. This project has worked with over one thousand schools in every region of Thailand. More than 50,000 students and teachers have participated in programs to develop curriculum, activities, learning processes, and educational tools which can be used in typical school settings. As part of ongoing efforts around the Rung Arun Project, TEI has helped develop 16 model schools across the country and intends to expand into another 200 schools.
For the past seven years, TEI has also worked to include sustainable development and global warming as important concepts in environmental education. Under the “Stop Global Warming with Our Hands” project TEI has supported the students from all 77 provinces in Thailand to cooperate on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on four key issues: (1) sustainable travel, (2) waste reduction, (3) reduction of electricity consumption, and (3) development of green areas. Schools and local governments that participated in the project helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions more than 8,600 tons. In addition, TEI’s “Stop Global Warming through Sufficient Consumption” project is supporting seven schools’ efforts to implement environmental activities and build learning centers. An additional fourteen network schools are engaged with the related “Climate Protection and Sufficient Consumption.”