The lack of conscious environmental education and awareness has hampered local sustainable initiatives. Education and information dissemination is key if we are to learn to make the right decisions today and in the future.

Rural populations throughout Africa are the de facto managers of renewable natural resources, and if existing systems of resource management are to be improved and sustainability ultimately achieved, then the active participation and support of local communities are essential. This will require the establishment of closer partnerships with grassroots, village based non-governmental organizations; revitalising extension services; and the promotion of environmental awareness and education.

There is a need to promote environmental education and awareness to educate and inform all stakeholders and the public that the irrational depletion of national natural resources is destroying the basis of prosperity for future generations and that as forests disappear, land becoming infertile and water is exhausted or polluted, it is the poor of today, especially children and women, who suffer most. There is an urgent need to improve public awareness and understanding of environmental issues with a view to promote the conservation and wise use of natural resources at community level.

Environmental education is essential to empower people to participate in the decisions that will determine the direction of development and the state of the environment where they live and work and to ensure the environment is to be protected and sustainably used and to demonstrate that our actions affect the environment.

This programme pursues the following objectives:

  • To increase environmental awareness by gathering, processing, disseminating and exchanging regional and international information on environmental and sustainable development issues
  • To support the development of capacity of African NGOs and community-based organizations to respond to environmental issues through improved environmental education resources and training activities
  • To organize short courses, training programmes, seminars and workshops on a range of subjects related to environment and sustainable development.