Environmental Education in the Philippines
By Prof. Liwayway Memije-Cruz
So to hope to be able to have peace, to be able to have justice and environmental balance, are consequences of our behavior, not just our intentions. –
All inhabitants of the Planet Earth are already experiencing environmental stress brought about by toxic wastes entering the different layers of the earth’s biosphere: atmosphere, lithosphere and the hydrosphere. The earth is already giving us indications of its alarming state. We are now experiencing the effects of climate change, global warming, ozone depletion, pollution, species extinction, desertification and improper waste management.
Philippines is not an exemption in letting us feel the harsh realities of these environmental threats and challenges. With all the ever increasing demands created by the environmental problems accompanied by social, political and technological changes happening, the education sector is faced with challenges and is expected to initiate changes in the curriculum and give more attention to environmental education. The curriculum should be geared towards the provision of knowledge, skills and values that will help the learners cope and adapt to these changes.
The goal of environmental education is to develop an environmentally literate and responsible citizenry who will ensure the protection and the improvement of the environment, and bring about sustainability, social equity and economic efficiency in the use of the country’s natural resources.
Because of the existing environmental problems we are into and the thrust for sustainability, the protection and improvement of the environment have become imperative educational goals. It is also envisioned that within the next decade, a great majority of Filipinos will be imbued with a sense of responsibility to care for, protect for, and enhance environmental quality that is conducive to their wellbeing and supportive of the nation’s economic development.