OSCE launches environmental education project in Kazakhstan

An environmental education project is being launched on Monday in Kazakhstan by the OSCE Centre in Almaty in co-operation with the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC).

ALMATY, Jan. 23, 2004 -- An environmental education project is being launched on Monday in Kazakhstan by the OSCE Centre in Almaty in co-operation with the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC).

The project will run until the end of 2004 and is designed to help develop an environmental education programme for secondary school teachers, to reform current legislation on education and environmental protection, and create a library devoted to environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD).

"One of the priorities of the OSCE for 2004 is education and this project, the first this year, is a good opportunity to contribute to the Organization's efforts in this direction", said Ambassador Rupnik, Head of the OSCE Centre in Almaty. "Moreover, the project continues the Centre's activities in promoting the Aarhus Convention concerning access to environmental information".

The environmental situation remains a big concern so raising environmental awareness in schools is very important. Secondary school teachers will also get the opportunity to become more qualified in teaching the basics of ecology during state retraining courses.

The organizers expect that over time and with support from the ministries of Environmental Protection, Education and Science, an environmental course will become a required subject in the secondary school curriculum.

Other aspects of this complex approach developed in the project include reforming legislation on education and environmental protection and submitting concrete proposals to Parliament, and the creation of a print and video library on EE and ESD, which will be open to the general public.

The project represents an important step in realizing the recommendations of the Second Consultative Sub-Regional Meeting of the Ministers of Education and Ecology on EE and ESD in Bishkek and the Kiev Ecological Ministers Conference, both of which took place in 2003.

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