Empowering Environmental Educational Network for Strengthening Environmental Education in Armenia
Empowering Environmental Educational Network for Strengthening Environmental Education in Armenia
There are severe and mounting environmental challenges facing Armenia that affect child and community welfare and infringe on a children’s and community’s right to attain the highest standard of health. Environmental sustainability is a pathway to future social and economic stability in Armenia. Conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of the natural resources are preconditions for future generations to lead healthy lives; to have access to clean air, water and food. A sustainable future requires strong nature protection, which is especially critical for children with disabilities and communities depending most directly on their natural environment. To this end, children and young people will need to be educated and galvanized as a force of change for sustainable development in their communities.
There are a number of issues in the country’s environmental agenda. One key challenge is to manage the ubiquitous waste problem in Armenia, an issue that affects child and community welfare in multitude of ways: solid waste and wastewater contribute to air, soil, and water pollution, creating acute and chronic health risks. Another critical topic includes desertification related to deforestation and poor agricultural practices (especially in the Ararat valley, where soil salinization is rampant). Sustainable management/use of water, mineral, and land resources are yet additional areas that child and youth education would yield significant positive health and welfare benefits. To protect Armenia’s natural environment, one of the 32 Biodiversity hotspots in the world, the next generation of citizens has to grow a consciousness of sustainability and environmental stewardship.

The NGO sector is for the most part excluded from environmental governance mechanisms in Armenia. These governance mechanisms, with functions such as policy-development, drafting legislation, and monitoring compliance, have remained the exclusive domain of the public sector. A key component of environmental governance is education at all levels and spanning through individuals’ lives from pre-school to university and beyond. Many NGOs that are active will greatly benefit from enhanced capacity in advocating environmental educational policies and best practices. Their activities will also be enhanced by linking these NGOs and civic initiatives into a nationwide, mutually informing and supporting network. The work of the public sector will be greatly enhanced if NGOs develop such capacity and are constructively engaged.

While it is important for the civil society to remain independent of the public and the for-profit sectors, it is also important to have common forums where collaboration is made possible. To support the achievement of such a goal, a group of Environmental Education NGOs and civic initiatives in Armenia, in cooperation with UNICEF and GIZ, have already formed Environmental Education Network (EEN), which is based on voluntary cooperation. The aim of EEN is to support members to develop capacity in engaging in environmental education programs and activities as well as meaningfully engage in environmental education policy discussions. The project will not only result in strengthening of the capacities of environmental education NGOs, it also targets to extend the network to include relevant line ministries, teachers and more environmental education NGOs and organizations as well as to make it as a formal cooperation platform by signing an open memorandum of understanding with the network members. The project will do mapping of environmental education centers in Armenia, create a catalogue of environmental centers for linking schools and those centers to promote environmental culture through place-based education.
The project will conduct a need assessments of environmental education NGOs on which areas they need capacity building such as cooperative strategies, communication, strategic planning of business processes, resource mobilization, policy analyses and advocacy work, leadership and management, and/or other relevant topics. Based on the needs of the NGOs, the project will organize intensive workshops on the selected topics. The project will also organize several seminars for policy makers, teachers, school administrators, civil society and media representatives on the best international and national practices in environmental education such as teaching alternative energy and resource saving, climate change adaptation, forest protection and sustainable management, recycling waste management and eco-friendly agricultural practices. Each EEN member organization is contributing in sharing their knowledge and experiences, thus enhancing the joint learning and understanding. The project will facilitate the discussion on environmental education policies, strategies, curriculum and teaching by organizing five roundtable discussion for national, regional and local key stakeholders representing all levels of education sector, representatives of government and civil society. The discussions will also inform the government on incorporating relevant environmental issues into main policies and strategies such as the State Programme of Education Development.
The project will increase the awareness of the people, especially children and youth, on environmental issues. The project will develop and broadcast Public Service Announcements for informing the public on environmental issues and sustainable behavior. There is a need for a common online platform on environmental education and in the scope of this project, an online platform will be established for EEN, where they can share information, good practices, raise awareness on environmental education and information about the activities of the EEN.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
"ATP" Charitable Foundation
Country:
Armenia
Area Of Work:
CapDev
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 11,863.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 14,070.00
Project Number:
ARM/EU-NGOs/OP5/Y3/2014/04
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed

Partnership

UNICEF, AUA, GIZ

Grantee Contact

Mr. Areg Maghakian
Phone: +37410 44 74 01
Email: areg@armeniatree.org
 

Address

9 Tpagrichneri St., Apt.55
Yerevan , 0026

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Hovhannes Ghazaryan
Phone:
+374 60 530000+116
Fax:
(+374 10) 543811
Email:
Ms. Svetlana Harutyunyan
Phone:
+374 60 530000+117
Email:

Address

14 Adamyan St.
Yerevan, 0010

Country Website