The National Education Policy, 2020 emphasizes the need to provide guidelines and a curriculum framework for environmental education. In line with this, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has produced a document aimed at sensitizing students from diverse backgrounds about sustainable development goals and global environmental challenges.
The document aims to enable students to appreciate the historical context of human interactions with the environment and gain insights into international efforts to safeguard the Earth’s environment and resources. Upon completing the program, students will be equipped with knowledge and skills to address environmental issues. The learning outcomes include appreciating the man-environment interaction, understanding environmental ethics, and grasping the concepts of natural resources, sustainable development, environmental issues, biodiversity conservation, pollution, and climate change.
The document consists of several units that provide a comprehensive understanding of environmental education. Each unit explores various topics related to the environment and sustainability. Here’s a brief overview of the units covered:
- Unit I: The man-environment interaction: Explores the historical relationship between humans and the environment, from hunter-gatherer societies to the industrial revolution and global environmental changes.
- Unit II: Natural Resources and Sustainable Development: Discusses the concept of natural resources, factors affecting their availability, conservation and management, and strategies for achieving sustainable development goals.
- Unit III: Environmental Issues: Local, Regional, and Global: Examines environmental issues at different scales, including pollution, land use and land cover change, biodiversity loss, and global climate change.
- Unit IV: Conservation of Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Focuses on biodiversity, ecosystems, their distribution, and the factors impacting biodiversity loss. It also covers major conservation strategies, including in-situ and ex-situ conservation approaches.
- Unit V: Environmental Pollution and Health: Explores different types of pollution such as air, water, soil, and noise pollution, as well as their sources and adverse health impacts.
- Unit VI: Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation: Provides an understanding of climate change science, its impacts, vulnerability, adaptation, and mitigation strategies at national and global levels.
- Unit VII: Environmental Management: Introduces environmental laws, regulations, environmental management systems, circular economy, life cycle analysis, and pollution control and waste management.
- Unit VIII: Environmental Treaties and Legislation: Covers major international treaties related to the environment and our country’s stand on them, highlighting responses and initiatives.
The UGC’s document on environmental education is a significant step toward implementing the National Education Policy, 2020. By equipping students with knowledge and skills related to the environment, sustainability, and global challenges, it aims to create a generation that is committed to achieving sustainable development goals. Through this initiative, UGC aims to foster a greener and more sustainable future for our nation and the world.