ATP Escalates its Schemes to Realize Environmental Education with the Latest Coalition
FREMONT, CA: The Armenia Tree Project (ATP) has been very successful so far not just with their tree plantation schemes, but also for their extensive focus on environmental education, since 2005. Formulating this idea into a reality has been made possible by the collaborative efforts between NGO’s, government ministries, and international organizations for developing new education approaches which accommodate the needs of school-goers. ATP has been associated in organizing and partaking public events driven for environmental education.
“Many organizations are operating in this field, but there was a lack of cooperation,” exclaimed Alla Sahakyan, Environmental Education Program Manager. ATP’s two-year project aims at strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations to implement environmental education programs.
The conference held on February 17 addressed the urge for improving education policies and cooperation between stakeholders. The presentations and discussions revolved around promoting participatory decision-making and informing government on ways to incorporate environmental issues into their existing policies and strategies. Tanya Radocaj, UNICEF’s Armenia Representative stated, “We strongly believe in the power of environmental education. It brings together concerned adults and the young generation. It brings the energy of young people, of children, upfront.”
ATP and its partners organized a round-table conference on February 4 as a follow up to the convention on global climate change negotiations, held back in December. The prime focus remained on the role of education and raising awareness around climate change in Armenia, and the talks witnessed 195 countries reaching a consensus on the need to address climate change and its impact. The importance of education, as stated in Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, was one of the major areas of discussion. “We should expand the word education beyond schools and engage whole communities, both formally and informally,” noted Aram Gabrielyan, UNFCCC National Coordinator.
A pressing concern that surfaced as a result of this discussion is the fact that most of the teachers are very little familiar with an issue such as climate change. This was pointed out by Anahit Gasparyan, the senior specialist of the National Institute of Education. The discussion was concluded by a series of working meetings of the EEN members, where the participants developed EEN’s future strategy of “an environmentally conscious generation for a green and sustainable planet.”
“We’re inspired by the level of interest and activity in the field of environmental education in Armenia. When we started in 2005 there were very few working in this area, and now through EEN we have developed working relationships with NGO’s and government who are committed to improving the quality and impact of this important field,” concluded Lucineh Kassarjian, Country Director, ATP.