The Indian Constitution laid down the responsibility of Government to protect and improve the
environment and made it a “fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural
environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife”. On this background Department of
Environment was established by the Government of India in 1980 and a Ministry was formed in 1985.
The Constitution and the Government's commitment to the environment along with the
environmentally sound practices is an important backdrop under which the Environment Education (EE)
strategy has been evolved.
Comprehensive scheme of 'Environmental Education, Awareness and Training' was launched in
Environmental Education, Awareness and Training Scheme
The scheme intends to enhance our understanding about the interactions between human
beings and environment. Also, it aims to facilitate the development of skills for environmental
protection. The objective of the schemes are as follow:
- To promote environmental awareness among all sections of the society;
- To spread environment education, especially in the non-formal system among different sections of
- To facilitate development of education/training materials and aids in the formal education sector;
- To promote environment education through existing educational/scientific/research institutions;
- To ensure training and manpower development for environment education, awareness and training;
- To encourage non-governmental organizations, mass media and other concerned organizations for
promoting awareness about environmental issues among the people at all levels;
- To use different media including films, audio, visual and print, theatre, drama, advertisements,
hoarding, posters, seminars, workshops, competitions, meetings etc. for spreading messages
concerning environment and awareness; and
- To mobilize people's participation for preservation and conservation of environment.
Central Government recognizes EE as a key to success of overall environmental strategy &
decides to help in the setting up of a 'Centre of Excellence'. These centres promote EE through
developing resource material, organizing training/ awareness programmes, builds capacity in the field
for sustainable development. These centres play the vital role in setting the pace & the agenda for EE.
These centres are- Centre for Environment Education, C.P.R Environmental Education Centre, Centre
for Ecological Sciences, Centre for Mining Environment, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural
History (SACON), Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems, Tropical Botanic
Garden and Research Institute, Centre of Excellence in Environmental Economics, Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), Centre for Animals and Environment.
Key programmes/ activities launched under Environmental Education, Awareness and
Training scheme over the years are:
National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC)
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India started The National
Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC) in 1986 with the aim of creating environmental
awareness at all levels of society. It is a multi-media campaign which utilises conventional and nonconventional
methods of communication for disseminating environmental messages to a wide
range of target groups. Under NEAC, the Ministry provides financial assistance to selected non
governmental organizations, education and training institutes, community organizations, etc. to
create massive awareness among citizens of India. Diverse target groups ranging from
students/youth/teachers to rural and tribal population, women, professionals and the general
public are covered under this campaign. The Campaign programmes are basically composed of a
spectrum of short duration programmes. The programme is being implemented through 33
designated Regional Resource Agencies (RRAs) for specific states/regions of the country. During
2009-10 total 11,738 organisations have participated in the campaign across the country.
For the implementation of this Scheme in Maharashtra, Goa and Dadra Nagar
Haveli, Bhartiya Agro Industrials Foundation (BAIF) has been working as a Regional
Resource Agency (RRA) for since 1986. BAIF have been providing technical inputs in
organizing field demonstrations and mobilizing NGOs for environmental awareness.
Eco Clubs & National Green Corps (NGC)
'Eco Clubs' were constituted by MoEF with objectives to educate school children about
their immediate environment and impart knowledge about the eco-systems, their interdependence
and their need for survival, by involving them in various environmental activities
through visits and demonstrations and to mobilise youngsters by instilling in them the spirit of
scientific inquiry into environmental problems and involving them in the efforts of environmental
Keeping in view the potential of this programme in sensitizing the school students, it was
decided to intensify this programme to cover each and every district of the country. A programme of
raising 'National Green Corps' through the Eco clubs was, therefore, launched during 2001-2002.
This programme is being implemented in each State/UT through the Nodal agency appointed by the
State/UT Govt. An Eco-club may be set up in a middle/high school and should consist of a minimum
of 20 members and a maximum of 50 members, particularly interested in the conservation and
protection of the environment, and willing to dedicate time and effort on a regular basis towards this
end. The members may be drawn from students belonging to classes from VI to X. Each Eco-club will
be in charge of an active teacher in the school concerned. MoEF provide some financial assistance
for establishment of Eco clubs. It gives ` 2500/- per annum per Eco-club. It also provides teacher
training and distribution of resource materials. So far 1,12,844 Eco clubs have been established in
NGC Schools across the country (Year 2010).
To implement NGC Scheme in Maharashtra, Environment Department has appointed Director, Social Forestry, Pune as 'State Nodal Officer' in the year 2006 & Bharti
Vidyapith, Institute of Environment & Research, Pune as 'Resource Agency'. At present
8898 eco-clubs with approximately 4,00,000 students are actively working in the state.
Global Learning & Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE)
The GLOBE is an International Science and Education Programme, which emphasizes on
hands-on participatory approach. India joined this programme in August, 2000. This programme
unites students, teachers and scientists all over the world and targets school children. The students
of GLOBE schools are required to collect data about various basic environmental parameters under
the supervision of a GLOBE trained teacher. Through this they learn about scientific protocols and
perform environmental learning activities, which have already been introduced as theory in the
textbooks. The GLOBE programme not only helps the students to appreciate the contents of the
textbooks through better understanding but also assists them in gaining complete knowledge of
environment. It facilitates research through a worldwide research team comprising of students,
teachers and scientists.
Strengthening Environment Education in School System and other courses at
Graduate and Post-Graduate level including Professional Courses
- Formal Environmental Education Program
The National Policy on Education, 1986 (NPE) states that the “protection of the environment is a
value which must form an integral part of the curriculum at all stages of education”.
The NPE states: “There is a paramount need to create a consciousness of the environment. It
must permeate all ages and all sections of society, beginning with the child. Environmental
consciousness should inform teaching in schools and colleges. This aspect will be integrated in
the entire educational process”.
The programme obliges the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the Ministry of
Environment & Forests to ensure that environmental education is imparted adequately at the school
levels. It mandates that environmental components are covered in the school curriculum at various
Environment education in a Maharashtra state has been boosted through various efforts.
Environmental education has been included as a compulsory subject at school level.
Environmental Appreciation Course - Distance Education
In order to provide interested persons an opportunity to learn in detail about specific environmental
issues, there is provision of a course module through a Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)
for 'Environmental Appreciation'. Delivery of these courses is through distance education mode. The
course module developed for appreciation courses is also being used by the IGNOU as compulsory
component of its undergraduate courses. This is in pursuance of the directives of the Hon'ble Supreme
Court of India.
Non-formal Environment Education and Awareness Project
The Ministry of Environment & forests, New Delhi accords high priority for the promotion of non-formal
environment education and creation of awareness among all sections of the society through diverse activities. The project was launched to encourage and enhance public participation in activities that
intended to conserve, protect, manage and sustain the environment. The government has
undertaken various activities by using several traditional and modern media of communication, to
create awareness among the people, such as seminars, workshops, training programs, rallies, public
meetings, camps, exhibitions, puppet shows and street theatre.
Grants-in-Aid to Professional Societies and Institutions
The objective of this programme is to facilitate optimum utilization of expertise available with
professional societies and institutions for promotion of environment education and awareness. The
programme aims at utilizing the existing capacity while simultaneously providing for enhancing the
capacities of such institutions. The projects such as development/extension of exhibition galleries,
interpretation centres and education materials relating to ecology, wildlife and environment is
Other Awareness Programmes
- India has a vast network of NGO's that are actively participating in the creation of awareness on
development and environmental issues. Working on their own and with Governments they are the
backbone of the strategy to create greater environmental awareness, especially that leading to
- Despite great efforts to spread environmental awareness by the MoEF through several schemes,
creation of awareness among large population especially in rural areas is difficult task. "Mass
Awareness" through media, particularly the electronic media has therefore been identified as one
of the thrust areas. It not only intensifies the efforts already being made in this direction but also
launch new initiatives in this direction to encourage individual efforts in producing
films/documentaries on environment/wildlife related themes in the country.
- Action Oriented Environmental Education- Environmental education is the process of developing
environmentally conscious behavior of an individual. Education/ literacy alone do not guarantee
that the learner will exhibit a specified set of behaviors. Rather, it guarantees only that the learner
has the capacity for such behaviors. It involves a limited combination of awareness and action that
encourages people to engage in immediate personal action that contributes to environmental
improvements such as saving electricity, fuel and water, buying "Green" products, reducing solid
waste, etc. Most of these actions are fairly simple and usually require just one step.
But most people hesitate to take an initiative and make the connection between an environmental
issue and their own individual action. Realizing this Government of Maharashtra has launched
Environmental Service Scheme (ESS).