Policy Provisions and Teachers' Needs on Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development in Mongolia

Policy Provisions and Teachers' Needs on Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development in Mongolia

Navchaa Tugjamba (University of the Humanities, Mongolia), Batchuluun Yembuu (Mongolian State University of Education, Mongolia), Amarbayasgalan Gantumur (University of the Humanities, Mongolia) and Uranchimeg Getsel (Mongolian State University of Education, Mongolia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3817-2.ch014
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Abstract

There is scientific consensus that Mongolia is already facing the negative consequences of climate change. Raising public awareness and increasing education initiatives is one of the most important ways to adapt and mitigate climate change. The present research team reviewed the policies and provisions in support developing climate change education for sustainable development. To strengthen public awareness of climate change and sustainable development, teachers at all level must play an important role. The team analyzed the level of teachers' knowledge of climate change education for sustainable development and determined the needs for teacher training. Education policy recommendations and the possibilities for teacher training were defined.
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Introduction

Education is critical for promoting sustainable development and improving the capacity of the people to address environmental and developmental issues (UNCED, Agenda 21. The United Nations Action from Rio., 1992). From the time sustainable development was first endorsed at the UN General Assembly in 1987, the parallel concept of education to support sustainable development has also been explored. From 1987 to 1992, the concept of sustainable development matured as committees discussed, negotiated, and wrote the 40 chapters of Agenda 21. Initial thoughts concerning Education for Sustainable development were captured in chapter 36 of Agenda 21, “Promoting Education, Public Awareness, and Training” (McKeown, Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit, 2002). Obviously, education is an essential tool for achieving sustainability. People around the world recognize that current economic development trends are not sustainable and that public awareness, education and training are essential to move society toward sustainability (Charles Hopkins and Rosalyn McKeown, 2002).

Mongolia, like most of the countries, agreed on the UNFCCC declaring the commitment to develop and implement an Education for Sustainable development, in 1992. The following result is the first national policy document on sustainable development, “MAP 21: Mongolian Action Plan for the 21st Century”, which was developed and approved in 1998. One of the main goals, “Concentration on nurturing the educational and scientific sectors to allow them to be better able to meet the diverse intellectual requirements of Mongolians as they strive to implement sustainable development” (MAP, 1998), is the initial and official statement of education for sustainable development in Mongolia.

Climate change impacts the natural environments and the livelihood of the people in Mongolia, obviously. The study of climate change, began in 1979 in Mongolia, after the second World Meteorological Conference. “Climate change” was the first symposium, organized by the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology in June, 1980 (Dagvadorj.D, Natsagdorj.L, Dorjpurev.J, Namkhainyam.B, 2009). Sustainable development, however, has been discussed in Mongolia since 1992 while the issue of education for sustainable development was initially discussed in policy documents since 1997. As a result, the “State Ecological Policy” was developed and approved by the State Great Khural (Parliament) in 1997. But ecological policy and ecological education issues are strongly based on biological science perspectives in Mongolia, and climate change education for addressing sustainable development issues is still not declared at the official policy level.

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