Initial Publication Date: October 5, 2019

Earth Education: From Childhood to Adulthood

Patrick Kasele, African Initiative for Environmental Education

The main issues that the world is facing and will be facing for the next decades are loss of natural habitats and resources, animal extinction, food security, land uses, more natural disasters all around the world, human migration due to climate change, desertification, rise of the world population, consumption, and waste management. So far, we are more about counting problems than finding sustainable solutions to address them.

We cannot reach our goal which is becoming sustainable societies without sharing information and knowledge about the issues I listed above. Due to innovative technologies and techniques, the world is more connected, but less informed and educated about that issues. What does people in all parts of the world really know about sustainable societies? They are going through ton of climate and environmental issues without knowing nor understanding the real causes. I am from The Democratic Republic of Congo, a poor country. Due to some life circumstances, I live today in The US which is a well-developed country, but not a sustainable society enough. And I believe it's mostly caused by a deep lack of right information about sustainability and environmental issues. The situation is not different in poor countries (developing countries). It's surely worse.

When we talk about Earth Education or Environmental Education, the first thing that pops up in our mind is schools or children. It's true that it is better to inform and educate human beings from the root level of life, but it's also critical to keep and practice the knowledge learned at the mature level of his life. Today, we are facing numerous environmental issues all around the world, not because of children, but because of US (adults).

The strange thing is, we all were children several years before and we somehow were taught that Nature and Environment are important to our lives and we must protect them in order to thrive sustainably on the Earth. My concern is to know what happened during the transition between the childhood and the adulthood. I hope that I'll find some responses during this workshop.

Downloadable version of this essay

From Childhood to Adulthood (Acrobat (PDF) 390kB Oct5 19)