“You are never too small to make a difference“ Greta Thunberg
Extreme weather and natural disasters, more frequent climate changes and destruction of ecosystems have become the topics of today. Fifteen-year old girl Greta, a global icon of climate changes, at the beginning of her school strike made the world leaders think. To what extent are we ready for climate changes, how much knowledge do we have and how professional are we in these changes? This worldwide issue is certainly a good basis for the increasing presence of environmental education of our children.
In our education system, through the whole process of curricula reform, an increasing emphasis is placed on environmental education. The subjects delivered in schools encourage the development of environmental awareness, environmental protection, development of environmental knowledge and valuation of environmental behaviour. The development of environmental awareness of children is the basis for more active engagement in environment in future. Unpolluted and healthy environment are only one of the basic human rights. The best way to make this issue a daily habit of a young man is certainly a school setting.
The subjects such as Ecology, Environmental Protection and Healthy Lifestyles are an introduction and basis for a young man to build environmental awareness. These subjects serve to encourage young people to create a sound basis for future action through the promotion of volunteering and activism, ecological camps and education activities.
On the other hand, adult members of our community, regardless of the knowledge they acquired during their schooling, are obliged to demonstrate good examples of ecological activity. The introduction of various education and professional training activities, through non-formal education, in different work organization, is also one of the keys for survival. Man is stated to be the most frequent reason for numerous weather disasters and climate changes. Man destroys environment by their activities, whether due to the lack of knowledge or destructive power or non-planned exploitation of natural resources.
Normative and institutional framework in Montenegro in this area has been certainly improved, but is not sufficient if the awareness of all our citizens is not raised. Greather strengthening of awareness of the citizens is needed, as current air pollution is alarming. It is not possible to currently solve this problem, but joint environmental actions of all us may change this trend on a long-term basis. How? By education...
Author: Jelena Bojović, EPALE ambassador in Montenegro