National Strategy on Environmental and Climate Change Education and Awareness 2016-2030 Revised

On 6 Oct 2014, stakeholders in a workshop in Vientiane discussed the revised National Strategy on Environmental and Climate Change Education and Awareness 2016-2030 and the related Five Year Action Plan 2016-2020. A final workshop planned for early 2015 will conclude the revision process and provide a final draft of the two documents for approval and adoption by the government. Laos is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia which has elaborated such documents at the highestpolicy level. As a result of the preceding drafting and consultation process, climate change and the challenges arising from its impacts on Laos have been integrated into the strategy. This supports MoNRE and other stakeholders in defining priority fields of action.

 

The workshop was one of the final steps of the revision process of the previous National Strategy on Environment Education and Awareness 2020 (NSEEA). The revision has been carried out by the DEQP of MoNRE since 2013 and is supported by ProCEEd. The project commissioned the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Laos to assist in facilitating the revision process due.

 

The review used stakeholder consultations and ProCEEd’s inventory of environmental education activities to look into strengths, weaknesses and achievements of the previous NSEEA. In addition, relevant literature and documents, were reviewed and stakeholder workshops facilitated in order to identify needs, gaps and priorities related to environment education and awareness. The stakeholder consultations also involved interviewing representatives from 45 government agencies, academic institutions, local and international civil society and development  organizations working in the field of environment education and awareness raising in Laos.

 

The results from these consultations clearly showed that climate change is a missing topic in environmental education. Although there are other national strategies dealing with climate change, these have not yet lead to dealing with the subject in the formal education sector. Schools have no curricula explaining what climate change means for Laos and how negative effects of climate change such as flooding and draught can be dealt with. This contributes to the effect that a wide majority of people in Laos stated during a 2012 ProCEEd survey that they had never heard about climate change or do not know what it means.

 

Another important finding integrated into the updated strategy is that children should be exposed to environmental knowledge as early as possible, e.g. at kindergarten level. This is expected to lead to higher awareness on environmentally friendly behavior among children. Moreover, children are considered important change agents who bring back new ideas from school into their homes, where other family members may take up innovations.

 

Non-formal education has become an additional focus of the new policy documents. In comparison to schools, a lot more people worldwide have access to this source of knowledge. The Lao government acknowledges this fact and has made non-formal education, in addition to formal education, one of two priority programs of the Five Year Action Plan 2016-2020.

 

Other Action Plan programs are capacity building of government and other stakeholders on how to implement environment education and awareness activities. Networking and cooperation among stakeholders play a crucial role for better coordination and awareness raising in case of media and short-term campaigns such as environment days. Based on the revised Strategy and Action Plan, the Lao government intends to attract additional funding sources. DEQP will act as a coordinating agency for future initiatives.

 

NEWS

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ENVIRONMENTAL FILMS



You can now watch 12 professionally produced documentary films broadcast on LNTV in 2017. Three or four episodes of 15 minutes each make up for a mini-series that focuses on a specific topic, e.g. wildlife or forest protection. More films supported by ProCEEd and other GIZ projects are shown as well.

ENVIRONMENTAL RADIO



You can listen in to selected radio programs produced by LNR Khammouane in Thakek and Boualapha as well as by LNR Huaphan in Sam Neua and Houameuang. Some of them have even been translated into Khmu and Hmong language. Three 15-min episodes make up for a mini-series that focuses on a specific topic.

ENVIRONMENTAL TOURS



At the provincial and district level, Environmental Tours with entertaining environmental education activities regularly tour four provinces and Vientiane Capital. A bus and a truck using solar-powered equipment facilitate film, theatre and local learning and discussion initiatives. Don’t miss the tour!