Education for Environment and Peace
ENVIRONMENT, 30 Nov 2015
On the eve of Paris 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference
Dr. Surya Nath Prasad, then President and currently Executive Vice President delivered Presidential Address at the IAEWP 1997 International Eurasian Congress on Environment and Peace. The Congress was organized from August 2-9, 1997 under the auspices of His Excellency Mr. Süleyman Demirel, the President of the Republic of Turkey in cooperation with Karadeniz Technical University at Giresun, Turkey.
Dr. Prasad, before to start his speech on the topic: Education for Environment and Peace, cited the ideas of poets in India who had paid their tributes to Mother Earth several hundred years ago as: “The ocean is your girdle, your bosom the mountains, goddess Earth my obeisance to you. Forgive me for daring to touch you with my feet.”
Dr. Prasad said in his speech, “Education for Environment and Peace is a discipline which studies man in relation with other animal species and species of plants and their interdependence. The concept of environmental education has the concept of peace, and similarly the concept of peace education contains also, inter alia, the concept of environment in its study.” Further he said, “The natural resources of our planet–soil, forest, fresh waters, the seas–are the base of all agriculture and industry, and if we sustain that base, we can sustain development that leads to peace or it is peace itself. And the knowledge and information about all these resources and our action to preserve these natural resources and to prevent them from destruction that ultimately leading to peace is Education for Environment and Peace.”
“But today the degradation of the global environment has increased”, Dr. Prasad told. He discussed and explained his ideas, facts and suggestions in eight points, viz. (1) Facts about Environmental Problems, (2) Constitutional and Legal Protection of the Environment, (3) Recognition of Environmental Degradation by the Experts in Environmental Meetings, (4) Education for Environment and Peace, (5) Environmental Education and Peace Education in Action, (6) Role of UNESCO in Promoting Environmental Awareness, (7) IAEWP’s Role in the Cause of Better Environment for Peace, and (8) Ecological Literacy for All for Peace.
Under the point 4, Education for Environment and Peace, further 6 points, viz. (a) Education, (b) Man, (c) Environment, (d) Peace, (e) Environment and Peace, and (f) Environmental Education and Peace Education–What were explained by him. Under the point 5, Environmental Education and Peace Education in Action, 5 more points, viz. (a) Environmental Programs in Educational Institutions, (b) Plans for Awareness Towards the Environment, (c) Activities for Environmental Education, (d) Floating University for Environmental Studies in the Marine Sciences, and (e) Notable Literature in Environmental Education were made clear by him.
Dr. Prasad suggested in his speech that we need immediate knowledge about land, food, air, water and wildlife, and he quoted David W. Orr, a renowned Professor of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College, who said, “What is missing in the liberal arts curriculum is not computers, but food, not science, but water, it’s not economics, but wildlife.”
Dr. Prasad concluded his speech saying, “All these: food, water, and wildlife represent nature, the environment, and when we think of ‘environment’, we think of ‘peace’, which enables us to protect nature, and assures the very survival of mankind i.e. peace”.
Dr. Prasad’s Presidential Speech: Education for Environment and Peace is published by Lund University, Sweden in 1998 and distributed by ERIC, IES of the US Department of Education.
Ideas, information, suggestions contained in the Presidential Speech of Dr. Prasad may be the best guidelines for the Paris 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled to be held from November 30 to December 11, 2015 at Le Bourget, France.
Dr. Surya Nath Prasad is M. A. (Sociology), M. Ed. (Experimental Education), M. Phil. (Nonviolence and Peace Studies), and Ph. D. (Education). Dr. Prasad is a recipient of Honorary D. Lit. (Peace Education) at the hands of Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma then Former President, Government of India. . Dr. Prasad has taught for three decades as Assistant and Associate Professor of Education in India. He is Former Visiting Professor of Peace Studies at the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies in Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea. He is Former President and Currently Executive Vice President of International Association of Educators for World Peace. He is Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Peace Education: An International Journal. Dr. Prasad is recipient of several peace and human rights awards. One may reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 30 Nov 2015.
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