The Environmental Education and Communication (EE&C) aims to educate and raise public awareness of the environment by highlighting the most pressing environmental problems, introducing the causes of environmental degradation and identifying possible solutions.
Looking beyond basic environmental knowledge, EE&C also seeks to develop positive environmental management skills and instill in people a heightened sense of concern for the environment. People in urban and rural areas are motivated to work both individually and collectively towards more effective decision making and problem solving especially as it relates to the environment. By changing habits and attitudes, EE&C efforts also increase community's sense of civic responsibility.
To educate and increase awareness to the public on environmental issues, the National Environment Agency, the Gambia Environment Action Plan as well as services and assistance that are available to the public, sectoral agencies, local government authorities, NGOs and community-based organizations (CBOs).
Activities and Implementation Framework
The programme coordinates activities and provides guidance to schools and other groups to generate public support and participation in environmental management. Effective and efficient use will be made of the media, teachers, extension workers, NGOs and CBOs to reach all segments of the society.
EE&C addresses all levels of Gambian society, including primary & secondary schools, institutes of higher education, decision makers, community leaders, farmers and key individuals. With the adoption of the GEAP, Environmental Education Committees have been established to integrate environmental considerations into all national plans, strategies and projects. The Banjul City Council (BCC), Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Divisional Coordinating Committees (DCCs) and Village Development Committees (VDCs) play an important role in the management of environment plans and mobilize resources for action.
Therefore, Local Environmental Education Committees have been established to coordinate environmental education initiatives. The committee integrates environmental awareness into local development plans and activities and spearheads the search for solutions to local environmental problems, define actions, mobilize needed financial resources, coordinate and monitor activities at village level.
The Environmental Education Resource Centre
The Government of The Gambia is committed to improving environmental education. As such, a range of formal and non-formal education providers are addressing various aspects of environmental management. This variety of ideas and approaches to environmental education creates a healthy exchange of ideas, educational techniques and materials. With so many agencies involved, there is the need to coordinate efforts to foster collaboration and partnership. A strong collaborative approach increases the availability and accessibility of environmental education materials. This emphasis on coordination and networking transcends national boundaries to include collaborative efforts with institutions in the sub-region and beyond.
The EERC focuses on the development, production and dissemination of educational materials. Working with a number of participatory agencies, the EERC makes available to the general public educational, informational and communication materials. The concept of shared educational materials is central to the EERC operational strategy an open dialogue is fostered and maintained with a wide range of educational and sectoral institutions, which complement each other in environmental education efforts.