Environmental Education and Awareness in Laos (EEAL)

 

Together we can make a difference

Beginning in late 2019, the network of organizations working together under the GIZ ProCEEd project (2013-2018) to strengthen and disseminate Environmental Education and Awareness in Laos agreed to continue this cooperative relationship under the banner of “Environmental Education and Awareness – Laos” (EEAL), which is currently supported by GIZ ProFEB. The  EEAL network is led by the Department of Environment (DoE) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) in concert with provincial and district environmental agencies (PONRE, DONRE), civil society organizations (CSO), National University of Laos faculty outreach units, as well as a number of social enterprises.

 

EEAL brings together individual and organizational leaders in environmental education, communication and awareness raising. In a spirit of cooperation, collaboration and partnership, the EEAL network strives to accelerate the development and spread of EEA methods and tools for achieving sustainable development. EEAL organizations work with educators, government officers, civil society leaders and volunteers, social enterprises and private sector companies, as well as international development cooperation partners to advance its goals.

 

This partnership builds on nine years of collaboration with environment- and climate change-related projects and programs of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH - GIZ as part of Lao-German development cooperation.

 

The organizations that are currently committed to the EEAL network comprise:

 

Government Organizations: MONRE/DoE, PONRE in Khammouane, Luangnamtha, and Champasak Province

Academic Organizations: National Environmental Resource Protection Unit (NERP), Faculty of Forestry, and Social Environmental Education Development Unit (SEED), Faculty of Environmental Sciences, both at the National University of Laos (NUoL)

Civil Society Organizations: Mind Media, Rural Development Agency (RDA), Pan-Thin, Lao Biodiversity Associations


The diverse organizations of EEAL participate in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration to advance the development and practice of environmental education and awareness in Laos. EEAL is an informal partnership model created on the basis of recognizing the strengths and abilities of each partner organization to achieve the environmental sustainability goals for the country. In building a strong and sustainable EEAL collaborative network model, each partner organizations agrees to work together in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect towards a shared vision of environmental education in Laos.


 Engaging and effective environmental education and awareness (EEA) measures are key to increasing the knowledge, awareness required to contribute to the changes in individual and social norms and practice among Lao citizens, whether in urban centers or in remote forest communities. Because of the unique challenges in connecting with different stakeholder target groups in the country, a diversified environmental education and awareness approach is required, which means that one organization cannot expect to effectively reach all social groups with an approach and message that resonates with them. A multi-sector approach is required, meaning that government, civil society, the educational and academic sector and the private sector all have an important role to play.


In this context, the primary functions of organizations committed to EEAL are to


 Collaborate with national, provincial and district level partners to ensure the inclusion, mainstreaming and up-scaling of EEA in related programs and initiatives;

 Educate and assist organizations committed to EEAL in educating government and private sector decision-makers about the importance and relevance of environmental education;

 Serve as a liaison for environmental education between different education and outreach systems at the local, provincial, national and international levels;

 Build, support and enhance collaborative environmental education practice in Laos;

 Support organizations committed to EEAL through dialogue and exchange of experience, resources, methods, tools, and other professional development opportunities.


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