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Action on Environmental Education

15 June 2000

Action on Environmental Education

Schools will be helped to integrate environmental education into the curriculum by a $250,000 fund negotiated between Education Minister Trevor Mallard and the Green Party.

The initiative was one of the Green Party’s original budget bids put to the Government in April, accepted by the Minister and incorporated into Vote Education.

Green Party Education spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said an excellent environmental education strategy has been drafted by the Ministry for the Environment, and the Ministry of Education has published guidelines, but teachers are not currently trained in these areas and there is no national co-ordination. The extra $250,000 that has been negotiated with the Education Minister will start filling that gap.

“The Greens are delighted that Trevor Mallard has agreed to take action in an area which has seen endless talk and little action for years,” said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Environmental education embraces sustainable land management, energy, water, waste reduction, protecting biodiversity and understanding the natural cycles on which all our lives depend. In many schools it is given very low priority and status and it is generally not part of the core curriculum. It needs to be, if humanity is to survive,” said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Rules and regulations will not stop environmental destruction if people don't value our unique natural heritage and understand how their actions are affecting it," said Mr Ewen-Street. “We need to link the theory with direct, hands on experience of nature and an understanding of how our way of life affects it.”


Ends


Ian Ewen-Street MP: 04 470 6726, 025 902 527
Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133


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