Explain the international events that contributed to the development of environmental education and education for sustainability.
Though writers and philosophers as far back as the 1700s (such as Rousseau in his work Emile, or On Education) stressed the importance of nature in children's education, the movement for environmental education accelerated during the Cold War. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, published in 1962, revealed the dangerous effects of pesticides on the environment and on humans.
The first Earth Day in 1970 involved people in communities across the United States and grew to involve countries across the world. In 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, Sweden, recognized the importance of environmental education in promoting environmental sustainability. This conference produced The Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, known as the Stockholm Declaration. In 1975, the Stockholm conference was followed up with the International Workshop on Environmental Education, which was held in Belgrade to define the goals, methods, and importance of environmental education. This education was not only to be emphasized for schools, but also for the general public. In the United States, the National Environmental Education Act of 1990 allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create federal-level programs in the area of environmental education.
In 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm, Sweden. This meeting led to the creation of the Stockholm Declaration, which clearly enumerated and defined twenty-six guiding principles that were purportedly essential to the sustainability of modern human society. The nineteenth principle describes the important role youth education has in the development of responsible environmental practices. This international collaboration in the creation of this document preceded, and perhaps inspired, the creation of environmental regulatory departments by several nations. It can be challenging to precisely identify how the United Nation's influential role has directly contributed to the development of specific environmental education curricula. Nonetheless, it is clear that the UN will continue to be a prominent international leader in developing in defining and refining important concepts relating to environmental and sustainability education.