In 2014, three organizations set their sights on strengthening environmental education around the world by building capacity and focusing on collaboration and shared best practices. Those organizations—the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration, and the North American Association for Environmental Education—joined EE leaders from several countries to discuss common needs for improving the use of, access to, and quality of EE. The results were compiled into a list of more than 25 topics relating to EE, with these ranking as the most important globally in environmental education:
Globalization of environmental education standards guidelines
Legislation and national-level policies that support environmental education
Access to effective and promising practices
Research and evaluation
How environmental education can best address key issues, such as climate change, water shortages, and loss of biodiversity
The outcome of the initial conversation was the creation of the GEEP (Global Environmental Education Partnership), a global initiative with a mission to “create a vibrant and inclusive learning network designed to strengthen environmental education globally to create a more sustainable future for all.”
Following the inceptive planning sessions, a steering committee conducted surveys, research, and interviews before meeting in person in 2015 to articulate the GEEP’s purpose, mission, goals, and objectives. The next year, the advisory group set forth the strategy and pathways for governance, and in 2018, a sub-group of this advisory committee updated the vision, mission, goals, governance, and membership “to reflect the evolution of the partnership.”
Much like the NAAEE (which serves as Secretariat for the GEEP), EE associations like KAEE, and our partner affiliates around the U.S., the GEEP is made up of environmental education policy makers, administrators, and educators who represent government and/or nongovernmental sectors in countries throughout the world. With its collaborative nature, the GEEP enables members to share their expertise and experiences on improving the “quality, practice, and impact of environmental education.” Additionally, it provides a platform for members to discuss obstacles to improving EE in their countries and to “expand the reach of EE” by reaching out to new and underserved communities.
Want to learn more about the GEEP and how you can get involved? Explore their website and sign up for their newsletter here!