03 / 1994
UNICEF held a conference in February/March 1994 to discuss the many issues in making environmental care work.
Many groups are involved - Decision makers and donor agencies, NGO Personnel, Facilitators and implementors (gos and NGOs)who are involved in making things happen and the community subdivided into several groups who are the beneficiaries and those most affected by development programmes.
The active support of decision makers is essential to the success of any such programme. They should have the right attitude and understand what is required from their organisation to support a PEC programme.
They must appreciate the relationship between environment and development. Dam building or promoting an industry does not include environment assessment in the process itself. It comes only after the programme has been carried out. Unless consequences of a development programme decision are part of the decision making process it is really not possible to ensure the environmental concern of development plans. Short term against longterm plans are also significant. eg. A dam may provide employment to 100s; drinking water provided to 1000s of acres. But what of the results on soil and moisture conservation.
Decentralised decision making is vital taking into account the reality at micro level. Usually decisions are from alien environments. eg. Tobacco and potato cultivation seemed a great economic boon to villagers. But after some years the soil was eroded, and many landslips and other ecological damage occurred. Or it could cause irreparable damage to local fauna and flora.
Facilitators are a vital link between planners and people for they have direct contact with them. They must learn how to interact in a friendly sensitive fashion. They must be receptive to local attitudes, traditions and cultural norms. Ideally they should try to learn at least basic phrases in the local language. Or else how can they communicate and train and make them aware. The community on their part have to access information, knowledge, awareness on their part have to access information, knowledge, awareness of how to use local resources responsibly. They should know the various options available to them in a scheme; whether it suits their needs and what their rights are. They must learn to organise themselves, identify their problems and analyse in terms of specific skills to imlement the various ideas.
Children are another important channel of awareness and preservation. If the world around them is an integral part of their lives they will learn the best way to preserve it for themselves and their future.
Women-mothers and citizens should understand what a vital part of the link they are between man and his environment. If each sector realises how they are knit together into a meaningful whole the environment has the best chance of survival.
DRAFT OF WORKSHOP ON PRIMARY ENVIRONMENT CARE (PEC)
28TH FEBRUARY - 2ND MARCH 1994.
CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENT EDUCATION
IRED Asie (Development Support Service) - 562/3 Nawala Road - Rajagiriya - Sri Lanka Tel : 94 1 695 481 - Fax : 94 1 - 688 368