Very best wishes for January 26th – World Environment Education Day, to all who are part of this complex and important segment of education.
Back in 1975, at the International Workshop on Environmental Education, held in Belgrade, the “Belgrade Charter” was published. The Charter has an explanation of the state of the environment in its introduction. It was stated that the environment is under great pressure due to economic developments and technological advances that, although they benefit a large number of people, have numerous social and environmental consequences. The Belgrade Charter states that the goals of environmental education are: awareness, knowledge, attitude, skills, evaluation ability and participation. It is also interesting to note that each country was called to define what the “quality of life” of its citizens.
After Belgrade, an important Intergovernmental Conference on Environmental Education was held in Tbilisi in 1977, where frameworks, principles and guidelines for environmental education were developed in more detail.
Since its establishment in 1976, Young Researchers of Serbia (YRS) have been dedicated to environmental education. Forms of educational programs have changed, and in 2013, an e-learning platform was launched.
E-learning, especially learning through online courses, has a number of advantages: it is cheaper than classical learning, it is more suitable for those who have work and family obligations, does not require travel and other resources (it has a smaller environmental footprint), users can choose their own learning rhythm, it can be used several times, it mainly has an additional stimulus in the form of certificates, etc. On the other hand, it is believed that the lack of interaction with other people, the need for self-discipline and the possibility to use online resources in completing tests are some of the main disadvantages.
There are currently 13 courses on YRS platform, and over 1500 users are registered. YRS’s courses fit into other activities of the organization that are non-formal education: from workshops, seminars, trainings to volunteer camps.
Soon, a new course will be available on the platform, which was created through the support of the BioNET network. The course deals with the topic of volunteering for nature conservation, and we are sure that you will find it interesting.