Celebrating Environmental Education: Tbilisi+40

Forty years ago world leaders in education and the environment gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia for a groundbreaking meeting that would change the course of environmental education. Their goal to use the power of education to protect the planet and people. From this gathering the modern field of environmental education emerged. For more than four decades environmental educators have been tackling environmental and social challenges. In schools and outside schools, engaging people of all ages, as individuals and groups, partnering with communities, scientists, policymakers and business leaders, and we have achieved so much together. Millions of educators have brought high quality environmental education into classrooms and communities. Schools are going green embedding environmental concepts into all aspects of learning. From the curriculum to the school grounds there are more than 100,000 protected areas in the world, with more than eight billion visits a year, where people experience nature firsthand. Millions of citizen scientists are counting, observing, thinking, and collecting data to increase our understanding of the planet and how to protect it. More than 1 million people take environmental action each year from cleanups, protests at home, in town halls and through faith communities. Recycling and renewable energy have skyrocketed and people around the world have helped protect endangered species. Today’s young people are the most environmentally conscious generation the modern world has ever seen. And environmental educators and learner’s are part of global networks, supported by government policies, professional associations and academic institutions. There has been so much progress and many breakthroughs. So, thank you for your passion, your dedication and your commitment to environmental education. Take a moment to celebrate our collective achievements. Our work isn’t done and challenges lie ahead, but know that Environmental educators make a difference and together. We are an unstoppable force.

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