|Global Awareness Raising Project for Eastern Europe (North South Centre, 1994)|
The following is a compilation of conclusions and recommendations
made by the participants in the working groups of the Prague Workshop on the
subjects of democracy and human development, Central Europe in international
co-operation and environmental education.
To International Organisations:
1. to provide support for the development of NGOs in Central
Europe through PHARE, especially in acquiring information on how to exert the
influence of NGOs efficiently and civic movements on the state and other
2. to create the conditions for extensively informing the population about the arms exports to the South and the flow of capital between the South and the North;
3. to lobby the governments of the European states systematically to create favourable conditions for the exchange of teachers, children end young people between, and outside of, schools, especially the students of secondary schools and universities, under NGO patronage;
4. to organise similar workshops on the South, taking their priorities into account when deciding on the subjects.
To Czech and Slovak NGOs operating in this field.
1. to settle the question of the Non-Profit Sector Act in order to
provide for tax reduction for donators and thus support home NGOs;
2. to support the establishment of a jointly published bulletin with the aim of improving co-ordination among Czech NGOs;
3. to exploit the Czech and Slovak television funds of UNESCO and other organisations which could be introduced to the public by suitable NGOs.
Concerning the aims of Environmental Education and Information:
1. underlining the importance of the relationship between each
human being and his/her environment and world, concrete knowledge about the
transfer of information on a biological basis and on the social responsibility
of women and men is requested. In this sense, young people should be encouraged
to appreciate how to preserve and to beautify their own local environment,
knowing about the problems caused by human activities from a historical and
contemporary perspective and from a regional and global point of view;
2. young people especially should be asked to take part in local environmental campaigns and support wider initiatives and campaigns where appropriate;
3. a solid teacher training programme should be provided as the role of teachers is very significant. Their main task is improving the ability of ecological thinking as well as helping in the creation of ecological ethics;
4. parents should be involved in the information and education processes about environmental topics and concerns and thus complete, on a familiar base, the whole global view on the environment. Different approaches would be considered in different cultures. Each person has, however, not only a role, but also a personal responsibility in the creation of positive changes in environment-related attitudes. Environmental education also involves the adoption of a more thoughtful and appropriate lifestyle based on sustainable development and conservation. This is a long term objective.
Bringing together a person with nature, with his/her global environment, also means motivating people to work actively in groups. June Barry illustrated, by means of an exercise requiring active participation on behalf of those present, how a physical, cognitive and emotional approach can create new images, replacing stereotypes and irresponsible attitudes.
Environmental education is awareness-raising about global interdependence. The participants asked themselves what the aim of the working group was and what the follow-up of the discussions could be. By getting to know the actors involved in environmental education personally, from countries as diverse as the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, Kenya, Ireland, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands, an important step is taken in stimulating future co-operation.
In this sense, case studies on specific organisations, projects and attitudes on the legal and political framework could be engaged in the objective to demonstrate similarities or differences in the problem-solving attitudes of countries. More credibility can than be contributed to concrete solutions which could be transmitted in this way. Information about ecological trips illustrating specific ecological situations can be exchanged and existing channels and structures can be used. "The Interdependent': for example, as a monthly bulletin offers the opportunity to inform and being informed about people's activities in other countries. In this working group contacts were laid in order to, amongst others, co-organise future activities.