2004 UNESCO/JAPAN Asia Pacific Environmental Education Research Seminar

2004 UNESCO/JAPAN Asia Pacific Environmental Education Research Seminar
Stakeholder Anaysis in Development
of Environmental Education (EE) and Education for
Sustainable Development (ESD) in Schools
of Vietnam: New Approaches and Case Studies
Nguyen Hoang Tri*
Vietnam, like so many other countries in the world has adopted Agenda 21 and adapted it to the local reality in
a National Agenda 21 with its 10 years strategy for social economic development (2001-2010) and poverty reduction
program. A set of Sustainable Development Indicators (SDI) is being constructed, in which the education development is
as vital indicator for SD of the country. There are some activities to link the implementation of the resolution establishing
a UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) from 2005 . 2015, which commences 1 January 2005 and
UNESCO initiative of the decade of ESD through the development of EE national policies on school curriculum and /or
teacher education programmes (MOET, 2003).
A new Government of Vietnam Project ‘Introducing Environmental Protection into the National Education System’ has
been implemented during 2000-2005. The National EE project was developed by four Ministries . MOET, MOSTE, MPI and
MOF . in response to Decree 36 (1998) of the Vietnamese Communist Party in relation to EE. Implementation of the project
applies to all sections of the formal education system in Vietnam, from kindergarten to university and post graduate and it
covers areas like curriculum development, training and the development of materials with responsibility of the Department
of Science and Technology within MOET (MOET/MOSTE, 2000).
The ESD is based on the idea that communities and educational system within communities need to dovetail their
sustainability efforts (McKeown and others, 2002). As community development goals, local educational systems can modify
existing curriculum to reinforce those goals. However, it is not easy to modify the conservative system, an initiative to
integrate the EE with more involvement of local environment into current curriculum and activities is encouraged (Tri N.H
and others 2002). In this paper, the case of mangroves in coastal zones is presented as ‘best practices’ for achieving the SD
at local level and national perspectives as a whole.
Pressure-Change-Response in education system of the transition economy
As one of developing countries having the highest rate of economic growth in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has a
growth rate of 5 . 7 % during the last decade. However it faces a combination of environmental problems and sustainable
development. It is also associated with economic and population growth, accelerating industrialisation and urbanisation,
trade liberation and rising real incomes. A long with economic development, there are a lot of problems rising from social
issues, changes of values, culture and tradition.
Requirements from economic development, keeping and remaining traditional values and combating social issues,
poverty reduction are pressing on the education system. There are at least three times ‘Educational Reforms’ during last
five decades. The on-going reform is facing a big challenge in both philosophy and practice. Increased number of subjects is
* Center for Environmental Research and Education(CERE), Hanoi University of Education, Vietnam

2004 UNESCO/JAPAN Asia Pacific Environmental Education Research Seminar
burdening school children with hard works and time.
Regarding the environmental problems and sustainable development, Vietnam’s forest cover has fallen from 43 % of
the total land area in 1943 to 30 % in 2000 for un-appropriate changes of land-use and patterns, especially mangrove forests
of 400,00 ha in 1943 dropping 150,000 ha in present days because of shrimp farm development. In urban areas, only 23 % of
the population is served by water-born sewerage waters. The general level of environmental awareness remains low and it
also contributing the degradation of the environment, especially young generations, they are decision makers in the future.
The EE in the schools of Vietnam was developed late 1995. This was fundamentally a knowledge-base environmental
study . simply building understanding about the environment and its problems. The UNDP-DANIDA EE project (1997-2004)
and National EE project (2000-2005) are beyond this, to addressing the fundamental causes of this problems rooted in
human value and behaviour . politics, economics, culture, tradition, history and the physical environment- the exploration
and resolution of environmental issues in order to promote lifestyles that are compatible with the sustainable and equitable
uses of resources the basic requirement for sustainable development.
Among these, EE, training and awareness are most important in providing people with about and changing their
behaviour toward the environment. The development of environmental studies in Vietnam began in early 1980s, including
the elaboration of curricula, textbook development, trial teaching and teacher training. By 1991 the Vietnam National
Plan for Environment and SD was able to conclude that ‘various aspects of the basic environmental sciences are already
incorporated in the traditional education curricula in schools and colleges’.
A National Policy Statement on EE and National Implementation Strategy for EE were developed to provide a
national framework and engender consensus for EE. The development process involved wide consultation nationally and
internationally and the participation of a range of national cross-sectoral interests. Practical involvement in EE by providing
students with opportunities for hand-on action through a ‘School Greening’ Program is producing immediate and highlight
visible results for students, teachers and community. A national campaign ‘Together for Green’ ‘World Environment Day’ is
aimed at raising general environmental awareness in schools.
EE for the ecosystem approach which is rather than simple about environment includes institutionalisation, capacity
building and participatory educational methodologies to form the basis for ESD. They are practical and appropriate to the
educational reality at all levels in Vietnam.
Environmental Education in Schools
We accept that the introduction of EE into the conservative system of formal education is not easy because of involving
the recognition, changes of curriculum, materials, training courses and monitoring processes. The EE can be sustainable
when it is integrated into both formal system of education and community awareness. The stakeholder analysis is a tool
for looking at ‘who is who’ in a logical framework and implementation plan, especially decision making process relating the
introduction of EE into the educational system.
In the management sciences, a stakeholder is a person, organization or group with an interest in a decision. Stakeholder
analysis is a system for collecting information about groups or individuals who are affected by decisions, categorizing that
information and explaining the possible conflicts that may exist between important groups and areas where trade-offs may
be possible. By iterating the analysis over time, stakeholders may move from one category to another and vary in the degree
of influence and important they have. Thus, the stakeholder analysis may be a tool to monitor the changes and related
community-base education (see Table 1).

2004 UNESCO/JAPAN Asia Pacific Environmental Education Research Seminar
Table 1: Possession and importance of stakeholders in the integration of EE into educational system
Relative important and
Degree of stakeholders' possession
influence to decisions
Decision makers of
national policy and
School textbook
Very high
Very high
Material developers
Very high
National /Provincial EE
School principals
School students
Very high
Local associations
Education groups
Local communities
Increasing Medium
Increasing Medium
Mass Media
Very high
Very high
Equipment supply
During the implementation of the EE in schools project (1997-2004), it comprised interlinked interventions at three
levels within education system.
At national/provincial level, to assist the Government in developing a national policy and implementation strategy for EE in
the country as whole: The National Policy and Strategy document, Policy and EE action plan program for schools: 2001-2010 to
provide the guidelines for all EE initiatives approved by MOET. A system of 38 pilot provinces covering 8 geographical regions,
three EE Resources Developing Centres and National EE Certificate Courses for Teachers (6 courses with 126 teachers) have
been developed for assisting the idea. A team of Provincial EE supervisors representing DOET, DOSTE and the Youth Union has
been established in each of the 61 provinces and training teachers, school greening and EE campaigns.
In formal education system, at the intermediate level, especially within the teacher education sector, it develops the
EE guideline and materials and building capacity for EE within teacher training institutions throughout the country. Building
capacity in EE has been focussed in the teacher training sector, including EE Guidelines for Teacher Trainers and Users’
Guides (Patterns for Integrating EE Modules into the General Education System) for training teachers at the Primary,
Lower and Upper-Secondary levels in several subjects.
A training VCDs based on the Teaching Modules for Chemistry, Geography, Biology, Nature and Society, Moral
Education, a team of Teacher Training EE Supervisors, a project Training Support Unit (TSU) of key facilitators, a system
of 9 Teacher Training ‘Nodes’ ( each with their ‘cluster’ of Teacher Training Institutions to support) and a comprehensive
Project Training Strategy have been developed to build the EE capacity of the education system including School Textbook
Developers, Material Developers, Training Provincial EE Supervisors, Education Decision makers, School Principals and
teachers as long-term activities.
At the grassroots level, school and community greening programs together with the EE campaigns to promote practical
experiences to students and teachers in improving local environments in every province in the country. Two School Greening
Guides for Teachers, a book of photo from Environmental Photographic Competition, 12 issues of Newsletter and a Training DVD
on the use of practical activities in EE . drama, pantomime, folksong and music for school activities and a network of 3,145 pilot

2004 UNESCO/JAPAN Asia Pacific Environmental Education Research Seminar
schools at grassroots levels have been developed to link indoor and outdoor EE activities. Besides there are annual EE campaigns
for schools for World Environmental Day (5th June) with variety themes: ‘Together for Green’ ‘Summer Thunder’ ‘Green Rain’ ‘To
live economically’ ‘Sharing and Saving’ to raise environmental awareness for people.
There are some issues during the implementation of the project. It should be given supplements on different regions
and habitat of the country to give teachers to assess to materials which relate more specifically to their local environment (i.e.
mountain, coastal, urban and other typical environments) and the importance of school principals to the effectiveness of EE
in schools should be focussed during the implementation.
Education for Sustainable Development
The ESD carries with the inherent idea of implementing program that is locally relevant and culturally appropriate.
All SD programs including ESD must take into consideration the local environment, economic and societal conditions. As a
result, ESD will take many forms around the world.
In our projects, the ESD idea is to promote the SD and management of resources, through influencing people’s values,
attitudes and behaviours toward the environment leading ultimately to greater environmental protection. This will be
done by means of engaging the formal education system at all levels to deliver a comprehensive, learner-centred, problem
solving, cross curricular and practical program of ESD as an integral part of all activities, to children in every primary and
secondary schools in the country.
At school and community levels, the ESD strengthen and expand school greening, develop materials to promote a
sustainable management and development agenda locally link to the implementation of outdoor EE activities at all school
levels and in the community by the provincial EE action plans. This is done through the curriculum, extra-curricular
activities and school/community links. All educational institutions are mobilised to follow the lead of the schools in this area.
The example of selected subjects for integration EE into the current lectures at primary schools in coastal zones of
mangroves is showing a ‘Best Practices’ in school education and the link between school and local community, especially
involving community stakeholders. The current EE programme and its contribution to national and local development is
promoting the ESD approach by widening the existing EE agenda to intensify the SD content.
Table 2: Selected subjects for integration EE into the current lectures at primary schools in coastal zones
Selected subjects for integration
Nature &
Art &
Mangrove area
& distribution
Direct values of
Indirect values
of mangroves
Root causes of
plantation and

2004 UNESCO/JAPAN Asia Pacific Environmental Education Research Seminar
For achieving the effectiveness, the EE should promotes and expands the professional development in ESD at all levels
within the formal education system through training programs for education professionals (Education department staff,
University teachers, teacher trainers, provincial EE supervisors, school principals) through an expanded network of National
EE/ESD courses, and through intensive programs of pre-service and in-service training for classroom teachers throughout
the country.
Lessons learned from practices shows that intensification of institutionalisation and capacity building of whole the
formal education system taking on the responsibility of delivering EE/ESD as a normal part of its activities to achieve the
sustainability is critical. This includes EE/ESD in curriculum development, text book development, national examination
system and the use of e-learning technology in developing a network of region-characterised EE/ESD Resource
Development Centres.
Otherwise, linking EE/ESD contributes the achievement of National Agenda 21 strategy for social development and
poverty reduction through contributing to changing the social context and it will enable SD can take place. The activity
engages the formal education system at three levels in integrated processes of awareness raising, consensus building,
institutionalisation, capacity building and practical activities. ESD component should be fully infused into the curriculum
and textbooks of all subject areas at primary, secondary, high school and teacher training levels and the implementation of
current EE programmes both at school and other levels of education for the UN DESD.
The relationship between education and sustainable development is complex. The education can improve agricultural
productivity, enhance the status of women, reduce population growth rates, enhance environmental protection and generally
raise the standard of living. The EE/ESD will contribute the reality of the expectation. It requires almost stakeholders to
involve the activity, especially decision making process. The stakeholder analysis is tools for implementing effectively the
idea by providing prioritization in relation with responsibility and needs for every people in the SD required.
The achievement of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) contributes the realization of a sustainable society,
it is an urgent subject for people all over the world, and it has been recognized that this cannot be achieved without ESD in
the long term. During a decade the country has been evolving, first with the introduction of environmental education (EE)
in schools and then it should continue to focus in the promotion of EE to achieve ESD in order to enjoy the achievement of a
sustainable world and to overcome new challenges and problems taking place.
McKeown R, C.A Hopkins, R. Rizzi and M. Chrystalbridge, 2002. Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit,
Version 2, July 2002. WMREI, available on
MOET, 2003. The National Policy and Strategy document, Policy and EE action plan program for schools: 2001-2010. In
MOET/MOSTE, 2000. National Project Document 1363 ‘Introducing Environmental Protection into the National
Education System’ in Vietnamese.
Tri N.H and others 2002, EE Guidelines for Teacher Trainers and Users’ Guides (Patterns for Integrating EE Modules

2004 UNESCO/JAPAN Asia Pacific Environmental Education Research Seminar
into the General Education System) for training teachers at the Primary, Lower and Upper-Secondary levels in several
subjects, VIE/98/018. In Vietnamese.
Annex 1: Abbreviations /Acronyms
Danish Government Department Agency
Department of Science, Technology and Environment
Department of Education and Training
Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
EE: Environmental
Education for Sustainable Development
Ministry of Education and Training
Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
Ministry of Planning and Investment
Ministry of Finance
Training Support Unit
UN: United
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
United Nations Development Program

2004 UNESCO/JAPAN Asia Pacific Environmental Education Research Seminar
Fig 1: School children in mangrove areas
of Can Gio, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Fig 2: School students attending the
'World Environmental Day' in Hoa Binh
Fig 3: School students enjoying thewater
supply coming to their village in Lai
Chau Province
Fig 4: Living with mangroves and
enjoying the forests after schooling