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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Minister for Education, Science and Training
Hon Dr Brendan Nelson

14 December 2005

Setting national course for environmental education


For the first time Australia has a nationally-agreed vision for environmental education in its schools.

In a joint statement today, the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Dr Brendan Nelson, announced the vision for environmental education nationwide.

Senator Campbell said Educating for a Sustainable Future: A National Environmental Education Statement for Australian Schools would provide a national reference point for schools and teachers across Australia to follow.

“It provides a consistent approach for curriculum developers, teachers, schools, communities and broader education systems to educating students throughout their schooling about the environment and the importance of living sustainably,” he said.

“The state of the environment is one of the most pressing and enduring issues facing this and future generations. As Australians we have an obligation to ensure that what we do is sustainable.

“It is important that students receive science-based quality information on environmental issues.”

Dr Nelson said environmental education has been an important aspect of school life in Australia for more than 30 years.

“Environmental education helps young people to develop a caring attitude towards the natural world. However, so far the approach to environment education has been mixed,” he said.

“This 32-page document is the result of extensive consultation, research and development with teachers, communities, organisations, governments and industry groups and is compatible with existing state and territory policies and programmes.

“It also complements other environmental initiatives including the Australian Government’s National Action Plan for Environmental Education and the intergovernmental Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative,” Dr Nelson said.

Both Senator Campbell and Dr Nelson welcomed the release of the statement to coincide with the first year of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.”

To view the statement visit www.deh.gov.au/education/publications/sustainable-future.html

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Yaron Finkelstein (Minister Nelson's office) 0414 927 6630400 144 483

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