The concept of environmental education


The Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Education and Research have created on the basis of joint initiates a Joint Action Memorandum, aiming to develop environmental education and awareness through such cooperation.

For this purpose, it is important that environmental themes be integrated to the curricula of general education schools. Legislation and regulations valuing environmental awareness are not enough on their own in order to improve the environmental awareness of the population of Estonia as well as practical nature recognition.

The concept of environmental education establishes five arenas, which should be aimed at:

  1. Environmental education is valued in society.
  2. The points of emphasis of environmental education are changed according to need with the help of legislation, strategic documents and budgets.
  3. Estonia has organised possibilities for acquiring environmental education in a way that is in line with internationally assumed responsibilities, strategies and legislation of Estonia.
  4. Each age group has a possibility to get environmental education information needed and to develop the skills, attitudes and norms of behaviour necessary for the development of a sustainable lifestyle.
  5. Environment and sustainable development are an obligatory part of all levels of education.
The educational system has the best possibilities for shaping people’s value orientations, this both through formal education, non-formal education and indirect shaping (from child to parent, etc).
The concept of environmental education has indicated how the aims mentioned are reached; it forms a source document in organising the action plans and investments of the field.

Which is which?
  • Education that supports sustainable development is a system of knowledge, skills, attitudes and value orientations, which enables making people conscious of the relations of the natural, economic, and socio-cultural environment, focusing thereby on the idea of sustainable development.
  • Environmental education is directed at shaping environmental awareness in a local and global context.
  • Nature education, which focuses on exploring the relations between natural phenomena and natural processes on different levels, forms the core of environmental education as the education that supports sustainable development.



Last updated: 23 October 2014

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