Thursday, 29 May 2008

Mainstreaming eLearning for Environment

Currently, there is a very low awareness of the benefits of eLearning among environmental institutions in Africa. Other sectors such as education, health, and development are more advanced in the application of eLearning and blended learning to support their training activities. The Educa series of eLearning conferences and the eLearning Africa series of conferences have little or no involvement by environmental organisations.

A seminar was therefore organised in Accra on 28th of May by UNEP in cooperation with ICWE as a pre-conference activity to the e-learning Africa 2008 conference.

It had the following objectives:
  • to increase awareness by environmental authorities on the cost-effectiveness of eLearning in their training, educational and awareness raising programmes;
  • to increase awareness of technology-supported learning and a new way of thinking about environmental education in universities and other learning institutions;
  • to strengthen institutional capacities in Africa to mainstream environment in university education across all academic disciplines, as well as long term knowledge competence development;
  • to enhance outreach of environmental education in Africa in the context of sustainable development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Speakers and participants at the seminar included decision makers, eLearning experts, educators, environmental education programme managers, eLearning programme managers and information specialists working in international organisations, environment ministries, environmental protection agencies, universities, non-governmental organisations, research institutions and the private sector.

The seminar comprised of four sessions:
  1. Keynote presentations by high-level representatives of environmental institutions in Africa and Europe.
  2. Roundtable – Policy dialogue on capacity development challenges facing environmental authorities in designing and delivering eLearning.
  3. Presentations on the application of eLearning in environmental programmes.
  4. Implementing an eLearning programme – the way forward.

Hereafter folows an interview with Maria Eugenia Arreola of UNEP Nairobi about this seminar.