Environmental Education

[Click to download the Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008 (Republic Act No. 9512)]

Environmental education shall encompass environmental concepts and principles, environmental laws, the state of international and local environment, local environmental practices, the threats of environmental degradation and its impact on human well-being, the responsibility of the citizenry to the environment and the value of conservation, protection and rehabilitation of natural resources and the environment in the context of sustainable development.

It shall cover both theoretical and practicum modules comprising of activities, projects, programs including but not limited to, tree planting, waste minimization, segregation, recycling and composting, freshwater and marine conservation, forest management and conservation, relevant livelihood opportunities and economic benefits, and other such programs and undertakings to aid the implementation of the different environmental protection laws.

In the said law, the role of the different agencies were defined as follows::

  • The CHED and TESDA – shall include environmental education and awareness programs in the National Service Training Program a part of the Civic Welfare Training Service component required for all baccalaureate degree courses and vocational courses with a curriculum of at least two years under Republic Act No. 9163 
  • The DepEd, CHED, TESDA, DENR and DOST- shall lead implementation of public education and awareness programs on environmental protection and conservation through collaborative interagency and multi-sectoral effort
  • The DENR- shall have primary responsibility of periodically informing all agencies concerned on current environmental updates, including identifying priority environmental education issues for national action and providing strategic advice on the environmental education activities
  • The DepEd, CHED, TESDA, DENR, DOST, DSWD and barangay units shall ensure that the information is disseminated to the subject students
  • The DOST is mandated to create programs that will ensure that students receive science-based quality information on environmental issues to encourage the development of environment-friendly solutions, devices, equipment and facilities
  • The DepEd, CHED and TESDA with DENR and other relevant agencies shall undertake capacity-building programs nationwide such as trainings, seminars, workshops on environmental education, development and production of environmental education materials, teacher-education courses and related livelihood programs

It also declared the month of November of every year as “Environmental Awareness Month”.


In 1989, the government formulated the Philippine Strategy for Sustainable Development (PSSD). This document served as the framework in guiding economic development and environmental quality enhancement. Ten fundamental strategies were featured in the PSSD including strengthening of citizens’ participation in environmental concerns and in the promotion of environmental education. It adopted the idea that “ if we care for the environment, it will care for us; when we put the environment first, development will last (Meadows, 1990). After the historic Earth Summit in 1992, the PSSD evolved into the Philippine Agenda 21.

At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, over 160 countries, including the Philippines, pledged to pursue sustainable development as embodied in Agenda 21. This global agenda attempted to find the balance between development fueled by the rapid integration of nations into the world economy and the impacts of this process on the environment and society.

As a demonstration of this commitment, the Philippine Government created the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD). Subsequently the PCSD convened a nationwide process to produce the Philippine Agenda 21 (PA21). During the consultations, it became clear that PA21, to be truly sustainable, had to find a creative response to the opportunities and challenges of globalization.

In 2004, the National Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainable Development (NEEAP for SD) (2005-2014) was formulated, it stems from important and recent initiatives to environmental management and environmental education in the country.

Then in 12 December 2008, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act 9512 or “An Act to Promote Environmental Awareness through Environmental Education and for Other Purposes”.

The said law reiterates the policy of the State to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature, and in recognition of the vital role of the youth in nation building and the role of education to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress and promote total human liberation and development.

The said law aims in promoting environmental education through an Inter-agency and multi-sectoral effort through the help of the various agencies such as:

  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Department of Education
  • Commission on Higher Education
  • Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
  • Department of Science and Technology
  • Department of Social Work and Development

The various agencies will help integrate environmental education in its school curricula in all levels, whether public and private, including barangay day care, preschool, non-formal, technical, vocational, professional level, indigenous learning, and out-of-school youth courses and programs.The NEEAP for SD seeks to complement existing government education programs.  

The Education for All (EFA) program, which is being spearheaded by the Department of Education as a multi-sectoral endeavor, has been identified as a potential support system for the NEEAP.  The EFA has set its activities in four areas:  the institutionalization of early childhood development as a basic service for all children in the country; the improvement in the quality and efficiency of primary education; the eradication of illiteracy; and the provision of basic knowledge, skills and values that allow adults and out-of-school youth to improve the quality of their life and increase their opportunities to participate in development

The NEEAP for SD (2005-2014) is an initiative of the Philippines in support to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD), which embraces the following key themes in ESD (under the UNESCO Framework for Implementation Scheme of the UNDESD):

  • Overcoming Poverty
  • Gender Equality
  • Environment Conservation and Protection
  • Rural Transformation
  • Human Rights
  • Intercultural Understanding and Peace
  • Sustainable Production and Consumption
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Information and Communication Technologies