Hungarian National Parks’ Environmental Educators Meeting
13 May 2012 | News story
A new Commission member, Richard Novak, was an organiser of the annual event. IUCN CEC Regional Vice Chair for Europe, Katalin Czippán, delivered the keynote address.
Hungary’s ten National Park Directorates were representated at the annual meeting of professionals working in the field of environmental education. The March 2012 meeting was sponsored by the Hungarian Ministry of Agronomy. Thirty-eight participants shared experiences and considered future trends and next steps. One of the main subjects of the three-day event was the role of cultural heritage and its place in environmental education.
Katalin Czippán, Regional Vice Chair of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (IUCN CEC) delivered a keynote address on environmental education trends, duties and opportunities in light of international treaties. She emphasized the importance of being prepared to contribute to Aichi Biodiversity Target 1, to ensure that by 2020 people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably. "Environmental education has to start with children and must focus on adults as well – not creating or deepening the conflicts between learning in schools, education centers and the daily life of society," she said. Education must be planned strategically, starting with defining the required learning outcomes and tailored them to the target audience and the local environmental needs. This is done in collaboration with other stakeholders responsible for mainstreaming biodiversity, she explained.
The Hungarian National Parks’ Environmental Educators Meeting was held in Felsőtárkány at the Bükk National Park Directory’s open air school site: West Gate Educational and Learning Centre. Richard Novak, a new CEC member, is head of the open air school. "In open air schooling we go to the field with children, where they are using all of their senses to gain and understand information about the environment surrounding them," Richard said. "Unfortunately, most children are not going into nature. We need to be the ones to show it to them and to provide learning experiences that build appreciation for the value of nature in Hungary."
Richard implements and conducts environmental education programmes at the open air school and welcomes an exchange of information with CEC members. "I want to see, learn methods, share and gain experiences," he says. Contact Richard Novak at firstname.lastname@example.org