Policy Issues

In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) recognised the important role of education and public awareness in the quest to achieve sustainable development. Chapter 36 of the Agenda 21 is devoted to promoting education, public awareness and training.

The 191 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) reinforced the importance of public education and awareness as instruments to the achievement of the three objectives of the Convention; conservation, sustainable use, and access and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources in Article 13 of the Convention. At their sixth meeting the Parties adopted the programme of work for Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) which aims to:

  • Communicate the scientific and technical work of the Convention in a language that is accessible to many different groups;
  • Integrate biodiversity into Education systems in all Parties to the Convention;
  • Raise Public Awareness of the importance of biodiversity to our lives, as well as its intrinsic value.
Significant progress has been made by the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Secretariat in developing CEPA capacities through the Global Initiative on Biodiversity Education which seeks to develop a plan to integrate biodiversity into all levels of formal non-formal education. Read more.

More recently, Parties agreed that Education was one of the 10 priority activities for the programme of work on CEPA.

The Secretariat and UNESCO are committed to working together to mainstream Biodiversity within the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Find out how.