Environmental Education in Canada
Environmental education is an important part of Canada's national development strategy, which aims to promote sustainable development and protect the country's natural environment. Here are some examples of environmental education in Canada:
- Canadian Environmental Education and Communication (CEEC) is a non-profit organization that promotes environmental education and communication in Canada. The organization conducts training and capacity building programs for teachers, students, and community leaders on environmental issues, sustainability, and conservation.
- EcoSchools is a certification program for schools that promotes environmental education and sustainable practices. Schools can earn bronze, silver, or gold certification by demonstrating their commitment to environmental education, waste reduction, energy conservation, and other sustainable practices.
- Nature Canada is a non-profit organization that works to protect wildlife and their habitats in Canada. The organization conducts environmental education programs for schools and communities, and works to raise awareness about issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and habitat destruction.
- Parks Canada is a government agency that manages Canada's national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas. The agency conducts environmental education programs for visitors, schools, and communities, and works to promote environmental stewardship and conservation.
These environmental education initiatives are helping to promote awareness about environmental conservation and sustainable development in Canada. They are also helping to build the capacity of local communities to manage natural resources and protect the country's unique environment and biodiversity. However, more needs to be done to scale up environmental education and ensure that it reaches all levels of society. This will require a concerted effort from government, civil society, and the private sector, as well as international support and cooperation.
The school curriculum
Environmental education is an important part of the school curriculum in Canada. Each province and territory in Canada is responsible for developing its own curriculum, but there are some common themes and approaches to environmental education across the country.
Here are some examples of environmental education topics and activities that may be included in the school curriculum in Canada:
- Sustainability: Many schools in Canada incorporate sustainability education into the curriculum, which may include topics such as waste reduction, energy conservation, and sustainable transportation. Students may also learn about the principles of sustainability, such as the triple bottom line (economic, social, and environmental) and the concept of ecological footprints.
- Ecosystems and biodiversity: Students in Canada may learn about local ecosystems, such as forests, wetlands, and grasslands, and the biodiversity that they support. This may include learning about different plant and animal species, their roles in the ecosystem, and the threats that they face from human activities.
- Climate change: Many schools in Canada now include climate change education in the curriculum, as it is one of the most pressing environmental challenges facing the country. Students may learn about the causes and impacts of climate change, as well as solutions such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- Outdoor education: Many schools in Canada incorporate outdoor education into the curriculum, which provides students with opportunities to learn about the environment first-hand. This may include activities such as hiking, camping, and canoeing, as well as visits to local parks and conservation areas.
- Environmental activism: Some schools in Canada may also incorporate environmental activism into the curriculum, which encourages students to take action on environmental issues that they are passionate about. This may include activities such as organizing school-wide recycling programs, participating in environmental campaigns, or advocating for policy change.
Environmental education is an important part of the school curriculum in Canada, as it helps to build awareness, knowledge, and skills to address environmental challenges and promote sustainability.
Resources for Environmental Education in Canada
A huge range of resources are available here on the Government of Canada website, including Climate Kids, Becoming junior scientists, Earth Rangers and many more.
For learning about wildlife there is Hinterland Who's Who with a wide range of information about the wild spaces, wildlife and relevant issues.
Green Learning Canada has lots of programmes and resources for teaching about climate change and other environmental issues.
Climate change issues Canada is facing
Canada is facing a range of climate change issues, including:
- Increasing temperatures: Canada is warming at twice the rate of the global average, with temperatures increasing by 1.7 degrees Celsius since 1948. This has led to melting of glaciers, sea ice, and permafrost, which is impacting ecosystems and wildlife.
- Extreme weather events: Canada is experiencing more frequent and intense extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, wildfires, and heatwaves. These events are causing damage to infrastructure, homes, and ecosystems, and are putting people's health and safety at risk.
- Sea level rise: Canada's coasts are vulnerable to sea level rise, which is expected to increase by up to one meter by the end of the century. This will lead to flooding of coastal cities, erosion of beaches and dunes, and loss of wetlands and salt marshes.
- Biodiversity loss: Climate change is impacting Canada's biodiversity, with species ranges shifting, migration patterns changing, and ecosystems being disrupted. This is affecting the health and productivity of forests, oceans, and other natural habitats, and is putting many species at risk of extinction.
- Northern and Indigenous communities: Indigenous and northern communities in Canada are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as they rely on traditional activities such as hunting, fishing, and trapping for their livelihoods. These communities are also experiencing changes in weather patterns, permafrost thaw, and melting sea ice, which is affecting their health, culture, and ways of life.
Canada is taking steps to address these climate change issues, including implementing carbon pricing, investing in renewable energy, and promoting sustainable transportation and infrastructure. Environmental Education in Canada is needed to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.