Several government, NGO, and private sector organizations encourage and promote environmental education in Pakistan, especially in relation to public health and gender relations.
The Pakistan Ministry of Climate Change, which manages the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) aims to advance public awareness and education of Sustainable Development, Water and Sanitation, Sustainable Urbanization, and continuous implementation of Pakistan’s ratified Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs).
The first major policy regarding environmental education in Pakistan was the Azad Jammu and Kasmir (AJK) EPA Act Ordinance of 1996, which established the Environmental Protection Council (AJK EPC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA), along with a strategic intervention to “environmental awareness raising amongst all sectors of society, with special emphasis on youth of educational institutions, women and dwellers of the areas of environmental concerns” (p. 58).
Pakistan’s National Environment Policy (2005–2015) furthered the mission of the AJK EPA Ordinance by establishing the strategies to “creat[e] a demand for environment through mass awareness and community mobilization” (p. 10). One such strategy includes the addition of “gender and environment in the curricula of education and training programs on the environment” (p 16). Another strategy establishes the following:
- “Environmental education would be implemented into all levels of curricula and syllabi from primary to university level.
- Establishment of environmental education and training institutions would be encouraged.
- Educational institutions throughout the country would be supported in the establishment of environmental clubs.
- The concept of ‘Participatory approaches and practices’ would be included in the curriculum of environmental education and training programs” (p. 20).
With support from the UNDP, Pakistan’s Ministry of Environment (which has since absolved and is now the Ministry of Climate Change) executed the National Environmental Action Plan–Support Program (NEAP-SP) in 2007 to “strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of relevant Government institutions...promote equal participation of women in project level activities and promote sustainable grassroots projects through its Grassroots Initiatives Programme for Local Environmental Management (GRIP)” (p. 245). The NEAP-SP heavily emphasizes the “inclusion of environmental education curricula in schools” as a key component (Malik 2004).
Beyond these major policies, the Ministry of Climate Change also established the National Climate Change Policy in 2012, which includes a section on education and awareness-raising (p. 33). Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan established the Clean Green Pakistan initiative in 2018.
Private organizations also support the efforts of establishing EE in Pakistan. The WWF Pakistan Green School Programme provides accreditation for schools that include environmental awareness and education curricula. Sunrise Green Pak Environmental Organization is an NGO that aims to provide EE curricula and training to schools and teachers in Pakistan. The Early Years Learning and Research (EYLAR) Natural Start Program aims to provide environmental education for early childhood learning. Finally, the WBM Foundation, an NGO focused on environmental sustainability in Pakistan, including resources like training programs about environmental protection.