Although Russia does not have a specific national environmental education mandate, support for EE exists formally and informally at regional and local levels through the efforts of schools, teachers, and governmental and non-governmental organizations. In schools, many teachers supplement the compulsory Russian K-12 curriculum with environmental education activities. Regional departments of environmental protection may support environmental education by offering professional development seminars and conferences for educators. Large international environmental NGOs also work to promote environmental education in Russia.
Policy & Practice
Russia does not have federal legislation specifically related to environmental education. However, Article 3 of the Russian Federal Law on Environmental Protection briefly mentions environmental education, stating that the “organization and development of environmental education, training, and the formation of ecological culture” should be incorporated into economic and other activities impacting the natural environment. In addition, some Russian regions have created local laws related to environmental education.
EE in K-12 Education
For a few years, in the 1990s, the subject "Environment" was required in Russian public schools. However, Russia does not currently include environmental education in the compulsory K-12 curriculum. Many teachers still conduct formal and informal environmental education activities in schools, with support from school supervisors and local authorities. Informally, educators, teachers, and the general public in Russia express a strong interest in environmental education.
Russia does not have a federal or nation-wide certification program for environmental educators. However, local governments in several regions support environmental education by promoting environmental studies in schools, organizing regional EE conferences for teachers and educators, and organizing educator professional development seminars. For example, in Tomsk Region (Western Siberia, Russia), the local Department of Environmental Protection co-organizes biannual EE conference for teachers/educators, often visited by participants from other Russian regions. The Tomsk regional environmental protection authority also supports EE initiatives in local schools, libraries, and other educational organizations.
National EE Campaigns and Funding
In recent years, many environmental NGOs have closed their environmental education initiatives because of financial difficulties. Russian offices of Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and similar organizations do contribute to informing people about the environment.