In October 2017, and in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Tbilisi Declaration, the Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) launched a Call to Action to gather feedback on priorities for the field of environmental education (EE) over the next decade and beyond. To spark discussion, the GEEP identified ten potential actions environmental educators, collectively, could take to advance our shared goals. These actions were developed by a working group of environmental education leaders from around the world, and mindful of the incredible body of work that has come before, starting with the Tbilisi Declaration of 1977, the Millennium Development Goals, the Decade for Education for Sustainability, the international adoption of a set of ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and others.
From October, 2017 through April, 2018, this draft Call to Action was circulated for feedback through this website. The global EE community was asked to prioritize these actions, reflect on how these high priority actions could be carried out in practice, and suggest any additional ideas for the future.
At the close of the survey, 379 participants from 46 countries responded to the online questionnaire. Some participants chose not to list their locations, so these numbers may underestimate the locations represented in the data. Of the responses received, 62.5% (just under 2/3) came from participants within the United States, and 37.5% (just over 1/3) came from participants outside the United States.
- Central America
- Middle East
- North America
- South America
Results: What are our next steps as a global community?
Participants demonstrated support for all 10 suggested actions, and offered a rich diversity of perspectives on what steps we might take to achieve them. We heard from a number of colleagues about an interest in marking this milestone with a pledge or commitment to build on the great work that's been done and think ahead to the future. To that end, we created the Tbilisi + 41 Pledge, which includes a commitment to work towards achieving three high-level goals:
- Every nation has an environmentally informed, empowered, and active populace and workforce.
- The leadership of every government, business, NGO, and educational institution uses environmental education to achieve environmentally sustainable outcomes.
- Every educational institution—formal and nonformal--incorporates environmental literacy into its mission, goals, and activities.
The 10 actions are steps that we believe can help us move towards achieving these larger goals. As you read through the actions and participant comments, we encourage you to consider how you and/or your organization can take part. We know that many of the actions complement and reinforce each other, and some will be more relevant than others. In the future, we will build on the pledge and these actions by offering resources to share what others are doing and how to improve our practice to strengthen our collective impact. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share feedback and ideas.
We encourage everyone to sign the pledge, and to receive updates by visiting the Pledge page on this website.
A team comprised of university research partners, the GEEP secretariat, NAAEE, and GEEP Advisory Board members discussed and agreed on a process for analyzing and presenting survey responses. To better understand the range of responses, we used qualitative data analysis methods (Miles, Huberman, & Saldaña, 2014) to explore participants' responses following a codes-to-theory model (Saldaña, 2013). We began with a detailed, line-by-line initial (open) coding cycle (Charmaz, 2006; Saldaña, 2013). At this stage of the analysis, we applied provisional codes to describe the recommendations participants offered across the ten actions. Next, we reorganized and consolidated the initial codes to generate ten broad categories (Saldaña, 2013) that encompassed the big ideas emerging from the data. We then examined each of the actions individually, identifying which ideas were most prevalent and how participants connected them. We created a map, or network model (Miles, Huberman, & Saldaña, 2014), of these connections and synthesized participants' recommendations for each of the actions.
- Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
- Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldaña, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
- Saldaña, J. (2013). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.