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Background: Why is Environmental Education Important?

Our nation’s future relies on a well-educated public to be wise stewards of the very environment that sustains us, our families and communities, and future generations. It is environmental education which can best help us as individuals make the complex, conceptual connections between economic prosperity, benefits to society, environmental health, and our own well being. Ultimately, the collective wisdom of our citizens, gained through education, will be the most compelling and most successful strategy for environmental management.

Yet studies consistently reveal that the Uganda public suffers from a tremendous environmental literacy gap that appears to be increasing rather than decreasing. For example, two-thirds of the public fail even a basic environmental quiz and a whopping 98 percent of the public fail a basic energy quiz.

Environmental education increases student engagement in science. In our schools, research has shown enormous benefits from environmental education. When integrated into a science curriculum, environmental education demonstrably improves student achievement in science. Such an increase is likely due to the fact that environmental education connects classroom learning to the real world.