City Sounds: St. Petersburg - towards sustainable development via raising public awareness
In recent years the environmental issues in general and environmental education (the so-called informal environmental education) issues in particular are given more and more attention in the Russian Federation. To systematize the environmental education activities in St. Petersburg, in 2018 the City’s Committee for Nature Use, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety (Committee for Environmental Protection) has developed the Concept of Continuous Environmental Education in St. Petersburg (Concept).
The key idea of the Concept is the “lifelong environmental education” – organization of consistent and systematic activities for environmental education of all target groups of residents from preschool children to aged people, taking into consideration special approaches for each target group. It’s important to mention that the Concept was elaborated with account of both strategic planning documents of Russia and St. Petersburg in the field of environmental development and the UN document “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, which declares 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
To implement the Concept and coordinatе planning and realization of environmental education activities (environmental campaigns, competitions, festivals, forums, conferences, workshops, round tables, production and dissemination of booklets, leaflets, posters, Internet-materials), the Coordination Council for Environmental Education, Raising Public Awareness and Environmental Culture in St. Petersburg was established with participation of representatives of authorities, NGOs and science.
The Concept identified and founded the optimal division of St. Petersburg population into target groups, based on human development stages (Fig.):
- Preschool children, 4-6 years old;
- Primary school students, 7-9 years old;
- Secondary school students, 11-17 years old;
- Young people, 18-24 years old;
- from 25 to 35, mainly young experts;
- from 36 to 54;
- over 55.
The expected result of the Concept implementation is to generate the environmental culture of sustainable development through the intense use of the model and innovative experience of environmental education in the sustainable development interests of the Russian regions and foreign countries.
Author: Dmitry Krutoy, Head of the Sector for Environmental Projects, Division for External Relations and Environmental Education, Committee for Nature Use, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety, City of St. Petersburg, Russia