The first of a serious of Forums on “ Environmental Education and Capacity Building” was organized by the UNEP
(United Nations Environment Program-Sudan) in cooperation with the University of Khartoum Environmental Studies Institute (IES) and supported by the DAL Group.
Dr.Mohamed Salih Dafaalah from the IES said in the opening session of the Forum that aim is to increase the society awarence about the environmental issues a task that needs the collaborate efforts of segments of the society. While Eng. Hasna Hassan from DAL Group affirmed its group support for all efforts to promote the environment in Sudan. Same time Dr. May Ahmed from the UNEP-Sudan affirmed the continues support of the agency to the promotion of the environment and the awareness rising of the society is crucial in this respect.
Three paper were presented in the Forum: Challenges and opportunities in mainstreaming environmental issues into the Sudanese educational system by Prof. Zeinab Zuber; Role of NGOs in enhancing the environment awarence capacity building and advocacy in Sudan by Dr. Motasim Bshir Nimir and; Role of Environmental Studies(IES) in promoting environmental education in Sudan by Prof. Yagoub Abdalla.
The presentation was followed by a very extensive debate by the participants which stressed on the need for mor efforts to include environmental issues in the educational curriculum and that the efforts made in the past should be strengthened and promoted to include all the new amerging aspects of environmental issues.
A UNEP concept paper stated that recent studies show that the state of the environment and its impact , nationally and globally must be be acknowledged and addressed with immediacy and diligence. However, there is a significant gap (according to several Sudanese experts ) in knowledge about environmental issues within Sudanese society.
With the new momentous international agreements on climate change and the environment , there is a pressing need to underscore and explain the significance of recent research , global policies and agreements and how they effect and can effected by the people of Sudan.
Within this context , the IES approached UNEP with a proposal to build a partnership that would fulfill mandates of both parties to promote continuing awareness ,research and action on pressing environmental issues. UNEP-ADAPT project , funded by DEID ,provides tremendous support to promote capacity building ,education and awareness rising in environmental and climate change related issues.
The initiative hopes to provide stakeholders and policy makers with valuable information on environmental issues effecting Sudan and the region. The events would also offer a space for dialogue across generations and among a wide spectrum of Sudanese society and enable a sense of ownership of the solutions by citizens.
Through this initiative the partners anticipate that a new generation of students will be presented with pioneering research by experts in the field and an opportunity to engage in an exchange of ideas that could lead to tangible, positive results within their communities.
These three forums , this one and the two which will follow, are also to act as a pilot for a longer, more sustained series that will hopefully develop into a valuable institution within Sudan.