Development of Environmental Learning Programme for Establishing a Sustainable Solid Waste Management System in Mandalay City, Myanmar

Event: The HDCA 2016 Conference: Capability and Diversity in a Global Society
Date: 1-3 September 2016, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo
Conference Paper

This paper discusses the experience and lessons learned from the development of a new environmental learning programme and materials for the junior high schools in Mandalay City with key stakeholders to address waste management and its environmental issues. Aiming to establish the 3R practices (reduce, reuse and recycle) to reduce waste generation at source, environmental learning materials are developed to foster more sustainable lifestyles and practices. The results acknowledge that key organisations have already established some environmental learning programmes in schools even though most of these learning materials and tools are merely focused on awareness raising on environmental issues. Although knowledge and awareness are a prerequisite of environmental behavioural changes, learning materials should be designed to give the opportunity to students to develop a sense of ownership and empowerment which motivates them to be responsible and take actions as active citizens. Thus, the new environmental learning materials developed under this study combine knowledge, skills and actions. Through piloting the newly developed programme and materials in three model schools, the study also identified that environmental learning programmes should be action-based thereby providing the opportunity for students to actually change something and see an effect in the real world. Direct involvement of students in their community-based programmes encourage them to become more active and responsible. Further, the study identified that the successful planning and implementation of new environmental education programme depends on a combination of action principles, namely responding to emerging environmental issues; encouraging all relevant stakeholders (different disciplines and actions) to engage in developing the programme and learning materials; sustaining a long-term process of change; and encouraging transformation of the system. The study also identified that content development, capacity building, networking and necessary resources are required for the effective implementation of new environmental learning programmes in developing cities.