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Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract front page
Subject index
Athor index


Education: a key issue in sustainable development S28

Ngwang Gumne, Kevin; Gwangfogbe, Mathew; Mhunwe Samba, Patrick

SASH - Sustainable Agriculture And Self-Help, P.O. Box 51 Bamenda - Cameroon

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Post World War II development in the North employed means that quickened production for more income. These means largely conflicted with nature, hence environmental degradation. This pattern of development, like colonial education, was transplanted in the colonies, now independent third world countries, with the same effects. In recent times, governments, non-governmental organizations, churches and individuals, have been engaged in discussions and some action in ravour of sustainable development, since humans depend on this same degrading environment for their livelihood now and in the long term.

The primordial role of appropriate education, through the formal and non-formal approaches, that lead to the acquisition of the required knowledge which affects people's behavior positively, will lead them to take no notion necessary to protect the environment. We are talking about that education which does not deal only with knowledge for aesthetics, but education for a purpose. In non-formal situations, the education will deal more with ecosophy - the awareness and rational exploitation of the environment - rather than with environmental science. The action that will result from appropriate eduation as far as sustainable development is concerned, will include ecological agriculture, infrastructure such as access and evacuation roads, farmers centres that will include storage facilities for their farm produce and crafts, hall for meetings, canteen and so on - the infrastructure that enhances appropriate agricultural development. Support for the infrastructure will also serve as incentives for the receptivity of the education.

This short essay aims at examining the role which, the type of education and development advocated, can play in minimizing the destruction of the environment. It will draw principally from authors' experiences and a few documents. The area of operation is the Bamenda Grassfields of Cameroon which fall under the Tropical highlands exo-zone of Cameroon, the other two being the Tropical Dense Forest and the Sudano Sahelian.