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Making Environmental Policy work in Philippines

Tue, April 16, 1:30 to 3:00pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Bay (Level 1), Bayview B


Since Agenda 21 was adopted in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992, environmental awareness moved beyond the mere natural dimension. It was recognized that the economic and social development has to be in harmony with the environment. In the Southeast region, this movement crystalized as ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan in 2007. Not only as a region, but also each member of the countries supported this action plan by creating concrete national action plan. The Philippines is not the exception. It introduced the national action plan, 2005 -2014, following the former plan, 1992-2012. Despite this initiative, implementation of EE/ESD within the formal education scheme is stagnant. Facing this situation, introduction of standardized criteria has been proposed. Although it is important to further propel the implementation of the national action plan, the policy should not fail to take into consideration people's attitudes toward environment.
This research examines the discrepancy between the national policy on environmental education, and people's environmental awareness. I choose the Philippines as a case study country. The Philippines is the only country that participated in the International Social Survey Programme with the focus on environment in 2010. Based on the survey, this study identifies different types of people's environmental awareness. To achieve the goal, it employs latent class analysis, which reduces information by introducing latent variables, and classifies respondents based on those variables.
As the result of latent class analysis shows, people's environmental analysis is not homogenous, which the national action plan fails to recognize. Based on this finding, I argue producing standardized criteria might even deepen this gap between the policy, and people's awareness, and hence propose more abstract criteria for the formal environmental education in the Philippines.