Support for Policy Processes

The objective of this component is to create an enabling environment for regional and national environmental education policy and to support the development and implementation of local level environmental and environmental education policy within the SADC region.

Supportive policy, at all levels, is needed to enable and encourage social changes towards equitable and sustainable development. The SADC Policy on Environment and Sustainable Development has environmental education and awareness creation as a major policy support area.

The Regional EE Programme approach to policy is built on the idea that for policy development and implementation to be successful it must be an inclusive process grounded in local context. Effective implementation of policy has thus been closely associated with a participatory orientation to policy and strategy design. In summary, key methodological orientations for the Regional EE Programme’s approach to its policy components recognise policy as praxis (reflexivity, understanding our work through critical reflection); and the importance of local context in policy development, leaving room to adapt, adjust and model support according to local needs.

Regional EE Programme also takes cognisance of policy processes as collaborative process, and is thus working with existing institutions and structures and seek to build on them. Currently the REEP is supporting capacity development initiatives through strengthening and supporting partnerships. This is intended to work towards building sustainability into policy processes in the SADC states. There is also need to continuously do research about research in progress (meta-research) so that policy development, at any one point, is informed by work already being done in the area.

The integrated approach of the REEP means that environmental education policy processes are also addressed by and play a role in the other three REEP components, networking, resource materials, and training. Integrated policy work is required across all sectors and at all levels. For purposes of clarity, this document discusses REEP policy support at a regional, national and local level, but these divisions should be seen as permeable, with work in each of them feeding into and informing work at other levels.

SADC Regional Environmental Education Programme