Environmental Education Policy Audit

Environmental Education Policy Audit


In 2004 a SADC Environmental Education Policy Audit was carried out by Charles Obol, Irma Allen and Helen Springall Bach to determine the status of environmental education policy processes in SADC region. The policy audit was based on desk research, questionnaires and consultation with the stakeholders and had the following objectives;

•  To better understand the policy processes in SADC
•  To identify common elements in the development and implementation of policy,
•  To identify constraints and opportunities,
•  To look for gaps and needs in each country, and
•  To propose a way forward for each country and for SADC sectoral level.

From the study it is clear that the concept of environmental education is still evolving. As policy issues affect the SADC region e.g. poverty, HIV/AIDS, pollution and waste management become more pressing. The region is challenged to see how best environmental education can contribute to resolving these issues. The audit report identified and recommended intervention/entry points for EE policy processes to address these issues.

The audit shows that countries have pursued the development of environmental education policy at different rates and used different national documents as the basis for the implementation of environment education. It has also shows that SADC countries share many features. Some of the general findings are as follows:

  • The time range during which the main policy documents for the establishment of environmental education in the SADC countries ranges mainly from the mid 1990s to the present
  • The SADC Secretariat has been instrumental in catalysing country initiatives on environmental education policy in the region. The creation of the SADC REEP and specifically, the establishment of a Regional EE Network of Representatives created an effective structure for communication on EE in the region.
  • The IUCN/USAID NETCAB Project 1999/2001 was designed specifically to address and develop environmental education policy in five countries within the southern Africa region. This had a positive impact on the participating countries such as Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa and Zimbabwe by having them assess their policy status and continue moving the EE policy development/implementation process forward. It shows that different needs and opportunities exist in each country, and EE policy development/implementation process in the region can and should vary widely.
  • The establishment of the SADC EE Regional Centre was a major step forward in developing capacity in the region for environmental education policy development and implement. A number of people in the southern African region have been trained in many aspects of EE (including policy).


From 2006 onwards, SADC member States have also engaged with Education for Sustainable Development.

Education for Sustainable Development Policies and Strategies in SADC Member States:


SADC Regional Environmental Education Programme