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AUA Acopian Center Develops UNDP-funded Environmental Education Program for Armenia’s Civil and Municipal Servants

YEREVAN, Armenia – The Acopian Center for the Environment of the American University of Armenia (AUA) completed the development of a comprehensive curriculum and content for a new environmental education program, with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The aim of this program is to increase the awareness and understanding of environmental issues by public officials in national, provincial, and local governments.

The environmental education program comprises 11 modules that focus on a variety of subjects, including global and Armenian environmental challenges, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity conservation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable cities. The training program, designed for civil servants to complete in up to 20 hours, is expected be delivered through Armenia’s Civil Service Office, Public Administration Academy, and other academic institutions.

On July 2-3, 2018, the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment and UNDP organized a training of trainers (ToT). Forty people, including professors and lecturers from various universities in Armenia, as well as experts from environmental NGOs and research centers, participated in the ToT and had the opportunity to select the modules they would like to teach in the future and were then trained in those topics.

Subsequently, the trainees had the chance to become certified as trainers. At the end of September, 28 ToT participants were tested in their skills and knowledge to become certified trainers of their respective modules. Those certified may be selected to work with the Civil Service Office of the Republic of Armenia and other educational outlets.

“It’s critical that government decision-makers have a greater understanding of environmental issues that Armenia is facing,” said Litta Muradyan, Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator at the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment. “Through this program, they will have greater knowledge and awareness of current issues and are more likely to integrate environmental considerations in the decisions they make.”

For further information about the project, please visit http://ace.aua.am/projects/undp-environmental-education-training-modules/.

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, a research center of the American University of Armenia, promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. AUA Acopian Center’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity and conservation, greening the built environment, clean energy, and energy efficiency, as well as information technology and the environment.