A disaster or conflict can completely disrupt schools and education systems in a community, but education can also be a point of entry in supporting and protecting children during an emergency. Educating children and families on environmental management, natural resources, water and sanitation soon after an emergency may ensure that humanitarian operations with environmental components have community support, involvement and understanding. Education and community outreach on environment issues may ensure that humanitarian efforts to minimize environmental impacts are all the more successful.

GuidelinesBack to top


Guidebook for Planning Education in Emergencies and Reconstruction:
Chapter 23 Environmental Education (UNESCO 2006)

Guidebook outlines strategies and tools to ensure that environment is incorporated into awareness-raising and education efforts during an emergency. Includes formal and informal education approaches for refugee, IDP and local populations.



Minimum Standards for Education:
Preparedness, Response, Recovery (INEE 2010)

Standards explain how community can teach about managing environment and natural resources.



Raising Clean Hands: Advancing Learning, Health and Participation
through WASH in Schools (UNICEF)

Report outlines risks of poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools.  Discusses improving the actual school infrastructure, education and awareness and advocacy in community.  Not humanitarian emergency specific in programmes and curriculum, nevertheless applicable.

ToolsBack to top


Our Environment: Taking Care of our Future Student Book
(Environment Foundation for Africa)

Primary school environment curriculum for communities in recovery and post-conflict phases based on cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone.  Teacher book with lesson plans also available.



A Manual on Communication for Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation
Programmes (UNICEF 2009)

Manual covers situation assessments, focus groups, programme design, communication strategies, training and budgets for environmental sanitation programmes.  Specific strategies apply to humanitarian action and community education.

Case studiesBack to top


Environmental Education in Afghanistan (Help the Afghan Children)

Programmes incorporate environmental issues and problems in curriculum, offer hands-on activities, cleanups and water testing.  Not humanitarian emergency specific, however relevant for early recovery.



Education on WASH and Environment: Case Study in Egypt (UNICEF)

Case study shows art and outdoor activities, such as tree planting, incorporated in school programming with indirect impact on the greater community.



Sanitation and Hygiene: Case Study #8 Sierra Leone (UNICEF)

Narrative report about how improved toilets and hand-washing facilities appeal to girls and include environmental education components.

ResourcesBack to top


Centre for Environmental Education Website

Programmes include incorporating environmental learning components into curriculum, establishing eco-clubs at schools and building sustainable schools.