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Frontpage News 2012 Improving environmental education in Latvia

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Improving environmental education in Latvia

  • Study material and university study courses in environmental science and sustainable development have been developed at the University of Latvia with €470,000 in support from the Norway Grants.  

    Until recently, a mere 1.5% of all students in Latvia chose courses in environment and sustainable development at university level. In order to improve environmental education at university level in the country and encourage students to study environmental science, the University of Latvia has developed study courses in environmental science and sustainable development for universities and higher education institutions in Latvia in a Norway Grants- financed project.  “New generations need to know what the real state of the world is, and how to avoid possible difficulties in the future,” says Professor Maris Klavinš, senior expert of the project.

    8 academic textbooks published
    The project has been implemented in partnership with a network of 220 universities in 14 countries in the Baltic Sea Region. During the course of the project, environmental scientists and educators from several European universities, including those of Hamburg, Oslo, Uppsala, Saint Petersburg, and Tallinn, have been invited to provide advice on how to best teach environmental science. 

    These consultations have resulted in the development of 8 academic textbooks:

    • “Environmental Education at Universities”;
    • “Environmental Pollution and its Impact”;
    • “Environmental Technologies”;
    • “Ecology”, “Nature Protection”;
    • “Environment and Economy”;
    • “Environmental Management”; and
    • “Environment and Sustainable Development”.  


    The latter book, "Environment and Sustainable Development", has been published in both English and Latvian, and has been distributed to universities in the Baltic Sea Region, the USA, Australia, Africa and Asia.

    E-learning tools and teaching guides
    The project has also involved the development of curricula, e-learning tools and teaching guides, as well as the organisation of both national and international conferences to discuss environmental education and introduce the educational package on environmental science and sustainable development resulting from the project.

    Photo: Launching of the Latvian edition of the book „Environment and Sustainable development”. Photo courtesy of the University of Latvia.

  • Country:


    Project title:

    Development of environmental science study content and study materials

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Human resource development



    Type & project assistance:

    Individual Project

    Project duration:

    33 months

    Project cost:

    € 553,400

    Grant rate:


    Grant agreement date:

    10 July 2008

    The purpose of the Project is to develop study courses in environmental science education for universities and higher education institutions in Latvia; with the overall objective of a well developed environmental education system at university level supporting the sustainable development process of society through environmental education. Reference is made to the application dated 28 February 2007 and any subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point.

    The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:

    1) Project management;

    2) Conference on environmental education and sustainable development education;

    3) Development of the environmental and sustainable development study contents (syllabus);

    4) Pilot project – approbation of developed materials combining existing approaches with newly developed study concept;

    5) Production of study materials in environmental science and sustainable development (textbook, tests and presentation materials);

    6) Writing of the textbook text and compendium (compendium to be translated into English), including printing;

    7) Development of multimedia adaptation of the educational package with DVD films, CDs, tools, quizzes, games, teachers support and a webpage by the Baltic University Programme;

    8) Preparation of student tests, self-control materials and presentation materials, as well as of teachers guide and extended reading materials. Preparation of e-course with the use of interactive study approaches;

    9) International conference to introduce the newly elaborated educational package on environmental science and sustainable development. Several national conferences for dissemination of project results, and discussion about the developed concepts;

    10) Publicity.

    Subject to national law, the Project shall be implemented in partnership with Uppsala University (Baltic University Programme).

    The Focal Point shall ensure that the Project Promoter provides at least 15,36 percent of the total eligible Project costs.