Particular attention has been given at the UN level and in the EU environmental policy to the importance of the educational requirements which follow from the implementation of cleaner and less harmful practices. Therefore, training and education have long been recognised as essential ingredients of im-proved environmental management, and thus also as crucial to progress towards sustainable development. The idea for an international programme on environ-mental education dates back to the 1972 United Nation´s Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Twenty years later, at the United Nation´s Conference on Environ-ment and Development in Rio, a whole chapter of Agenda 21 was devoted to a plan of action for sustainable development, which called for national strategies for environ-mental education. At the EU level, the starting point for joint action in this area was the Council Resolution on Environmental Education in May 1988. Since then, a considerable number of initiatives have been undertaken, both nationally and by EU insti-tutions.
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European Foundation Meeting on Environmental Education and Training in Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 1999