BC-Department of Environmental Sciences

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    Gender Equality, Climate Action, and Technological Innovation for Sustainable Development in Africa
    (Springer Nature, 2023-12) Adeola, Ogechi; Evans, Olaniyi; Ngare, Innocent
    Undoubtedly, addressing the danger of extreme weather events is a major global concern. Questions regarding gender norms and women’s involvement in combating climate change have surfaced in the light of the growing attention. Currently, there is not enough information on how gender differences manifest in climate change, especially in Africa. This chapter explores how men and women experience distinct vulnerabilities to climate change due to existing inequalities, including their social roles, access to resources, and power relations, which can limit their ability to adapt to climate change impacts. Understanding the linkages between gender and climate change is increasingly essential for developing effective climate change policies and taking urgent actions to tackle the impacts of climate change, and for promoting gender equality and social justice in the face of this global challenge. By recognising and addressing the gendered dimensions of climate change, Africa can work towards a more equitable and sustainable future for all.
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    Assessment of farmers' perceptions of soil quality indicators within smallholder farms in the central highlands of Kenya
    (Springer, 2007) Mairura, F.S.; Mugendi, D.N.; Mwanje, J. I.; Ramisch, J. J.; Mbugua, P. K.
    A study was conducted to determine farmers' perceptions of soil quality and soil management practices that influenced soil fertility within farmers' fields in Chuka and Gachoka divisions in central Kenya highlands. Soils were characterized by farmers after which they were geo-referenced and sampled at surface depth (0-20 ern) for subsequent physical and chemical analyses, to determine differences within farmers' soil quality categories. Special attention was given to agricultural weed species. Indicators for distinguishing productive and non-productive fields included crop yield, crop performance, soil colour and soil texture. A total of 18 weed species were used to distinguish between high and low soil categories. Significant differences among soil fertility categories implied that there were qualitative difference in the soils that were chacterised as different by farmers. Fertile soils had significantly higher pH, total organic carbon and exchangeable cations, with available-N being significantly different in Gachoka. Factor analysis on 15 soil properties identified 4 factors that explained 65% of the total variance in soil quality. Soil fertility and crop management practices that were investigated indicated that farmers understood and consequently utilized spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability in soil quality status within their farms as a resource to maintain or enhance agricultural productivity.
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    Evaluation of the Potential of using Nitrogen Fixing Legumes in Smallholder Farms of Meru South District, Kenya
    (Springer, 2007) Mugwe, J.; Mugendi, D.N.; Odee, D.; Otieno, J.
    Soil fertility depletion in sub-Saharan Africa is a big constraint to increased food production to feed the ever-growing human population. Use of legumes to improve soil fertility is an option in the central highlands of Kenya and this study evaluated soil characteristics on farms and screened effectiveness of five rhizobia strains on four legumes. Soilssampled from 31 farms showed that the soils were generally acidic with more than 50% of the farms having pH inthe range of extremely acidic and strongly acidic (pH < 5.0). Organic carbon was low «2%) on most farms and total nitrogen was deficient with more than 80% having <0.2% N while P ranged from 1.3 to 15.8 ppm with more than70% of the farms being critically deficient in P. Nodulation on Mucuna pruriens and Crotalaria ochroleuca was observed to be variable within farms with individual farms having fewer nodules per plant than on-farm researcher managed trial. Consequently trials to evaluate effectiveness of rhizobia strains were conducted under glass house conditions. Results showed that KWN35 and TAL 1145 were highly effective on C. calothyrsus and L. trichandra and not on C. ochroleuca. Crotalaria ochroleuca nodulated effectively only with CP354 and NGR457. The NGR 457was highly effective on all the legume plants while NGR185 was only effective on L. trichandra. These studies showed that performance of legumes among the smallholder farms was likely to vary due to varying soil characteristics and that them could be potential for improving legume performance within the smallholder farms through inoculation.
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    Gender-land degradation-livelihood nexus: lessonsfrom Ndome and Ghazi, Taita Taveta, Kenya
    (African Network for Agroforestry Education (ANAFE, 2004) Waswa, F.; Mutheng, Kimanzi; Kutsch, Thomas
    As the world continues to grapple with the realities of sustainable development, it is becoming increasingly acceptable that meaningful progress cannot be made without active involvement of women and the youth at critical levels of decision-making. Research and experience from Ndome and Ghazi in Taita Taveta in Kenya showed that marginalisation of women and the youth is still particularly high in household labour distribution, ownership of essential assets and production decision-making, resulting in persistent land degradation and household poverty. Further, gender insensitivity in these areas was ~ot based on ignorance on the part of men but was deliberate and had its foundation in deep-rooted sociocultural beliefs that gave men unfair advantage over women. Institutionalising gender equity is thus a critical requirement in building agricultural and natural resource capacity in Africa. Although simultaneous use of education, incentives and the rule of law are required in this endeavour, rapid positive change in Africa requires a 'needs-driven' and not a 'rights-driven' approach, as is common in developed countries
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    Farmer participation in enhancing food productivity through agroforestry in the central highlands, Kenya
    (African Network for Agroforestry Education (ANAFE, 2004) Mucheru-Muna, M.; Mugendi, D.N.; Kangai, R.; Kung'u, J.B.; Mugwe, J. N.; Otor, S.C.J.
    Declining food production is a major concern in Kenya. This decline is brought about by continuous cultivation of soils without adequate external inputs. A multidisciplinary farmers' participatory trial aimed at offering farmers technologies for replenishing soil fertility. was established in the maize growing area of Meru South District of Kenya in 2000. Leafy tree biomass from leucaena, calliandra and tithonia effectively reduced the rate of soil fertility decline and improved maize yields. Attempts to expose farmers to these improved locally available technologies through field days have seen some impact in the study area, where farmers are already aware of their farming constraints and are willing to test and adopt these technologies that may regenerate or improve their farm productivity. During the 2002 long rainy season farmers in the study area were exposed to these technologies during field days, and some have adopted them to improve maize production in their farms. Seventy-six farmers were already working with these technologies and 36 more indicated willingness to try them on their farms during the 2002/2003 short rains
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    The place of agroforestry in the rehabilitation and utilisation of semi-desert environments of northern Kenya
    (African Network for Agroforestry Education (ANAFE, 2004) Olukoye, Godfrey Alati; Wamicha, W. N.; van Eckert, M.; Kinyamario, I.; Mwanje, J. I.
    Increasing destruction and degradation of the natural resource base in the sand-duned landscapes of North Horr, Marsabit District, northern Kenya, are jeopardising efforts towards sustainable economic development. The Gabbra nomads of the area live under severe poverty conditions. Effo~s to assessand apply agroforestry practices towards the rehabilitation and utilisation of the area's vast rangelands are at a formative stage. To this end silvopastoral systems have been formulated designed to ensure continued provision of fodder for livestock, improved soil fertility, provision of fuelwood, conservation of water resources and land rehabilitation. Suitable technologies including semi-desert plants such as Hyphaene coriacea for basketry and thatching of dwellings and Suaeda monoica for dry season browsing by camel are possible candidates for further development. The potential to domesticate wild plants for conservation purposes exists. Unfortunately direct planting of trees on communal lands within the study area is low. This paper examines the dual utilisation of agroforestry practices for land rehabilitation and enhancement of economic production systems in North Horr dry lands. Some of the factors that have hindered the effective application of agroforestry practices in the rehabilitation of the semi-desert environment of North Horr are also discussed. It is concluded that by addressing some of these factors and issues through community education programmes it would be possible to provide an effective framework for increased community participation for sustainable landuse management using suitable agroforestry techniques in semi-desert environments
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    Impact of soil nutrient management practices on plant parasitic nematodes of maize in central Kenya
    (African Network for Agroforestry Education (ANAFE), 2004) Mugendi, D.N.; Waceke, J.W.; Mbaru, N.J.
    Maize (Zea mays L.) is the staple food in Kenya. The current average production of 1.5-2 t per ha is far below the germ plasm potential of 3-7 t per ha. Low soil fertility, nematode and insect pests, diseases and poor quality of seed and advisory services are some of the maize production constraints in Kenya. However, there have been major efforts to overcome these production constraints in order to increase maize production. For example, useof animal manure and green manure alone or in combination with sub-optimal levels of inorganic fertilisers and interplanting maize with leguminous trees and shrubs are being recommended to farmers for replenishing soil nutrients. Some of these soil nutrient management strategies have negative or positive effect on plant parasitic nematode populations. The objective of the study was to assessthe impact of some of the soil nutrient management strategies on plant parasitic nematodes of maize, especially lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus spp.), which cause yield losses of up to 50% in maize. The soil nutrient management strategies whose impact on nematodes was assessed were mucuna and crotalaria alone, as intercrops or in combination with half the recommended rate of N fertiliser, and incorporation of cattle manure and green manure (Tithonia diversifolia, Calliandra calothrysus and Leucaena trichandra) singly or in combination with half the recommended rate of N fertiliser. Mucuna and crotalaria intercrops reduced nematode diseaseseverity and population by 20%. Addition of inorganic N fertiliser reduced efficacy of mucuna by 99% but not that of crotalaria against the nematodes. Incorporation of green manure had no effect or increased lesion nematode population and, consequently, diseaseseverity. In most cases addition of N fertiliser did not affect the effects of the green manure on nematodes. Cattle manure in combination with inorganic N reduced lesion nematodes and the associated disease severity by up to 75%.
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    Nitrogen Fertilizer Equivalency Values for Different Organic Materials Based on Maize Performance at Kabete, Kenya
    (Academy Science Publishers, 2004) Mugendi, D.N.; Kung'u, J.B.; Kimetu, J.M.; Palm, C.A.; Mutuo, P.K.; Gachengo, C.N.; Nandwa, S.
    Decline in crop yields has been a major problem facing small holder farming in Kenya and the entire sub-Saharan region. This is attributed mainly to the mining of macronutrients due to cropping without external addition of adequate nutrients. Inorganic fertilizers are expensive hence unaffordable by most small holder farmers. Although organic nutrient sources are available. information about the right proportions of application is scanty. An experiment was set up in 1999 at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL)at Kabete, with the overall objective of determining nitrogen fertilizer equivalencies based on high quality organic inputs. The specific objectives of the study included determination of the nitrogen fertilizer equivalency values of Tithonia diversifolia, Senna spectabilis and Calliandra ca/othyrsus and the investigation of nitrogen use efficiency from combined organic and inorganic inputs. The experiment consisted of maize plots to which freshly collected leaves of Tithonia diversifolia (tithonial, Senna spectabilis (senna) and Calliandra calothyrsus (calliandra) (all with % N >3) obtained from hedgerows grown ex situ (biomass transfer from outside) and urea (inorganic nitrogen source) were applied. Results obtained indicated that a combination ofboth organic and inorganic nutrient sources gave higher maize grain yield than when each is applied separately, except for tithonia whose sole application gave better grain yield than a combination of the same with mineral fertilizer. Maizegrain yield production after organic and inorganic application was in the order of tithonia > tithonta-urea = calliandra+urea > urea> senna-urea > calliandra > senna > control. The percentage N recovery was highest in sole application of urea followed by a combination ofboth urea and tithonia while sole application of tithonia biomass had relatively lower percentage N recoveries. In both seasons, the mineral Ncontent was high in sole application of tithonia than in senna and calliandra treatments. The three organic materials (senna, calliandra and tithonia) gave fertilizer equivalency values of 68%, 72% and 119% respectively.
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    The African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility: New Challenges and Opportunities
    (Academy Science Publishers, 2004) Mugendi, D.N.; Bationo, A.; Kimetu, J.; Ikerra, S.; Kimani, S.; Odendo, M.; Silver, M.; Swift, M.J.; Sanginga, N.
    Soil fertility degradation has been described as the single most important constraint to food security in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Soil fertility decline is not just a problem of nutrient deficiency but also of 1)Inappropriate germplasm and cropping system design. 2) Interactions with pests and diseases. 3) The linkage between poverty and land degradation. 4) Often perverse national and global policies with respect to incentives, and 5) Institutional failures. Tackling soil fertility issues thus requires a long-term perspective and a holistic approach. The African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility (AfNet)of Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility institute of CIATwhose ultimate goal is to strengthen and sustain stakeholder capacity to generate, share and apply soil fertility management knowledge and skills to contribute to the welfare of farming communities is devoted to overcoming this challenge. This African-wide network has over 200 members from National Agricultural Research and Extension Services (NARES) and universities from vanous disciplines mainly soil science. social science and technology exchange. This paper is an highlight of AfNet's main activities which include: Network field research activities. information and documentation. training and capacity building.
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    Developing Agroforestry Curricula: A practical Guide for Academic Institutions in Africa and Asia
    (World Agroforestry Centre, 2005) Rudebjer, P. G.; Temu, A. B.; Kung'u, J.B.
    We promote the view that agroforestry is not only a set of practices, but also about the processes in society that influence, and are influenced by, those practices. Recent advances in participatory approaches are heavily influencing rural development paradigms and, in consequence, must also influence agroforestry teaching. By seeking the participation of farmers and other stakeholders, institutions are able to develop and deliver more relevant education programmes. We endorse and recommend the participatory approach here. Institutions use the terms 'subject', 'module' and 'course' interchangeably to describe the components of an education programme. For the purpose of clarity, we consistently use the term 'subject' in this guide. The term 'curriculum' is here used to describe all the teaching and learning content and processes that lead to a desired competence in learners. Thus we interpret 'curriculum' as a much wider concept than merely course subject matter. While agroforestry is taught in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions, this guide primarily targets users in developing countries, particularly those in Africa and Asia. However, institutions in other regions may also find it useful. The guide is organized into five Chapters. In Chapter 1, our introduction briefly looks back at agroforestry innovations over the past 25 years, and discusses different concepts o£ agroforestry and multifunctional landscape mosaics. We then look at the different scales of agroforestry research and development. Global experiences in agroforestry education are summarized in Chapter 2. After an overview of the history of agroforestry education, we discuss the diverse teaching approaches employed at different technical and professional levels. We then point out some of the common shortcomings of existing curricula. Finally, we briefly explore how the job market for agroforestry graduates has developed. Chapter 3 presents some commonly used methods for curriculum development. The participatory method is then discussed in some detail, because experience suggests that the participation of farmers, employers and other stakeholders helps create more relevant and applicable curricula. Agroforestry curriculum development is then discussed in Chapter 4. Based on the various processes available, we suggest a set of seven requirements for the planning and implementation of a curriculum development project. Methodologies for a simple training needs analysis and a stakeholder analysis are also provided. In Chapter 5, we present a framework for agroforestry curricula. This is intended to guide the content development within an agroforestry education programme, subject or topic. At the centre of the framework are farmers' decisions related to the agroforestry production cycle: overall management, the products and services produced, and the use and marketing of these outputs. We present a model of how these decisions are influenced by biophysical and socioeconomic conditions, and how agroforestry practices may impact on people and landscapes. We also discuss risks and potential challenges, and how policies and governance relate to agroforestry. Finally, we offer some additional resources. Firstly, we present Internet resources related to agroforestry, natural resources management and education. Secondly, Annex 1 presents a quick reference summary of the complete agroforestry curriculum framework.
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    The Role of Forestry Education in Rural Strategies to Cope With HIV/AIDS in SSA
    (ANAFE, 2008) Kung'u, J.B.; Otor, S.C.J.
    The HIV pandemic is deeply entrenched in many countries and has had dramatic effects on rural livelihoods. In poor rural communities only a few people have access to treatment due to high prices of conventional medicine, poor health infrastructure and long distance to the health centres. The combination of the high incidence of HIV-related illnesses, high cost of treatment and the scarcity of health services in the rural areas have led to a greater dependence on the natural resources. Forest products are easily accessible to most people and their use has increased over the years. The higher mortality rate of adults has increased the demand for wood, in part to prepare food for increasingly frequent funerals, among others. The impact of HIV and AIDS on household labour has intensified the dependence on forest food products. This paper examines the role of forest education in response to HIV and AIDS, particularly in terms of food, herbal medicines and energy. It is based on the findings of different case studies that have been carried out in different parts of the world over the years. The paper shows that HIV and AIDS epidemic has increased the dependence of communities on forest resources and that the pandemic has environmental and natural resource management implications. Some forest policies and programme interventions that might help lessen the impact of the pandemic on natural resources and the role forestry education can play in the multi-sectoral response to HIV and • AIDS have been highlighted.
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    Assessment of Occupational Safety Concerns in Pesticide Use Among Small-Scale Farmers in Sagana, Central Highlands, Kenya
    (Springer, 2011) Mureithi, P.; Waswa, F.; Kituyi, E.
    Small-scale farmers in Sagana area of central Kenya constitute a population at risk due to intensive use of pesticides in the production of mainly horticultural crops for commercial purposes. This chapter examines the main causes of pesticide hazards and risks, barriers to taking risk reduction measures and cues to adopting safety behaviour when dealing with pesticides. Data were collected by the use of interviews conducted in 2006/2007 from a sample of 140 farmers. Perception scales were developed from interview items and were ranked along a modified three-point Likert scale. Analysis of the items and scales showed that farmers had fairly high levels of perceived risk, perceived severity and perceived benefits of taking action to mitigate pesticide hazards. Results from this study showed that farmers are still susceptible to pesticide-related dangers notably due to resignation to fate, perceived high cost of purchasing protective gear and lack of adequate training in the use and handling of pesticides. Further, contrary to conventional thinking, farmers' education had limited positive effect to safety behaviour when handling pesticides. The challenge to policy and practice towards safe use of pesticides lies in issues of farmers' economic survivability, perceptions and attitudes, along the whole chain from pesticide procurement, storage, farm application and disposal.
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    Status of Wetlands in Kenya and Implications for Sustainable Development
    (School of Environmental Studies and Human Science, Kenyatta University, 2007) Macharia, Geoffrey; Lekapana, Paul; Ochieng, Griffms; Keche, Aron
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    Socio-economic and environmental concerns of Water resources management in the Tana Basin, Kenya
    (School of Environmental Studies and Human Science, Kenyatta University, 2007) Peter Abwao; Agwata, Jones F.
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    Agroforestry for Land and Water Management in Kenya
    (School of Environmental Studies and Human Sciences, Kenyatta University, 2007) Mugendi, D.N.; Waswa, B.; Mucheru-Muna, M.; Mugwe, J. N.
    A groforestry is an age-old practice that contains a strong element of r\management. It is a collective name for land-use systems and technol . where woody perennials are deliberately used on the same land-management u as agricultural crops and/or animals. This can either be in a spatial arrange or in rotation, with economic and ecological interactions between the trees crops. In a review by Franzel (2002), agroforestry is defined by Leaky (1996)as dynamic, ecologically based, natural resource management system that sus ' and diversifies production for improved economic, social and environme benefits for farmers, through the integration of trees in the agricultural landsc Trees in this system provide fuel wood, fodder, fruit (productive functions) as as fencing and shade (service functions). A strict scientific definition of agrofore should stress two characteristics common to all forms of agroforestry and sepa .from other forms of land use, i.e., Deliberate growing of woody perennials in the same unit of land as agricult crops and/or animals There must be significant interaction (+ve or -ve) between the woody and non-woody component (either ecological or economical)
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    A Review of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and their Implications for Environmental Governance in Kenya
    (School of Environmental Studies and Human Sciences, Kenyatta University, 2007) Olukoye, Godfrey Alati; Mukanga, H.
    Newscientific evidence indicates that many global ecosystems are reaching dangerous thresholds that raise the stakes for policymakers 0NWI, 2001). For example,the Arctic ice cap has already thinned by 42 percent, and 27 percent of the world's coral reefs have been lost, suggesting that some of the planet's keyecological systems such as forests and mangrove systems are in decline. Environmentaldegradation is also leading to more severe natural disasters, which havecost the world $608 billion over the last decade-as much as in the previous four decadescombined 0NWI, 2001). With many lifesupport systems at risk of long-term damage, the choice before today's political leaders is historic, even revolutionary, in nature: whether to move- forward rapidly to build a sustainable economy or to riskallowing the expansion in human numbers, the increase in greenhouse gas emissions,and the loss of natural systems to undermine the economy.
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    Issues in the Application of Participatory Environmental Management
    (School of Environmental Studies and Human Sciences, Kenyatta University, 2007) Maina, L. W.; Muia, D. M.
    Current thinking in the field of environmental management recommends application of integrated mechanisms that include utilizing local, regi traditional and scientific knowledge in the identification, assessment and prioritis of problems relating to the environment and for proposing effective solutio those problems. Hence, the term Participatory Environmental Management ( has entered the scene and is currently used to mean the active and full particip of local communities and indigenous people in the adoption and applicati decisions related to the use and management of the environment for sustei development.
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    Economic Environmental Valuation
    (School of Environmental Studies and Human Sciences, Kenyatta University, 2007) Wawire, N. H. W.; Thuo, A.D.M.
    This chapter attempts to place a monetary value on environmental resources describing various methods of valuing an environmental resource with respect to costs and benefits. This is because externalities do arise from production and consumption of goods and services that are not accounted for in a competitive market due to market failure (Stiglitz, 1988; Hyman, 1996 and Kolstad, 2000). Marketsfail if prices do not communicate the society's needs and constraints accurately, thereby understating the services provided by an environmental resource. In the worst scenario, prices do not exist to send a signal about the value ofa resource within the environment.
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    Environment and Sustainable Development A Guide for Higher Education in Kenya
    (School of Environmental Studies and Human Sciences, Kenyatta University, 2007) Makokha, K.; Muthiane, N.
    Over the last five decades the world has witnessed a number of significant and unprecedented environmental problems on scales not witnessed before, such as environmental deqradation and pollution, loss of biodiversity, 'global warming and climate. Emerging environmental problems like HIV/AIDS poverty, and invasive species (for example water weeds in inland water bodies) pose a real challenge to economic development and sustainable living in poor countries. The most disturbing fact about environmental problems is that they are mainly human-caused. These problems are exemplified by increased pollution in all forms, wanton destruction of forests, depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, disposal of toxic wastes and garbage, extinction of numerous species of both flora and fauna, among others. These problems are attributed to many causes, such as technology, poverty, poor governance, and civil wars among others. Whatever the specific cause, these problems herein collectively referred to as 'environmental crisis' are intricately connected and have implications of up to global proportions on development.
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    Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in Pupils' Perception: Challenge for Tertiary Education in Kenya
    (School of Environmental Studies and Human Sciences, Kenyatta University, 2007) Otewa, J.; Kerich, R.; Otor, S.C.J.; Otiende, J.E.
    Education is acknowledged as the vehicle by which humanity establishes conceptual understanding. Alllevels of education (primary to Tertiary) are interlinked in a casual chain like pattern, with the preceding laying the foundation for the proceeding. Tertiary education (all learning levels after secondary education, including university education) in particular, has a catalytic role for the building of a learning society through: Conducting the scholarly research necessary to generate the new knowledge needed, Training leaders and teachers of tomorrow and, Communicating the needed knowledge, values, attitudes and skills to decision makers in particular and the public at large so as to empower them to bring about changes required to achieve sustainability (Copernicus-Campus, 2001). Calder and Clugston, (2006) equally concur that Education is critical for promoting Sustainable development and improving the understanding capacity of people 'to address environmental and development issues amicably. The concept "perception" is taken in this paper to mean "understanding." The perception of environment is therefore regarded as similar to the understanding of the concept of environment. Understanding is a psychological process that relates an abstract such as a person with another object whereby one who understands a concept reacts appropriately to the same (Wiklpedia, 2006). This premise implies that understanding the concept of environment is a pre-requisite to appropriate reactionwithin the environment. One that understands the concept of environment obeys the commands given by the environment. This is because understanding is the awareness of the connectedness of the concerned information in a concept, which allows one to put his/her knowledge into action (Reddy, 2006).