Effectiveness of the Ecocentric Goal of Education and Policies in Relation to Sustainable Environmental Protection in Kenya
Mwendwa, Cosmus Mutua
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Natural environment and resources are valuable assets that a country has no choice but to sustainably manage for the present and future generations. Kenya as a country has an ecocentric goal of education and policies for sustainable environmental protection that are intended to provide the foundation upon which sustainable use of natural resources is to be based. The implementation of the ecocentric goal and related policies were anticipated to culminate in developed values and skills for promoting citizens‟ awareness, commitment and participation in sustainable development. However, despite this undertaking, institutional reports and observations indicate despicable trend of Kenya‟s environmental degradation over the decades. This trend has made Kenya rank poorly in EPI, being position 130 out of 180 in 2018. Accordingly, this study investigated the effectiveness of the ecocentric goal of education and policies on sustainable environmental protection in Kenya. It explored the nature of the ecocentric goal of education and policy measures on sustainable environmental protection; assessed the effectiveness of the implementation of these measures; determined the underlying factors for incessant environmental degradation despite these measures; and recommended applicable alternative strategies to supplement for effective implementation of the ecocentric goal of education and policies towards sustainable environmental protection in light of Environmental Citizenship :a theory that explains citizenry practices that reflect environmental ethics and responsibility in view of values, attitudes and skills for sustainable environmental protection. The study design was a mixture of descriptive and philosophical approaches. The target population included government officers from MoEF, KFS, KWS, NEMA, WRA, Environment Departments from the 47 Counties and general citizens. Secondary data were from institutional reports (document analysis) while primary data were from descriptive interview sessions with the officers and citizens. Purposive sampling was used to select the documents analysed and officials interviewed, while the citizens were snowballed. A sample size of 119 respondents was used. Conceptual and phenomenological analyses were used to interrogate the descriptive experiences of the respondents and institutional reports, interpret implications and recommendations. The study found out that the implementation of the ecocentric goal of education and policies has been ineffective: the citizens incessantly degrade the environment. The factors behind the unabated environmental destruction being: institutional incapacity, low level of conscientization, and indecorous public governance. Thus, the implementation of the goal and policies has not enabled citizenry consciousness, commitment and participation for sustainable environmental protection. It therefore requires enhanced conscientization and enculturation that should transmute Kenyans into environmental citizens through: increased institutional capacity and expanded legal frameworks, coupled with concerted citizenry involvement, to enable citizens‟ commitment and participation in sustainable environmental protection. The findings and recommendations should form the basis of future reflection that implementation agencies ought to follow in their mandated tasks.