The Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) education service incorporates the broad spectrum of topics addressed by the BMU and its subordinate authorities into educational materials and projects geared towards children, young people, young adults and teachers. In line with political education, issues and challenges associated with environmental protection, nature conservation, climate policy, radiation protection, nuclear safety and radioactive waste management are addressed and explicitly take current public debates and potential conflicts of interests and objectives into account.
The BMU covers topics that have a great impact on the future and are therefore of major importance for young people. Children, young people and young adults should therefore be actively included from a young age and the impacts of political decisions on their everyday realities and interests be taken into account. The BMU educational portfolio promotes and demands diversity, openness and willingness to learn. This yardstick also applies to the offers themselves which are continuously reviewed, supplemented and further developed to meet the needs of the target groups.
The education service provides teachers with materials on BMU topics. The specific target groups here are adults working with children and young people in education, both in and outside of schools. The materials are primarily made available online with the main resource being a teachers’ service, www.umwelt-im-unterricht.de (environment in the classroom - German only), which is offered fortnightly and supplemented with in-depth materials on specific topics for students that are available to download in pdf format. A selection of educational materials on BMU topics are also available on the page.
Sustainable development skills in the context of careers start with career choice, continue throughout formal training and the studies and are also carried out in everyday transactions at work as well as in in-service training and further education. The BMU education service works closely together with stakeholders and institutions involved in vocational education. Through the European Structural Funds programme entitled Berufliche Bildung für Nachhaltige Entwicklung (BBNE) (vocational education for sustainable development), projects which raise awareness of possibilities to sustainably shape and design vocational activities are being supported for the 2014 to 2020 period.
BMU topics impact on the current and future everyday realities of children and young people. The methods and concepts of the education service are aimed at involving children and young people actively in the ministry's programmes and activities by providing formats that are geared towards these groups and ensure contact on an equal footing.
The BMU supports projects with different focal points through various programmes – including the National Climate Initiative, the Federal Biological Diversity Programme, support for associations, climate change adaptation measures, the Forest Climate Fund and the Local Authorities Guideline. The education service supports these projects at expert level and processes the content and outcomes which are then communicated by the BMU.
The central platform for BMU education service activities is the BMU education website. The website presents current project developments and provides information on competitions and events related to education for sustainable development. There is also a monthly BMU education newsletter which contains up-to-date information on the ministry, events, new publications and helpful websites. Since 2008 the education service has been a guest at Europe's largest education trade fair didacta where it presents current projects and materials together with the ministry's subordinate authorities.
In which direction do roots grow? How can I turn wind energy into movement? On the BMU's website for kids, children learn more about topical environment issues and the ministry's work with the help of games, a creativity workshop or short texts especially written for kids. They also learn how they themselves can contribute to environmental protection.