2008 Brandwein Medal Recipient Katalin Czippán

Katalin Czippan

Katalin Czippan

Katalin Czippán, (Hungary, 1959) works as a deputy head of department in the office of Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations. She deals with environmental education, education for sustainability and civil partnership issues.

Katalin has graduated as a teacher of mathematics and physics. She had her teaching experiences with foreign students who were accepted to Hungarian universities in order to prepare them for the national requirements of education. Later she assisted in co-ordinating the work of scientific and technological services in Hungarian Institute of Culture. She was one of the initiator of integrating nature sciences and environmental issues into the professional programs of national institutes for culture and society

Between 1986 and 1999 she was the head of environmental education workgroup later the president and director for ten years of Göncöl Foundation, an environmental, conservationist, educational and cultural Hungarian NGO. She was the publisher of “Természet” (Nature), “Süni” (Hedgehog), “Vadon” national magazines; organised, led and developed further the “Süni” nomad camp-system. Under her leadership period the Göncöl joined IUCN, built a bicycle road along the Danube, a nature trail in the flooded forest for educational purposes, headed the preparation committee of Hungarian environmental law, and several national and international project like territorial development planning in Szentendre Island or Hudson to Danube Riverwatch environmental education project. During that period she worked together with the Community Organising Program to train organisational and capacity building skills for environmental NGOs and played an active role in establishing the strong and still existing Hungarian environmental NGO platform and its funding and electronic communication system.

From 2000. she served as a director for Environmental Education and Communication Program Office in Hungary, a governmental institute whose task was to develop strategies and policies for all type of education, and worked in partnership with NGO-s, schools, business and governmental organisations to initiate and manage national and interministerial projects in the field on environmental education. She established and headed the Environmental Education Committee of Ministry of Education.  Katalin managed projects of the Higher Education for Sustainability Program office at Eötvös Loránd University and The House of Professors to start a negotiation among the Hungarian universities how to play more active role in education for sustainability. She worked in several committees and working groups among the others: Hungarian Committee for Sustainable Development, UNECE working group on Education for Sustainable Development, Education and Communication Committee of the national Environmental Fund. Katalin is a member of the Hungarian UNESCO Committee, honorary member of the Forest School Association. She was awarded Pro Natura plaque by the minister of environment and water in 2006.

She always takes time off for playing an active role in the civil society, currently she is a board member of the Hungarian Society for Environmental Education where she is responsible for international partnerships. Among the other she co-ordinates the Hungarian part of SUPPORT network, and heads the international research and editorial team on “Schools as learning centres for sustainability”. She supported the establishment of the Learning Organisations for Sustainability Foundation Hungary. Its mission statement represents how she sees the role and aim of the education and communication in targeting sustainability. To contribute to regenerate system approach based, ecologically conscious, sustainable societies through supporting competency based personal and organisational learning which opens the heart, stimulates the mind and lift the spirit.

Ms Czippán has been a member of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) since 2000 and was invited to be the regional CEC vice chair for Europe in 2007. From the beginning she supported the participative communication and education initiatives (CEPA, BEPA) to draw the key actors into planning and implementing conservation goals. Therefore she developed and conducted trainings for conservationists (ie about CEPA in Mainstreaming Biodiversity workshop) , developed concept papers, coached authorities and published articles.