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Proposal for an Intergenerational Partnership on Sustainable Development Education

As the concept of sustainable development grows in importance, the need to move environmental education towards the broader concept of sustainable-development education is increasingly manifest. John Anugraha informs us on the need to involve the younger and the older generations in a movement in this direction and informs us of a workshop on this issue, as well as of a proposal to rejuvenate the Asia-Pacific Alliance for it to integrate this recently identified requirement.

Intergenerational Partnership for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

Date: 22nd April – 25th April 2008

Venue: Visthar, Bangalore, India

The significance of sustainable development has increased tremendously since the 1990’s with the emergence of global warming as the most urgent environmental and development issue. The negotiation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol has necessitated developed nations to commit themselves to sustainable goals, and developing nations to seriously consider mainstreaming sustainability into their development agenda. Sustainable development has since become the byword for international development and environmental conservation, and has been endorsed globally through the development of the Millennium Development Goals.

The agenda of sustainable development requires climate change to be viewed holistically as a global issue, and not in isolation as an environmental, social or development related issue. A paradigm shift is desired where education fully encompassed the three pillars of sustainable development – environmental protection, economic development and socio-cultural progress, and contributed positively towards its achievement. This expectation required a shift from Education for Environment to Education for Sustainable Development.

ESD calls for a re-orientation of the way we think about environment, development and education, and requires a modular shift in educational approaches – curriculum and content, pedagogy and examinations, and envisions human development in an inclusive, equitable and secure manner. ESD occurs in a variety of fora, as non-formal learning, through community-based organizations and local civil society, in the workplace, through formal education, technical and vocational training, and teacher training, in higher education inspectorates, policy-making bodies, and beyond. Education for Sustainable Development can be an effective tool for engaging stakeholders in working towards a sustainable future and in negotiating a solution for the climate crisis. Recognizing the importance of ESD in achieving sustainable development, the UN declared 2005-2014 as the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), and designated UNESCO as the lead organization in implementing the decade worldwide. The goal of the DESD was "to integrate the principles, values, and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning." One of the key objectives of the Decade is to "help countries make progress towards and attain the millennium development goals through ESD efforts."

There is an immediate need to articulate global efforts by both youth and adults working towards sustainability through education, to synchronize this with the global movement against climate change, to build intergenerational consensus on issues relating to sustainability and climate change. Although there is a multitude of youth and environment related networks, a concerted effort to assimilate these networks to work towards sustainability with education as a strategic tool has been missing.

Global Citizens for Sustainable Development, Bangalore, India is organizing a workshop on the theme "Intergenerational Partnership for Climate Change Mitigation" to be held at Visthar between 22nd April – 25th April 2008.

This workshop is supported by Center for Environment Education (Ahemdabad, India), South Asia Youth Environment Network, Fair Climate Network, China-India Forum, Charter of Human Responsibilities, Friendship Foundation, Earth Charter Youth Initiative and many other organization which feel that there is a need for Intergenerational partnerships to work towards Climate Change Mitigation.

The workshop is also a follow up of the ICEE conference held at Ahemdabad in November 2007 which brought together individuals and representatives from various youth and environment related networks, and has effectively demonstrated the efficacy of education as a tool. Youth participants have felt the need to sustain this effort to integrate education into sustainable development. Participants have acknowledged the need to create a convergence amongst networks especially youth network through steadfast and resolute action, in order to fight against climate change and to propagate the values and principles of sustainable development.

In our collective efforts to mitigate Climate Change, this workshop will focus on in-depth understanding of pro-poor Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects undertaken by grassroots organization in India. The workshop participants will visit a CDM project.

During this workshop, we are also rejuvenating the Asia-Pacific Alliance which will be an alliance of Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability. The Alliance will discuss, propose and motivate citizens in Asia-Pacific and globally to act towards many such themes which require urgent attention and an intergenerational partnership effort.

Participants at this workshop will include:
1. Representatives from or associated with any environmental and youth network across the world, especially from Asia
2. Teachers, educationist and social activist working on ESD
3. NGO, CSO and intergovernmental agency representatives
4. Individuals with an interest in climate change and ESD related issues
5. Participants from the ICEE conference held in Ahemdabad in November 2007

The objectives of this workshop are:
1. To establish a mandate for the alliance for working towards SD through contributing to the fight against climate change
2. To create an educational guidebook on climate change, which incorporates the goals and fulfils the objectives of ESD
3. To consult various stakeholders, including civil society representatives, students and youth participants, on the content of the book
4. To solicit inputs for similar upcoming initiatives on ESD and climate change
5. To disseminate the content of the guidebook amongst stakeholders

The expected outcomes of the workshop are:

1. A global alliance on ESD and climate change with a clear mandate conforming to the values of SD.
2. An Educational Guidebook/Training module on Climate Change, containing information on causes, potential impacts and remedial measures with focus on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Workshop Coordinators

Anugraha John (Global Citizens for Sustainable Development)
Vikram Aditya (Friendship Foundation)
Aparna Susarla (Center for Environment Education)

For further information please contact:

Anugraha John
P.O. Box 3210, R.T Nagar Post.
Bangalore 560032. INDIA.
Telephone: +91-9448192010
Email: ajohn316@globalcitizens.org.in


John Anugraha
Anugraha John is a young social activist (...)
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