Education for sustainable development critical because "there are no jobs on a dead planet"

2010-11-15 00:00

ACCORDING to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), education for sustainable development (ESD) is “education that enables people to foresee, face up to, and solve the problems that threaten life on our planet.” Across the globe, there is a growing shift from environmental education to ESD. In an innovative response to the environmental crisis the German government identified four countries from four different continents they believe can help lead a global response to the challenges. The countries were also chosen for their role as regional leaders. They are South Africa, Germany, Mexico and India.

“Operating through the InWEnt project, (Capacity Building International Germany), the German government has taken bold steps to ‘turn the tide’ and help ensure that there is a future for people, plants and animals on planet Earth,” said Dr Jim Taylor, director of education at the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) in Howick.

“InWEnt has established an experts` network, drawing expertise from each of the four countries and this panel of 25 ESD experts met recently at WESSA to discuss the future of this new initiative. The participants from the four countries agreed that the global challenges of climate change, worldwide recession and the resulting ecological, economical and social consequences require a concerted response from individuals, organisations and governments. “Clearly what is needed is a paradigm change in politics and society, with a commitment to sustainable development including ecology, social justice, the development of sustainable lifestyles and good governance,” Taylor said.

The goal of the experts’ panel is to

Establish innovative concepts and practical approaches to ESD that can be multiplied in the respective countries within the framework of further education measures. These strategies will be addressed to experts and managers of pre-service and in-service teacher education institutions, who can influence teacher training by introducing new ESD approaches.

While this is underway, young experts and managers from government and non-government organisations will be trained in ESD in a long-term leadership-training programme run mostly in Germany. This will equip them to work as multipliers in their home countries.

The experts’ network consultation culminated in a high-profile conference at Unisa in Pretoria attended by over 200 influential people from across government, business and civil society.

• Contact: Dr Jim Taylor, WESSA at 033 330 3931 ex 138.

• Additional reporting by Julia Denny-Dimitriou.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.