“EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”
Education for Sustainable Development allows every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. Education for Sustainable Development means including key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning; for example, climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction, and sustainable consumption. It also requires participatory teaching and learning methods that motivate and empower learners to change their behavior and take action for sustainable development. Education for Sustainable Development consequently promotes competencies like critical thinking, imagining future scenarios and making decisions in a collaborative way. Education for Sustainable Development requires far-reaching changes in the way education is often practiced today. UNESCO is the lead agency for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) Sustainable development is a difficult concept to define; it is also continually evolving, which makes it doubly difficult to define. One of the original descriptions of sustainable development is credited to the Brundtland Commission: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987, p 43). Sustainable development is generally thought to have three components: environment, society, and economy. The well-being of these three areas is intertwined, not separate. For example, a healthy, prosperous society relies on a healthy environment to provide food and resources, safe drinking water, and clean air for its citizens. The sustainability paradigm rejects the contention that casualties in the environmental and social realms are inevitable and acceptable consequences of economic development. Thus, the authors consider sustainability to be a paradigm for thinking about a future in which environmental, societal, and economic considerations are balanced in the pursuit of development and improved quality of life A widely accepted definition is “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Currently we are not even meeting the needs of the present let alone considering the needs of future generations. The United Nations have declared 2005 – 2014 as the decade for Sustainable development, in an effort to reverse Sustainability is now recognize to be a key area of development for the education sector. In particular, the policy and practice context points to the need to consider how best to embed it into higher education learning and teaching strategies and curricula. The Higher Education Academy is currently undertaking a program of development activity and capacity building so as to better assist institutions and subject communities in their development of curricula and pedagogy to equip students with the skills and knowledge to live and work sustainably. This recognize the importance of increasing 'sustainability literacy' among students and the growing demand for sustainability skills among employers. Current work includes a baseline research study to identify existing good practice in the sector. The impacts of global warming and climate change is said to be “the greatest injustice of our time”. The world’s poorest people have contributed least to its cause but they are the ones who suffer most from its devastating effects. Poor and developing countries are the most that are at risk due to long term flawed natural resource management practices and policies, increased population density and settlements in fragile eco-systems, increased demand on environment and natural resources, poor governance and prevalence of corruption. The acceleration of changing weather patterns...