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Education For Sustainable Development:
A Necessary Commitment

We are currently in a situation of planetary emergency, marked by an array of very serious problems that are closely related: pollution and environmental degradation, depletion of natural resources, unsustainable demographic growth, extreme inequalities among different human groups, destructive conflicts, loss of biological and cultural diversity...

This situation of planetary emergency is associated to individual and social behavior driven by the search for short-term private benefits, without taking into account the consequences for others or for future generations. This behavior is due, to a great extent, to the habit of only focusing our attention on what is closest both in terms of space and time.

In spite of many appeals, such as those by United Nations at Earth Summits (Rio 1992 and Johannesburg 2002), we educators are not, generally speaking, paying enough attention to this situation. It is therefore, necessary to establish an explicit commitment on behalf of all education, both formal (from primary school to the university) and informal (museums, media...) to contribute to a correct perception of the state of the world and prepare citizens for decision-making, generating responsible attitudes and behavior oriented towards the attainment of a culturally plural and physically sustainable development.

In order to achieve this, we propose a campaign entitled "Education for Sustainable Development: A necessary commitment".

In the first place, the commitment to incorporate the study of the state of the world into our educational activities, promoting, among other things:

  • Responsible consumption, coherent with the three R's (Reduction, Re-using and Recycling) and the requests for fair trade.
  • The development of technologies to better satisfy human needs without damaging the environment, with the systematic application of the precaution principle.
  • The adoption of sociopolitical measures on a local and planetary scale to avoid the imposition of private interests and values harmful to other people or future generations, contributing to overcome environmental degradation or extreme inequalities and the associated conflicts, with a determined defense of the extension and generalization of human rights with no discrimination of any kind (social, gender...).
  • And finally, the overcoming of behavior driven by private values and short-term interests, enhancing solidarity and global protection of biological and cultural diversity as essential requirements for a real solution to the problems humanity is facing.

The commitment to multiply initiatives to involve the ensemble of educators, with campaigns of dissemination and awareness in educational centres, congresses, conferences, journals...

We therefore call all educators to support the United Nations initiative for a "Decade of Education for Sustainable Development" from 2005 to 2014.

Educators for Sustainability




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