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