FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION.
6 June 2013
Whereas the United Nations Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non Violence for Children 2001 – 2010 Resolution A/55/47 adopted by the General Assembly on 29 November 2000 finished at the end of 2010, and
Whereas the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005 – 2014, General Assembly Resolution A/RES/59/237 , is nearing the end of the Decade (UNDESD 2005-2014) and must be continued as this is the main ‘Education for the 21st Century’ for the prevention of ecocide of all species on Earth; and
Whereas given that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held a 5 year International Congress, which unanimously endorsed the ‘Bonn Declaration’; and given that the Declaration emphasizes the need for improved educational efforts worldwide regarding food security, health, biodiversity, climate change, lifestyle changes, risk reduction, healthy fresh water, and sustainable peaceful economies; and
Whereas the 2009 United Nations Conference on Climate Change was held in Copenhagen, 7-19 December 2009, and noting the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol was popularly known this time as COP15 which resulted in the Copenhagen Climate Accord; and
Whereas the United Nations held the International Year of Biodiversity 2010, as adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations Resolution A/RES/61/203, with a view to bringing greater international attention to bear on the issue of the continued loss of biodiversity and recalling the need to expedite the implementation of the Global Initiative on Communication, Education and Public Awareness of the Convention on Biological Diversity; and
Whereas sustainability is threatened mainly by application of nuclear weapons and by human induced climate change and
Whereas we are deeply concerned that the world is rapidly approaching an unprecedented climate catastrophe and is also severely and increasingly threatened by deforestation, rapid species extinction, soil erosion, desertification, air and water pollution, scarcities of water, energy, and other valuable resources, and environmental threats, which were addressed by the “United Nations Earth Summit 2012 – Sustainable Development the Peace of the Future”, commonly known as Rio+20; and
Whereas nuclear weapons exist, are on hair trigger alert and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons is hard to control; and
Whereas long term existence of human civilization must be the main value in Peace and Sustainability Education and curriculum decision-making for the future; and
Recognizing some progress has been achieved during the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, in peace and sustainability education, continued attention must be given to the subject
Accordingly, we, the undersigned, urge action by all Ministers & Departments of Education within Governments; Universities; Colleges; Schools and Local Communities, to:
a) Implement Global Sustainability Education which teaches peace, environment, inter-cultural understanding for long-term global sustainability;
b) Educate for long-term peace and sustainability, using interdisciplinary methods that instill values of environmental stewardship and Good Global Governance methods;
c) Increase awareness of issues of deforestation and forest degradation, the increasing agricultural land use for housing, roads and other non-agricultural purposes; and other global issues such as climate change, water reduction, ozone depletion, intrusion of plastics into all levels of the ‘web of life’, the acidification of oceans, and nuclear weapons proliferation.
Updated by Julia Morton-Marr, International Holistic Tourism Education Centre -IHTEC, Canada.
Professor Emeritus Helmut Burkhardt, Council on Global Issues, Canada