World Educators for Sustainable Societies
- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Name: World Educators for Sustainable Societies
- Submission Document: Download
2nd Journey on International Environmental Education
OPEN LETTER FROM EDUCATORS
for a just and happy world!
Rio +20 in the transition to Sustainable Societies.
We, educators from all over the world, now when our Planet once again brings forth the major issues that were addressed in Rio 92, we reaffirm our adherence to the principles and values expressed in planetarian documents such as Treaty on Environmental Education for Sustainable Societies and Global Responsibility, the Earth Charter, the Charter of Human Responsibilities, the Rio Declaration, among others. (1)
But it is not enough just to reaffirm! Plethora of theoretical references enlighten us, its the principles, values, policies and action plans proposed in the cited documents must truly out of paper, despite of the "development", that has kept 80% of humanity apart of the minimum conditions of life in Culture of Peace, with environmental and social justice. (2)
It is unacceptable that we still have wars, spending on weapons, a billion hungry and miserable, lack of clean water and sanitation for huge portions of humanity. It is unacceptable violation of human rights (gender diversity, ethnic, generational, social and geographical conditions), the loss of species diversity, culture, language and genetics, greedy gains, urban violence and all forms of discrimination and projects of oppressive power. (3).
The human manifestations in several countries for the overthrow of dictators of all kinds are indicators of the need for new proposals for organization of 7 billion humans. It is evident that governance and governability of the planet must be in the hands of local communities in which there must be the overall responsibility for the common good of humans and non humans and all natural systems and life support. (4)
We need to learn and practice other ways of making public policy from the communities, and State policies require to be committed to quality of life. Therefore, it is urgent to strengthen the processes educators committed to human emancipation and political participation in building sustainable societies, where every human community feel committed, active and included in the sharing of wealth and abundance of life on our planet. (5)
The Carrying capacity of Mother Earth is nearing its limit, due to the mode of occupation, production and consumption irresponsible of capitalism, which has become the global economical model, and now also features the Green Economy speech. For us, whatever concepts or terms used, the essential is that the socioenvironmental vision is always ahead. Building Sustainable Societies in Global Responsibility is based on the values of life to which the economy must serve. (6)
Sustainable Societies are made of environmentally educated citizens in their communities, where they decide for themselves and from their own needs what it means Green Economy, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Climate Change and many other concepts that can be moved away of their original meaning or motivation - which is the transition for another world possible - , being co-opted o coined to serve the hegemonic liberal rationality. Each community can see and feel beyond words and semantics, while maintaining its course towards the planetary union, tracing its own history. (7)
Retake and to appropriate locally of these concepts under the force of the Planetary Identity empower learning communities, from the practice of dialogue, the sense of belonging and manifestations that are necessary to Well Being and individual and collective happiness. In these practices the essence of the spiritual dimension emerges as a radical practice of ethical valorization of life, respectful care to all living things, conecting hearts and minds through love. It is a process that empowers the individual to the practice of dialogue with oneself, with others, with the planetary community as a whole, restoring a sense of citizenship and overcoming the separation between society and nature. (8)
It must then ask: where is the role of Education for Sustainable Societies and Global Responsibility? The answer in the XXI century can be only one: in the center. In the center of daily life, of education management, policy management, economic and environmental management. Thus, environmental education is consolidated into another world, with environmental and social justice, ensuring the development of an effective participatory democracy that can assure the social, cultural and spiritual development of communities, as well as its social control. (9)
We want to establish and strengthen local and planetary action plans, which focuses an education able to unravel the structures of class and power between people, nations and institutions that currently exist on our planet Earth. (10)
Educating ourselves for Sustainable Societies means situate ourselves in relation to the current global system, to reshape our presence in the world, leaving the comfortable position of neutrality. Because education is always based on values, there will never be neutrality in education, whether formal, non-formal, informal, face or distance learning. (11)
Educators from all over the world agree that the way to real sustainability can be done by various currents or tracks which are based on values and principles that link to sustainability. Transformative Learning, Ecoliteracy, Popular Environmental Education, Ecopedagogy, Gaia Education, Environmental Educ-Action are some of them. All these currents have in common to bring contributions to the construction of new models of society, and all remind us of the need to develop knowledge, awareness, attitudes and skills necessary to participate in the construction of these new models, integrating them into our way of being, of producing, of consuming and belonging. (12)
More than ever we claim for an education able to arouse admiration and respect for the complexity of life support, with the utopia to build sustainable societies through the ethic of care to protect the bio and socialdiversity. In making this educational process, the transdisplinarity intrinsic to socio-environmental education leads to interaction between the various areas of science and technology and the different manifestations of popular and traditional knowledge. This allows the integration of existing knowledge and production of new knowledge and new social and environmental actions while carrying out the Dialogue between Wisdom and Care as High Technology in the Education for Sustainable Societies and Global Responsibility.
[UNDESA/DSD: Please download the original document to read the full submission]