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Centre for Environment Education
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Submission Document: Download
  • Additional Document:

Inputs from Centre for Environment Education (CEE), India for Zero Draft - Rio plus 20 Conference

1. The Zero Draft should emphasize on the need for an alternative path to sustainable development that is not imitative but learns from the existing development models anywhere in the world and adapts to the local context and the environment. For developing countries especially, the real challenge is not ?how to get there? but ?how not to follow the same path?. This means an approach that encourages/fosters making choices that are indeed different, appropriate and sustainable. While the rich nations will need to rethink lifestyles and retool themselves, for the developing world there is the opportunity to leapfrog, going straight to a sustainable society rather than following the classical route of becoming a carbon intensive industrial country. In order for societies to make these choices, we need to build capacity and provide appropriate skills and this can be done through education.

2. The draft should highlight the key role education plays in changing mindsets, building capacity and providing skills, and developing abilities for critical thinking. Education should engage people in a discussion on values, ethics and sustainability. The Earth Charter is the clearest articulation of values and ethics required for sustainability which can be a guiding framework. Along with new technologies, environmental legislation, policy reform, international treaties, better monitoring and increased compliance, education is a key tool ? a tool that is an essential part of an environment and sustainability strategy.

3. The text of the draft should emphasize that children and youth be involved in taking positive action to move towards sustainability. A measure of positive action called the Handprint was launched by CEE during the International Conference on Environmental Education in 2007 as a part of the series of conferences held during the United Nations Decade of Education of Sustainable Development (UNDESD). The Handprint analyses positive impact on the three aspects of sustainability: environment, society and economy. This is an idea of moving from ecological footprint to that of the Handprint.

4. The Zero Draft should strongly emphasize the need for strengthening of inclusive and participatory decision making through consultative processes as a strategy to move towards sustainability. Education is one of the key drivers to achieve the goals of green economy. UNDESD is a major opportunity to promote role of Education for Sustainable Development in moving towards a green economy and for strengthening institutional frameworks and processes.
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