Transforming Thinking: Over the Next 10 Years, Millions of People in Both Developed and Developing Nations Are Likely to Gain a Greater Knowledge of Sustainability through Education Initiatives under the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, or DESD, (2005-2014). Its Global Objectives Are Ambitious and Uplifting

By Davidson, Steve | Ecos, January-March 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Transforming Thinking: Over the Next 10 Years, Millions of People in Both Developed and Developing Nations Are Likely to Gain a Greater Knowledge of Sustainability through Education Initiatives under the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, or DESD, (2005-2014). Its Global Objectives Are Ambitious and Uplifting


Davidson, Steve, Ecos


'The vision of education for sustainable development is a world where everyone has the opportunity to benefit from quality education and learn the values, behaviour and lifestyles required for a sustainable future and for positive societal transformation.' (UNESCO, October 2004.)

The United Nations (UN) practice of designating International Decades to draw attention to major issues and to encourage international action on questions of global importance began in 1985. With the world facing a multitude of ongoing problems and challenges, it seems timely to have a decade in which the global community will focus on sustainability and, in particular, on education for sustainable development.

As the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the designated international lead agency for the Decade, states in its draft International Implementation Scheme, the vision sets 'a sustainable future' at the heart of our common human endeavour.

So what is the Decade all about, can it really make a difference, and how?

The evolution of education

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) points out that, unlike most education movements, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) did not begin with the education community. Its main thrust came from international political and economic forums, such as the UN and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The concept of ESD was crystallised when world leaders agreed that sustainable development should be actively pursued as a global goal.

Sustainable development was endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987 and, since then, the parallel concept of education supporting sustainable development has been explored too. A series of important UN conferences helped to further refine the concept of sustainable development during the 1990s.

ESD is an evolving concept that has especially developed since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Among the historical documents signed at Rio was Agenda 21, in which countries committed themselves to promoting sustainability through a variety of means, including education.

The recommendation for a UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development was endorsed at the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September 2002. This confirmed the importance of education for sustainable development and recommended that the UN General Assembly 'consider adopting a Decade of Education for Sustainable Development starting in 2005'.

It was on 20 December 2002 that the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing a UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), emphasising that education is an indispensable element in achieving sustainable development. UNESCO is promoting the Decade and providing a clear framework for implementation, following consultation with the UN and other international organisations, governments, non-government organisations, and others. It will mobilise and 'shepherd' action over the 10 years. The draft Implementation Scheme was released in October 2004.

The Decade's objectives

The basic vision of the DESD translates into five objectives to:

* give an enhanced profile to the central role of education and learning in the common pursuit of sustainable development;

* facilitate links and networking, exchange and interaction among stakeholders in ESD;

* provide a space and opportunity for refining and promoting the vision of, and transition to sustainable development--through all forms of learning and public awareness;

* foster increased quality of teaching and learning in education for sustainable development; and

* develop strategies at every level to strengthen capacity in ESD.

The Decade focuses on ESD in all parts of the world and UNESCO says it 'provides an opportunity for developing countries to define for themselves the kind of path they wish to follow.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Transforming Thinking: Over the Next 10 Years, Millions of People in Both Developed and Developing Nations Are Likely to Gain a Greater Knowledge of Sustainability through Education Initiatives under the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, or DESD, (2005-2014). Its Global Objectives Are Ambitious and Uplifting
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?