Mobius Foundation and Climate Reality Project India with the support of UNESCO New Delhi Office
“We need to take action responsibly based on the understanding that what we do today can have implications on the lives of people and the planet in future. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) empowers people to change the way they think and work towards a sustainable future.”
Education has been used as a tool for social change since time immemorial. Today, owing to growing environmental challenges, we need a change in ideas and attitudes towards planet earth which can be brought only through education. Most of the environmental problems are manmade and can be resolved by humans only for which education can play a key role. Over the years we are facing rapid deterioration in the quality of environment including pollution of air, water and land, loss of ecosystems and species etc. Climate change has now become one of today’s most serious global challenge to sustainable development and requires immediate and urgent action to address its adverse impacts. This has been duly recognized by almost all international conferences and agreements starting from the Stockholm Conference (1972), Rio Earth Summit (1992 & 2012), to the Paris Climate Agreement (2015). However, sustainability education is an untapped resource in addressing challenges related to environment, climate change and sustainable development. Although, there has been various efforts globally in this direction, still educators as well as policy and decision makers have not yet fully utilized potential of education to address these challenges. Environment education over the years has come up as a distinct discipline and various approaches and methodologies of teaching and learning have evolved at various levels. However, there is a need to bring out specifics and intricacies of environment education as an agent of change and transformation in true sense. Along with this, more knowledge must be spread on how individuals have an impact on their climate and the environment around them. Practical examples of this must get embedded in the education systems and also in day today life around the world. It is also interesting to note the transition from environment education (EE) to education for sustainable development (ESD) and moving towards more focused climate change education (CCE) which reflects the need for reorienting educational priorities to the newer global challenges of today.
The proposed International conference on “Sustainability Education” is planned to bring together experts and practioners of EE, ESD and CCE together on one platform to discuss innovative ideas, practices and policies and come forward with action agenda for sustainability education with focus on school education. The conference will have main focus on South Asian region and particularly on school education at the primary, middle and secondary levels in order to bring in the transformation in young minds as they are on the threshold of becoming active participants in society as citizens, decision makers and leaders of tomorrow. The conference deliberations will highlight the key role of education for sustainable development (ESD) as a key element of quality education and a crucial enabler for sustainable development specifically the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Target 4.7 on ESD and related approaches. It is expected that conference will also provide the much needed impetus to the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, the follow- up programme to the Decade of ESD (2005-2014), which seeks to scale-up ESD and accelerate progress towards sustainable development.
The conference will focus on sharing innovative ideas and understanding on sustainability education within the overall objective of strengthening the role of education in changing attitudes and behaviour towards positive action for a better quality of life and environment ultimately leading to the achievement of SDGs and creating a sustainable future for all.
The specific objectives are:
- To share good practices in sustainability education in the school system from across the globe and provide a regional platform for exchange of experiences and good practices amongst educators, practitioners and policy makers.
- To discuss new and innovative ideas for bringing in the change in the current educational structure and incorporate environmental sustainability as a core concept from the early stage of education systems and strengthen the process through preparation of a model curriculum and associated teaching learning modules/tools.
- To identify opportunities for partnerships between schools, NGOs, UN agencies, and global, regional and national networks to enhance formal and non-formal education programs on sustainability education.
- To identify immediate and mid-term next steps for the development of a comprehensive sustainability education program in south Asia.
This will perhaps be the first ever initiative to bring together diversity of experiences from across India and globe towards education for change and bringing in the element of quality improvement in education. The organizers and partners will have both the tangible and intangible benefits in terms of:
- Visibility and branding of the sustainability and educational efforts through international exposure.
- Raising the profile of the environment and sustainability education
- Opportunities for networking with the relevant national and international stakeholders including government agencies, academic and educational institutions, NGOs and experts.
- Partnership with UN and International agencies and co-branding benefits.
- Strengthening of the existing programmes with national, regional and international professionals and development of future programmes and activities in the area of sustainability education.
The main outcome of the conference will be a set of “Recommendations” and “Best Practices Guide in Sustainability Education” as a tool for planning educational interventions in schools, colleges and higher education sector.
The expected outcomes of the conference will include:
- Experience sharing of good practices and case studies (Abstract volume of the conference)
- Model curriculum framework, content and approaches for effective transaction of sustainability education into education system
- Recommendation especially for creation of regional e-platform for exchange of experiences and good practices on Sustainability Education.
Participants and format of the Conference
The conference will bring together around 200 participants (50 international and 150 national) representing the multi-disciplinary and diverse group of stakeholders including: policy makers, teachers and educators, curriculum development experts, representatives of school and education networks, youth, scientists and climate change experts, as well as individuals from the private sector and civil society. It is proposed to have invited speakers/presenters as well contributed papers and presentations in equal numbers.
Presentations and discussions will be organised in form of Panel discussion, working group and in plenary sessions. Partners and collaborators of the Conference will be requested put their exhibits and organize special thematic sessions to showcase their experiences during the conference. There will be parallel and poster sessions to accommodate presentation of diversity of experiences.
A dedicated web portal will be developed for the conference.
Call for papers
Contributions are invited for presentation during technical sessions of the Conference. An abstract of around 200 words in English will be invited for submission by 14 April 2019. These will be reviewed and published.
Mobius Foundation, established in 2015, is a non-profit organization working towards environmental sustainability. With the objective of creating awareness, Mobius Foundation has been spearheading various educational programmes around the country. It is setting up a residential green school in Coorg, Karnataka and a Day School in Atrouli Village, Uttar Pradesh. The Project “Aakar” is promoting population stabilization, in the two districts of Uttar Pradesh (Behraich and Barabanki) targeting 200 villages and will further roll out across five districts with highest birth rates. It educates people on the importance of reproductive health, family planning and increasing the uptake of contraceptives. Project “Sanjeevani” is a part of many ecological conservation projects undertaken by Mobius Foundation towards environmental sustainability. As many as 150 people, school students, youth, farmers, Selfhelp group members, Kisan club members, officials of various departments and other NGOs have taken part in this plantation drive, at ARF R&D Centre of Chidana, Sonepat. The Recycling project of the Foundation helps achieve an eco-friendly environment through conservation of natural resources, decline in energy consumption and decrease in pollution. There are many such project and participation by Mobius Foundation in various other sectors like Mobile Health Camps, School Support Programs, Solar Street Lights installation, Toilet Construction, Training & Awareness Program on food safety and natural farming practices. Mobius is always on move and in constant search of opportunities where it can contribute to the world in building a sustainable future.
Climate Reality Project
In 2006 Climate Reality Project Chairman and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore sparked an international conversation on climate change with his Academy Award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. It was just the beginning of a climate revolution, and a year later he founded. The Climate Reality Project to take the conversation forward and turn awareness into action. The Climate Reality Project has branches in 10 countries and presence in more than 135 countries and has reached more than 70 million people with its message. The Climate Reality Project, India being an independent chapter of this international organization was established in March 2008. The Climate Reality Project, India, has been actively engaged igniting the spark and spreading the message of climate change amongst educators, policy makers and civil society. Our mission is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society. Indian branch looks after about 500 trained Climate Leaders and more than 800 volunteers spread all over the country.
UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015. UNESCO office in New Delhi is a Cluster Office mandated to cover six countries of South Asia — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. UNESCO’s programmes in Bangladesh and Nepal are implemented in consultation with UNESCO Offices in Dhaka and Kathmandu respectively. UNESCO New Delhi Office is a platform for delivery of activities in all areas of UNESCO’s competence, namely, education, the natural and social sciences, culture, communication and information. It implements a biennial Cluster programme that is integrated within itself and with the overall goals of the Organization. This is done through a fundamental operating principle – consultation and consensus with the National Commissions of the Member States, Regional Bureaus, civil society representatives, and other stakeholders and partners.
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