International Conference on Sustainability Education (ICSE) 2019
New Delhi, September: – ‘The International Conference on Sustainability Education (ICSE)’ was organized jointly by Mobius Foundation, The Climate Reality Project, India, in partnership with the UNESCO New Delhi office at the India Habitat Center on 9-10th September 2019. The two-day conference explored the ways to address the challenges halting the path of sustainable education.
ICSE 2019 was planned to explore pathways to address current and emerging sustainability challenges through education by empowering learners with new skills, values, and attitudes that lead to more sustainable societies. This conference was organized as a major sustainability event to bring together thought leaders, practitioners, teachers, educators, policymakers, and youth from around the globe to share innovative ideas, case studies, practices, and policies and come forward with recommendations for incorporating environmental sustainability as a core concept in the school education system.
The conference deliberated upon various facets of sustainability education and took a holistic viewpoint in terms of ESD (Education for Sustainable Development), EE (Environmental Education), and Climate Change Education (CCE). Its main focus was on the South Asian region, particularly on primary, middle, and secondary school education.
The conference aimed at sharing innovative ideas and understanding of sustainability education with the overall objective of strengthening the role of education in changing attitudes and behavior 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 were:
- To share good practices in sustainability education in the school system from across the globe and provide a regional platform for exchanging experiences and good practices amongst educators, practitioners, and policymakers.
- To discuss new and innovative ideas for changing the current educational structure and incorporate environmental sustainability as a core concept from the early stage of education systems and strengthen the process by preparing 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 developing a comprehensive sustainability education program in South Asia.
Dr. Ram Boojh (Director Programmes, Former UNESCO, and Environment Programme Specialist) said: “The idea to organize this Conference came from the felt need of reorienting education towards sustainability issues in the context of the global commitment for Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals.”
Mr Pradip Burman, Chairman, Mobius Foundation, said: “ICSE 2019 has been organized with its ultimate goal of developing societies competent in the principles of sustainability and striving to live within the carrying capacity of the planet. ICSE 2019 aims to aid the implementation of education for sustainable development (ESD), which is culturally relevant, locally appropriate, occurring across the national school education system.”
The challenge is how to get there; many things have to change, and the systems must change. India should focus on what they can do.” said Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Founder, and Director, Centre for Environment Education (CEE), while he shared his Rio experience.
Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), said, “In order to have a life which is both high in quality and useful, sustainability for us has to be a way of life. This is important because if we look at the options in front of us, it is obvious that we should move to resource efficiency on the one side and recycling the waste that we produce on the other side; choosing these options is a way of life. I think we all need to believe that together, we can make a difference.”
Sustainability education is an untapped resource in addressing environmental, climate change, and sustainable development challenges. Although there have been various efforts globally in this direction, educators, as well as policy and decision-makers, have not yet fully utilized the potential of education to address these challenges. Over the years, environmental education has become a distinct discipline, and various approaches and methodologies of teaching and learning have evolved at different levels.
However, there is a need to bring out the specifics and intricacies of environmental education as an agent of change and transformation in the true sense. 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 to reorient educational priorities to the newer global challenges of today.
The conference brought together around 500 participants (Internationally and nationally) representing the multi-disciplinary and diverse group of stakeholders, including policymakers, 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.
Students were an integral part of the program. They were engaged through various events led by our partners like Climate Reality Project, Centre for Environment Education (CEE), and Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE).
The team was working towards making ICSE 2019 one of the most exciting and stimulating experiences for the participants by including plenaries, technical sessions, keynote speeches, case studies presentations, experience sharing sessions, thematic side events, posters, and exhibitions covering diverse elements of sustainability education including environment education (EE), Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), climate change education (CCE), etc. The conference provided the participants with ample opportunities for interactions, discussion, and networking with leaders in the field.
To know more visit : www.icse-esd.org