The Gothenburg Recommendations on Education for Sustainable Development
Davis, Julie M., Engdahl, I., Otieno, L., Pramling Samuelsson, I., Siraj-Blatchford, J., & Valladh, P. (2008) The Gothenburg Recommendations on Education for Sustainable Development. Swedish International Centre for Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD); Chalmers University & Gothenburg Universities, Gothenburg, Sweden.
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This document calls on governments, civil society and in particular educators to prioritize processes that develop and strengthen education for sustainable development (ESD).
The world has changed since the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. While there have been significant initiatives and progress has been made, the scale of effort is still overshadowed by the scope of the problem. For instance, human-induced climate change is creating a long-lasting ecological crisis with severe economic and social consequences. Recently the global economic crisis has drawn attention to the problem of borrowing from resources that do not exist. Poverty, conflict and social injustice remain critical issues on the global agenda.
A renewed sense of commitment to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014 is required. Formal, informal and non-formal education and learning processes for sustainability must be strengthened and prioritized. This document supports and builds on the concepts and values that are put forward within UNESCO’s International Implementation Scheme for Education for Sustainable Development and in the Earth Charter.
The purpose of ESD is to reorient education in order to contribute to a sustainable future for the common good of present and future generations. ESD recognizes the interdependence of environmental, social and economic perspectives and the dependence of humanity on a healthy biosphere. Participation and involvement are necessary components of ESD, with an emphasis on empowerment and agency for active citizenship, human rights and societal change. Re-orientation is necessary at all levels and in all phases of education, and encompasses community learning, thus making ESD a wider process challenging the form and purpose of education itself.
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