Education Archives - Earth Charter

Master’s Degree in Environmental Management with emphasis on Sustainable Development

U La Salle 2The University De La Salle and Earth Charter International in Costa Rica are jointly offering the Master’s Degree in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development, with the conviction of promoting leadership among professionals who decide to access this postgraduate programme and acquire the necessary skills for the efficient and adequate management of natural resources, grounding this knowledge in environmental management and the need for technical and operational transformation of organizations.U La Salle 1

This Master’s Degree programme is based on the holistic vision of the Earth Charter, and has the institutional support of the Earth Charter International Secretariat. In this sense, the graduates of this Master’s Degree will be able to access and be involved in the global network of The Earth Charter.

The classes will begin on September 9, 2017, at the headquarters of University De La Salle in Sabana Sur, San José, Costa Rica.

For more information on this programme go to: http://www.gestionambientalulasalle.com/

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Conclusion of the Online Certificate Programme on Education for Sustainable Development 2017

Diplomado ENG for UPEACE“This ESD diploma and its great content has shifted my look at many topics and changed my teaching experience so far. Before I used to concentrate more on knowledge and data, now I go beyond. I see the links between knowledge, ethics and values more clearly”.   – Nehal L. Khalil, PhD (Egypt).

We are grateful to have successfully concluded the “Online Certificate Programme on Education for Sustainable Development”, offered jointly by the Earth Charter Center for ESD and the University for Peace.

This unique programme is designed to provide participants with the understanding, knowledge, and skills to integrate Education for Sustainable Development and Education for Global Citizenship into classrooms, schools, and curricula with depth and creativity. Unlike most programmes in sustainability, in these courses the Earth Charter (EC) is used as a central feature of this approach. The EC provides a broad, inclusive and powerful values-based orientation that can be infused within the missions and purposes of most educational programmes. Instructionally, the methodologies introduced are ones that can be applied to all learning across the curriculum and across grade levels.

This Programme started on 17 January and finished on 20 June 2017.  Twenty participants from fifteen different countries, representing all regions of the world, successfully finished this Programme.

The Programme has four courses, which are:Pic Seminar 2

  1. A Planetary Perspective: Toward a Culture of Peace, Sustainability, and Well-Being – Facilitators: Lorna Down and Rosalyn McKeown
  1. Values and Principles for Sustainability: The Earth Charter as an Ethical Framework and a Call to Action – Facilitators: Mirian Vilela and Alicia Jimenez
  1. Transformative Learning and ESD: A Holistic Pedagogy Grounded in the Neurosciences – Facilitator: Sam Crowell
  1. The Way Forward: Models and Skills for Implementing ESD with the Earth Charter – Facilitator: Mark Hathaway

We look forward to start a new Online Certificate Programme on ESD in 2018! 

If you are interested, please visit this page:  http://earthcharter.org/events/online-certificate-education-sustainable-development-2018/   or contact apply@earthcharter.org to receive information.

 

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Education for Sustainable Development Public Policy Course with UNESCO

Education Sustainable Development Public Policy

From 13 to 15 June, the “Hybrid Course on Design and Formulation of Education for Sustainable Development Public Policies” was launched, organized by UNESCO San Jose and the Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development. This course is taking place using a hybrid mode, consisting of 36 face to face hours and 30 virtual hours. The beginning of the course took place at the Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development facilities in the University for Peace, San Jose – Costa Rica. The course will continue until 8 August 2017.

A total of 25 officials from Ministries of 20170615_171134Education and Environment from each country of the Central American Integration System (SICA), committed themselves to this training. The call for participation was made by UNESCO, with the support of CECC SICA.

During the first face-to-face phase, senior officials deepened their knowledge of sustainable development from a systemic perspective, on the concept of education for sustainable development, and on what are the basic elements of public policies on education for sustainable development.

IMG_6843Mirian Vilela and Alicia Jiménez, who are part of the staff of the Earth Charter Center for EDS, coordinate the course, and facilitators who collaborate include Alejandrina Mata and Rafael Luna. During this first part of the course, a wide variety of exhibitors were invited; from young high-school students to the Deputy Minister of Public Education of Costa Rica, who presented their perspectives on education and sustainability. 20170614_155128

 

It was possible to appreciate the real efforts that each participating country is making towards the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the implementation of Education for Sustainable Development in the curriculum. A paradigm shift of the education system in the region is envisioned, where interrelated educational agendas such as on Education for Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and SDGs are implemented in an coherent and integrated manner.

Foto Grupal Miercoles 14 junio

 

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Education for sustainable development and cities in Latin America and the Caribbean

IMG-20170426-WA0001The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development was invited to participate in the Latin America and Caribbean Workshop on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and cities, organized by the Global Action Programme on ESD, which took place on 26-28 April 2017 in Villa María, Argentina.

This workshop was part of a series of regional workshops that have been taking place in all regions of the world, with the aim to sensitize about the integration of ESD at the local level, supporting the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The occasion helped participants to learn about different initiatives that municipalities and different institutions associated with local governments are doing to put in practice education for sustainability.

rgentina-Education-Sustainable-Development-citiesThe Earth Charter Center supported UNESCO in the identification of several participants, and during the event, Alicia Jimenez represented the Earth Charter and had different roles, such as moderating, speaking and facilitating several sessions.

 

In parallel, the Regional Workshop on Learning Cities was held, organized by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. Although both events had their defined objectives, the idea was to seek synergies to promote ESD within the network of learning cities.

Villa María was the host city of this event. It is a city of 100,000 inhabitants with an advanced local government, which is putting into practice very interesting projects of education and citizenship empowerment, such as the Children’s Parliament. This initiative invites children to participate in democratic processes, and to implement projects of their interest with a budget that the Municipality gives them.

Argentina Learning Cities

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ECI in Ottawa for the UNESCO Week on Peace and Sustainable Development

unesco-week-peace-and-sustainable-development

© Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO)

On 6 to 10 March, 2017, two Earth Charter International Secretariat staff attended the UNESCO Week on Peace and Sustainable Development in Ottawa, Canada. The weeklong event brought together over 400 people, including 50 youth delegates, from two transformational movements in education: Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED). These two spheres have the shared purpose of preparing people to create more peaceful, just and sustainable societies.

The event opened with acknowledgement to the indigenous territory where the event was held, and with an opening ceremony and remarks from Maliseet Elder Mac Saulis. Speeches, panel discussions, presentations, workshops, intergenerational dialogues, a world café, and music were to follow throughout the five days. Participants from government, NGOs, businesses, and educational institutions presented their various projects, initiatives, and goals, and dialogued around the future direction and challenges for ESD and GCED as well as possibilities for collaboration.

intergenerational-dialogue-unesco-week

© Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO)

Woven throughout the various presentations and activities during the week, three themes continued to arise: engaging young people, technological innovations, and capacity building for teachers. On the theme of engaging young people, UNESCO built this into the very structure of the event, selecting and brining 50 youth delegates to Ottawa for the week. These delegates, specially selected from thousands of applicants, came representing different organizations and networks related to ESD and GCED.

three-gap-partner-network

© UNESCO/Julie Saito

One the Action Areas of GAP is on mobilizing and engaging youth in ESD. Partner Network 4, a network of organizations recognized by UNESCO for their contribution in this area, has met annually at these GAP meetings to scale up, build synergies, and implement a flagship project related to mobilizing youth in ESD. Earth Charter International (ECI) holds a co-chair for GAP Partner Network 4, and recently designed the ESD Leadership training script as part of the Flagship project.

During the week, key partners in Partner Network 4 met to offer feedback on the new training script, to debrief on their experiences running pilot workshops, and to plan the following phases of the Flagship—an ESD Young Leaders Network for training alumni and an ESD Young Leaders Conference in 2018. Meanwhile, all key partners across all five Partner Networks reviewed their collective progress toward their GAP commitments and flagship projects.

Using technology and social media to engage young people was another recurring theme. One way that ECI is rising to this challenge is through one of their GAP Commitments, a 10-week online training for young leaders in ¨Leadership, Sustainability and Ethics¨ which includes weekly tasks online and offline. In addition, ECI has developed and launched a free photo-sharing app, MAPTING, in collaboration with Soka Gakkai International, for sharing positive actions contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The photos and videos are linked to the related SDGs and Earth Charter principles and pinned to a shared world map. Other organizations are finding new ways of using social media, digital story telling, virtual reality, and online platforms to expand, enhance, and develop new ways of doing ESD.

student-teacher-coordinator-online-esd-courseIn addition to youth participation and new technologies, many participants were focused on training teachers for ESD and GCED. In this area, ECI was able to share their online certificate programmes and intensive in-person courses for educators on Transformative Learning while learning about the platforms, methods, content, and structures that other organizations are using or considering.

Beyond participating in the planned events during the event, ECI staff were delighted to reunite with old Earth Charter friends, meet students and professors from online courses in person, and meet new potential partners and collaborators. They were also keen to ground ethics and values as the foundation of the dialogue on education for a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.

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AASHE endorses the Earth Charter!

AASHE Endorsement Earth CharterWe are happy to announce that the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has endorsed the Earth Charter.

Established in 2005, AASHE is comprised of over 900 members across 48 U.S. states, 1 U.S. Territory, 9 Canadian provinces and 20 countries.

We asked Julian Dautremont-Smith, Director of Programs of AASHE, to share with all of us what is the meaning of the Earth Charter for them and why it was important to endorse it. This is what he shared:

AASHE is pleased to endorse the Earth Charter.

We greatly value the Charter’s comprehensive approach to sustainability, especially the inclusion of social and economic justice, democracy and peace along with ecological integrity.

We have a similarly holistic understanding of sustainability and refer the Earth Charter as a key document in understanding sustainability in our Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a self-reporting framework used by hundreds of colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. For example, a course is counted as being sustainability-inclusive if it contributes towards realizing one or more of the principles outlined in the Earth Charter.

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Earth Charter presentation in California by Professor Sam Crowell

Photo workshop Sam

 

On February 20, Sam Crowell presented an introduction to the Earth Charter to almost 150 people from a local community action group in Idyllwild, California. Idyllwild is a small mountain village in southern California that is surrounded by national and state forests, with snow-capped peaks rising to almost 11,000 feet in elevation. It is a community noted for its commitment to the arts and to the environment.

 

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The group, “Indivisible Idyllwild,” was formed to engage the Idyllwild community in an on-going dialogue around issues and policies affecting the poor and disenfranchised, sustainability, and social equality of women, LGBT, and immigrants – all impacted by the rhetoric and mandates of the Trump administration. The group’s mission is to work toward “sustainable economic, environmental, and social justice for all,” focusing first on the community and region, but also joining with others to advance these causes nationally.

Sam pointed out that the Earth Charter offers a compatible vision that emphasizes respect for diversity, care for the environment and all communities of life, a call to social and economic justice, and the commitment to peace and non-violence.  Sam suggested that the Earth Charter principles and values can offer two significant things for the group: 1) inspiration and guidance for engaged action; and 2) a planetary vision that connects what is done locally to a shared vision of peoples around the world.

Foto SamLocal efforts make a difference. When the energy of those actions is combined with a planetary vision of love, care, and compassion, then it is amplified in positive and profound ways. Finding a role for the Earth Charter in these contexts makes the Charter relevant to today’s world. “Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.”

For the seventh time, Sam will be co-facilitating with Mirian Vilela a master class on Education, Ethics, and Values for Sustainability: Transformative Teaching and Learning with the Earth Charter at the Earth Charter Center in Costa Rica, on July 3 – 7, 2017.

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UNESCO ESD Leadership Training, designed by Earth Charter International, is piloted around the world

During February of 2017, over one hundred young sustainability leaders gathered in Dublin, Beirut, Nairobi, and New Delhi to train in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Leadership using a UNESCO curriculum developed by Earth Charter International (ECI).

 

esd-training-flier

This series of ESD Leadership trainings in various regions around the world constitutes the pilot phase of the Flagship Project for Partner Network 4 of UNESCO´s Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development.  GAP is the follow up to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) which aims to generate and scale-up concrete actions in ESD. Within GAP, there are five Priority Action Areas identified. ECI holds a co-chair position in Partner Network 4, a network of organizations recognized for their work on mobilizing and engaging youth in ESD.

As the first phase of the Flagship Project for GAP Partner Network 4, UNESCO contracted ECI to develop the training script for a young leaders training on ¨ESD Leadership¨ in collaboration with the other key network partners. The second phase, carried out in February 2017, was the implementation of regional pilot workshops, where key partners experimented with the training script and trained the first round of ESD Leaders.

dublin-group-ecounesco-workshop

The Coordinator of Youth Projects at ECI, Sarah Dobson, joined by other GAP key partners from Partner Network 4, attended the pilot workshop in Dublin, Ireland hosted by key partner ECO UNESCO. Meanwhile, the ESD Leadership training was also conducted in Nairobi, New Delhi, and Beirut with young sustainability leaders from each region and joined by other GAP key partners. The trainings used interactive exercises and multimedia methods to engage participants on themes of ESD, systems thinking, leadership, visioning, and facilitation. Participants will use elements from this training to design and conduct ESD related workshops in their own communities by the end of March 2017.

visioning-activity-sustainable-community

For the next phase of the Flagship, ECI will collect feedback and evaluations from participants and facilitators of the pilot workshops to improve and finalize the training script. UNESCO will then translate and release a final version for public use after March 2017.

The ESD Leadership Training curriculum serves as a guide for organizations who work with or seek to work with young people to incorporate aspects of ESD Leadership into their present activities and trainings. It is meant to serve as a flexible resource which can be adapted to fit the local context and serve local needs.

dublin-dialogue-circle

Desired outcomes for the Flagship project include the empowerment of youth leaders to inspire and mobilize others to take action towards building more sustainable, just, and resilient communities and to build a youth-led ESD Leaders Network for exchange and collaboration.

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Doctoral thesis on traditional stories as educational tools based on the Earth Charter

Tesis portadaIn 2016, Dr. Grian A. Cutanda, from the University of Granada, Spain, presented his doctoral thesis on the use of traditional stories as educational tools to convey a complex-systems worldview on the basis of systems thinking and the values and principles of the Earth Charter.

Dr. Cutanda analyzed and collected 336 myths, legends, fables and folktales from all around the world to illustrate the different principles of the Charter. His thesis advisors, Dr. Alfonso Fernández Herrería and Dr. Francisco Miguel Martínez Rodríguez, from the Faculty of Education of the University of Granada, have been involved for many years in the Earth Charter and in education research related to the role of emotions in education processes. Dr. Jane Brown, from Moray House School of Education of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, was the methodology director of the research work.

The author believes that the Education Sciences are called to play a decisive role in the necessary change of mentality that lead us to overcome the state of true planetary emergency in which systems scientists forecasts point to a breakdown, as the different “educations for change” have proven ineffective in achieving this social transformation.

Tesis 2The thesis attempts to offer two different contributions: a theoretical proposal, which aims to overcome the shortcomings of educations for change; and a practical proposal, based on the previous one, which seeks to provide a vast repository of educational resources aimed at social change in worldview.

The theoretical proposal, set up on the works of Stephen Sterling, Gregory Bateson and Donella H. Meadows, among others, includes the development of a worldview education as a confluence node for the different educations for change, as well as the introduction of transpersonal education in teacher training.

The practical proposal is based on Ecopedagogy, Ethics of Care, Deep Ecology and the Earth Charter, and offers some initial tools for education in a complex-systems, integrative, holistic and ecological worldview.

Dr. Cutanda´s research was awarded the ¨sobresaliente cum laude¨ distinction and it was included among the candidates to the special prize of doctorate at the University of Granada, which means that if it results winner of the prize, the doctoral thesis will be published by the university. This excellent piece of work is available in Spanish, with an English summary.

Click here to read the English summary of the thesis.

 

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COP22 and the ¨Inner Dimensions of Climate Change¨ retreat in Marrakesh

From 5 to 13 November, 2016, the Earth Charter International Youth Projects´ Coordinator Sarah Dobson visited the beautiful city of Marrakech, Morocco with a two-part mission: to connect with young leaders and civil society organizations from around the world at COP22, and to participate in the ¨Inner Dimensions of Climate Change¨ programme for young ecologists.

inner-dimensions-delegates-and-mentors-marrakesh

COP22, the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, convened government officials from around the world to create international policies and strategies to combat climate change along with thousands from civil society who joined to influence and report on the negotiations and build networks and partnerships. Sarah met with young leaders from Morocco and every region of the world who are working, studying, innovating, and living with the urgent and earnest intention to transform our lifestyles and current systems to align with the protection and preservation of our planet. She met with people working in different youth networks with specializations in education, social entrepreneurship, science and research, and activism and explored ways that the Earth Charter can serve them whether as an ethical guide, a shared vision, or through our online trainings in ¨ Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics. ¨

climate-change-student-educators

After a few days at the Conference, Sarah joined the first ¨The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change¨ retreat, unique programme series organized to foster dialogue and discovery. Earth Charter International served as a co-partner to the event which was organized by the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) and sponsored by the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association (DDMBA).

The 4-day programme brought together 20 young ecologists from 14 African nations: Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Nambia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. They were joined by ecology experts and spiritual leaders of various traditions and backgrounds.

The first days were spent discussing problems and solutions from the African perspective in the areas of biodiversity, water, and agriculture before the conversation turned inward considering the attitude and paradigm which allow these problems to persist and have prevented a large scale shift toward sustainability.

dialogue-session

Woven throughout the discussions, the mentors shared their stories and wisdom. Ven. Bhante Duddharakita from Uganda spoke of the need to reduce not only carbon emissions, but greed emissions. Sraddhalu Ranade from India spoke of the androcentric and reductionist mindsets which have led us to the point of crisis. Tiokasin Ghosthorse from the Lakota Nation in North America spoke of how our language separates us from Mother Earth, pretending to be superior and separate to Mother Earth and inventing notions such as domination and ownership. We reflected on a paradigm shift to relationship with all life and contemplated how to retain and relearn knowledge cultivated and held by indigenous peoples.

The youth delegates and spiritual mentors brought their wisdom to the COP22, presenting ¨the Inner Dimensions of Climate Change¨ as a side event which drew great attention and curiosity as it offered a deep, honest conversation about climate and our own intimate relationship with one another and Earth. The final day together was spent in a small Berber village nestled in the Atlas Mountains where the group shared delicious Moroccan tea and food and a final dialogue circle of reflection and gratitude.

inner-dimensions-side-event-cop22

This program was the first in a series of regional ¨Inner Dimensions of Climate Change¨ retreats which will gather young ecologists and spiritual mentors to examine the deeper causes and solutions to climate change which begin with our mindset and relationship to the Earth. All youth delegates and mentors from each regional meeting are then expected to then gather together in 2018 to continue building bridges and relationships and strengthen the movement toward a more life sustaining paradigm and way of living.

 

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