National Forum on Education for Sustainable Development

esd-forum-costa-rica-nov-2015 In November 2015, the first Forum on Education for Sustainable Development was held in Costa Rica.

Earth Charter International collaborated with the Costa Rican Network of Sustainable Educational Institutions (REDIES) and the Ministry of Education to co-organize the first National Forum on Education for Sustainable Development, held in the Research Center of the University of Costa Rica. About 200 people, most high school teachers participated in this Forum.

The idea of organizing this forum emerged from interest within the Costa Rican educational sector to promote sustainable development. For that reason, the organizers wanted to open a space to present and learn about the current situation of education for sustainable development globally and nationally, the progress in building policies for ESD at the Ministry of Education, and learning about a number of successful experiences through keynote presentations. Earth Charter International Executive Director Mirian Vilela gave one of the keynote speeches.

There was also an interactive space where participants worked in groups to discuss and make recommendations on the following topics:

• Mainstreaming: Theoretical exercise or actual implementation?

• What kind of teaching is required for implementation of ESD?

• Sustainable Schools: Internalization of environmental culture

The experiences of these schools were shared during the forum:

• Technical School Isaias Retana, Pedregoso de Perez Zeledon

• Highschool of Pejivalle, Tuqurrique

• School Jose Cubero Muñoz, Carmen de Guadalupe

• Abraham Lincoln School, Alajuelita

• Primary and Secondary School CEUNA

And other non-formal education initiatives:

• Ecological Blue Flag Program, the National Water Laboratory AyA

• Educational programs of the Organization for Tropical Studies

• System of indicators used in the Costa Rican Network of Sustainable Educational Institutions

• Biological Education Program of the Guanacaste Conservation Area, MINAE

As a result of the Forum, participants pledged in a Final Declaration to: Strengthen and expand Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Costa Rican educational institutions, promoting the principles of sustainability including: sustainable lifestyles; good environmental management practices; mainstreaming sustainability in the curriculum; sharing experiences and synergies between institutions; strengthening teaching skills; promoting opportunities for student participation in sustainability projects that promote problem solving and continuous improvement.

All information related to this forum (programme, presentations, final declaration) can be found through this link, in Spanish only: http://www.redies.cr/forum2015.html