EASD is a member, participating organization in the project EU Environment Partnership Programme for Accession (EPPA) in the Western Balkans and Turkey seeks to be a major driver of reform and development in environmental governance through compliance with the EU environmental acquis (WG7). The programme builds on the results of the RENA and ECRAN programmes by furthering the regional cooperation and strengthening the administrative capacities of the beneficiaries. Regional cooperation provides the framework for sharing knowledge, expertise and good practices, and for addressing common environmental problems in a more sustainable and efficient way. The overall objective of the programme is to strengthen the implementation of the EU environmental acquis in the Western Balkans and Turkey in areas relevant for addressing trans-boundary environmental issues. EPPA concerns the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans as an instrument that will bring the European Green Deal closer to the Western Balkan countries by proposing a new economic development model, one based on the circularity of the economy, where the pressures on the use of natural resources are significantly reduced, while recycling and reuse are the order of the day.
The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is holding its biennial General Assembly on 15-16 September in Ahmedabad, India. At the assembly sessions, member organisations from 75 countries are discussing the most recent developments in FEE and elect new President and Board of Directors.
The General Assembly is arranged and hosted by the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) India, FEE’s Associate Member in India. The first two assembly sessions is addressing the latest developments and strategic planning for FEE and its five programmes, whilst at the Members’ Forum sessions, members are having the opportunity to join workshops on the implementation of programmes, projects and campaigns. 15 new organisations are to be confirmed as members of FEE. EASD, as the FEE member organisation, participate at FEE General Assembly, presented by honorable president.
The assembly will be followed by the CEE Conference on ‘Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for Transforming Education for Children and Youth’, 16–18 September 2016. The Conference aims at bringing together global experience and expertise to highlight and strengthen the role of ESD.
By invitation, EASD honorable president Prof dr Andjelka Mihajlov, is presenting paper Education for Sustainable Development in practice: Eco-Package program in Serbia and SEE region (Presentation ).
EASD is Knowledge Partner with CEE for ESD for transforming education for children and youth
Infrastructure is a pre-requisite for advances across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including for reducing poverty, promoting economic growth, addressing inequality and ensuring environmental sustainability. Infrastructure is addressed directly through SDG 9, which commits the international community to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Moreover, “investments in sustainable infrastructure are recognized as a major cross-cutting driver that can contribute to achieving all the SDGs”, as stated by Under-Secretary-General for UN DESA, Wu Hongbo, at the 2015 Global Forum on Development. Resilient infrastructure is essential for ensuring sustainable development for all. “If we are to achieve our goals, and leave no one behind, we must address large infrastructure gaps in developing countries,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the inaugural Global Infrastructure Forum in April 2016.
“Developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable, need international support to bridge existing infrastructure gaps,” emphasized Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the Global Infrastructure Forum. Infrastructure gaps pose major challenges to the implementation of the SDGs. The financing gap for infrastructure in developing countries, for example, is estimated to be 1 to 1.5 trillion dollars annually. Through the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), the international community has committed to support resilient, sustainable infrastructure and to provide a comprehensive framework for mobilising the means to finance it.
Infrastructure that enables countries to adapt to and mitigate climate change is needed to support the Paris Climate Change Agreement. New and resilient infrastructure is also needed to support sustainable urbanization, as the number of people living in cities in emerging economies is expected to double by 2030. Resilient infrastructure is needed, moreover, to cope with the increasing incidence and magnitude of natural disasters.
In recent years there have been several new global, regional and national initiatives aimed at increasing investment in infrastructure. In Africa, for example, infrastructure is a priority element for realizing the vision of Africa’s Agenda 2063. At the global level, the international community committed to support the realisation of resilient, sustainable infrastructure through the AAAA, and created a new Global Infrastructure Forum—which held its inaugural meeting in April—to facilitate access to financing and technical expertise.
The global discussion on infrastructure will continue on 21 July 2016 at UN Headquarters as part of ECOSOC’s 2016 thematic discussion on “Infrastructure for sustainable development for all”. The thematic discussion, part of ECOSOC’s High-level Segment, will engage a broad range of voices in a global dialogue on infrastructure for sustainable development that is inclusive and leaves no one behind. It will offer policy recommendations and inform the Inter-agency Task Force report on Financing for Development, as well as the 2017 Global Infrastructure Forum. For more information: UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
After a long series of intergovernmental negotiations on various themes,which saw a broad participation from major groups and civil society stakeholders under the guidance of the United Nations State Members, the Goals have been adopted on September 25th at the New York United Nations Summit by 193 Member States. In the same occasion, the UN launched their post-2015 development agenda, in which the Goals are integrated. UN Member States, the civil society and private sector contributors will use this new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators to guide development global efforts over the next 15 years in a concerted international action within the broadest, most ambitious development agenda ever agreed at the global level. The 17 Goals and 169 Targets are meant to be action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate, aspirational, global in nature and universally applicable to all countries, while taking into account the different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities.
The Foundation for Environmental Education with its global network thus needs to frame and highlight its role as a stakeholder and trendsetter in the Sustainable Development process, particularly for environmental, educational and eco-tourism matters. The SDGs will define a relevant part of the context within which FEE operates, thus we are driven to reflect our work in the Goals.
FEE through its mission of fostering awareness, knowledge, participation, commitment, skills, actions and creativity on the environment and on sustainable development, shares the core values behind the set of SDGs. The programmes based on Education for Sustainable Development, such as YRE, Eco-Schools and LEAF show a strong link with the educational Goal (SDG 4) and the Goal on global partnership for sustainable development (SDG 17). FEE’s tourism eco-labels, Green Key and Blue Flag, on the other hand, have a focus on making human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG 11) and on implementing tools for monitoring sustainable development impacts for tourism (SDG 12.b).
Thus, FEE as an umbrella organisation aims at reaching objectives as indicated in the SDGs:
– “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” (SDG 3).
– “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all” (SDG 4).
– “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water..” (SDG 6),
– “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all” (SDG 7),
– “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development” (SDG14), as well as to
– “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems..” (SDG 15).
– “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth..” (SDG 8), particularly to “..Implement policies to promote sustainable tourism which creates jobs, promotes local culture and products” (SDG 8.9).
– “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (SDG 11).
– “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns” (SDG 12).
– “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” (SDG 13).
– “..Promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems..” (SDG 15).
– “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development..” (SDG 16), particularly to build transparent institutions and promote non-discriminatory policies for sustainable development (SDGs 16.6, 16.b) with a positive, proactive, democratic modus operandi and a strong synergic support to civil society and third sector.
– “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” (SDG 17) through a geographically spread, multi-stakeholder approach.
a) YRE: Young Reporters for the Environment is a network of international youth engaged in environmental journalism and Education for Sustainable Development, where the students investigate an environmental problem and report it to the local community, while, at the international level, they may cooperate with young reporters from other countries for sharing information or data, with the aim of proposing a solution and disseminating it.
The most evident link between the Young Reporters for the Environment programme and the SDGs is found in the Goal 4:
“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality educationand promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” and its subparagraphs“..increase … the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship” (SDG 4.4) with the aim of learning to think critically, “ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skillsneeded to promote sustainable development, including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of cultures contribution to sustainable development” (SDG 4.7) for being able to connectwith concrete issues.
The environmental educational programme thus also wish for taking “action to combat climate change and its impacts” (SDG13), specifically for what concerns to “improveeducation, awareness raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning” (SDG 13.3) through active solution-oriented learning. The programme canalso help to“promote mechanisms for raising capacities for effective climate change related planning and management, in LDCs, including focusing on women, youth, local and marginalized communities” (SDG 13.b).
YRE is a network of young people educating for sustainable developmentand environmental issues in general, thus it also supportsthe aim of many other SDGs, such as:
“Promotesustainable agriculture” (SDG 2).
“Promote well-beingfor all at all ages” (SDG 3).
“Achieve gender equality and empowerall womenand girls” (SDG 5).
“Ensure availability and sustainable management of waterand sanitation for all”, supporting and strengthening the participation of local communities (SDG6)
“Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energyfor all”(SDG7)
“Promotesustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, developing measures that support creativity and innovation (SDG8)
“Build resilient infrastructure, promoteinclusive and sustainableindustrializationand fosterinnovation”enhancing scientific research (SDG9)
“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable … Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality, municipal and other waste management”(SDG 11)
“Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”, raising awareness on sustainable development and lifestyles which are in harmony with nature (SDG12)
“Conserve and sustainably use the oceans seas and marine resources for sustainable development”, aiming to preventmarine pollution and protectmarine and coastal ecosystems (SDG14)
“Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”, promoting the implementation of sustainable management of the forests (SDG15)
YRE helps to “Promotepeaceful and inclusive societies for sustainabledevelopment..”(SDG16)
YRE can encourage to “..Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” (SDG17)
The journalistic piece can influence the local communities to take action on various environmental matters
b) ECO-SCHOOLS: A global student-led change process in Education for Sustainable Development which involves also teachers’ training, integration in the school curriculum, environmental reviews, action plans, monitoring and evaluation, informing and involving the local community, setting an eco-code focusing on the various environmental themes (water, energy, waste, global citizenship..).
The programme is fully in line with the Goals:
“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” increasing the number of youth and adults with relevant skills and ensuring that all learners acquire knowledge for promoting sustainable development, developinga culture of peace and global citizenship while upgrading education facilities to child, disability and gender sensitive ones as to provide a safe, inclusive and effective learning environment for all(SDG 4)
“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, strengthening efforts to safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritagewith a focus on schools’ waste management, resource efficiency and climate change mitigation (e.g. Litter Less Campaign) (SDG 11)
“Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” (SDG 17).
The implementation of the Eco-Schools programme also works towards the achievement of the aim of more SDGs, such as:
“Ensure healthy lives and promote well-beingfor all at all ages” (SDG 3)
“Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, improving water quality and water-use efficiency with pollution reduction, minimizing the release ofhazardous chemicals, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater,increasing recycling or safe reuse and ensuring sustainable withdrawals together with the strengthening of the participation of local communitiesfor such purposes (SDG 6)
“Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all” increasing the share of renewable energy and energy efficiency, with the result of creating also savings (SDG 7)
“Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”with the improvement of resource efficiency in consumption and production as to endeavour to decouple economic growthfrom environmental degradation (SDG 8)
“Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation” (SDG 9)
“Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”, using the natural resources efficiently, reducing the waste generation (including the food waste) and managing sustainably the chemical products (SDG 12)
“Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”specially improving education, awareness raising and capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning (SDG 13)
“Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrialecosystems..” (SDG 15)
“Promotepeacefuland inclusivesocietiesfor sustainable development… and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” highlighting the theme ofsocial justice(SDG 16).
c) LEAF: Learning About Forests wants to encourage environmental education through awareness raising among students, teachers and the wider school community, to increase knowledge about the key role forests play for sustainable life on our planet, reflecting their cultural, ecological, economic and social functions, with themes as biodiversity, climate, products or services, codes and myths.
The key Goals linked to the Learning About Forests programme are:
“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, increasing the number of youths and adults who have relevant skills and ensuring that all learners (referring to the whole school community) acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including through education for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature (SDG 4)
“Ensure availability and sustainable management of water..”, protecting water-related ecosystems and supporting the participation of local communitiesfor improving water management(SDG 6)
“Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainable manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”, ensuring a sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, including their biodiversity, in particular forests, wetlands mountains and drylands, preventing the extinction of threatened species(SDG 15)
The principles behind LEAF are compatible with the aim of more SDGs:
“End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promotesustainable agriculture”, implementing agricultural practices, such as the tree-planting events, which help maintain ecosystems and progressively improve land and soil quality (SDG 2)
“Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” (SDG3)
“Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainableand modern energyfor all” (SDG7)
“Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment..”, endeavouring to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation and devising policies that encourage sustainable tourism which promotes local culture and products, such as jobs related to the forest, while learning to respect the forest community as well as its myths, laws and codes (SDG8)
“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage while supporting positive links between the urban and the rural areas as to widen the access to inclusive green and publicspaces (SDG11)
“Ensure sustainable consumption patterns” through relevant information and awareness for achieving sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources (SDG12)
“Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” improving education and awareness raising on climatechange and the role of forests (SDG13)
“Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” (SDG17).
d) BLUE FLAG: The world’s biggest voluntary eco-label for beaches, marinas and eco-tourism boats works towards sustainable development through compliance with criteria dealing with environmental education and information, environmental management, water quality, safety and other services.
The principles and rules of the programme comply with the content of many Goals:
“Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, improving water quality with pollution reduction and minimization of hazardous chemicals release, increasing recycling, safe reuse and water-use efficiency through the usage of sustainable withdrawals as to protect water-related ecosystems also with the support and participation of local communities (SDG 6)
“Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”improving the resource efficiencyin consumption while devising and implementing policies to promote sustainable tourism which creates job, promotes local culture and products.Blue Flag focuses as well on the protection of labour rights together with the promotion of a safe and secure working environment and the prohibition of child labour (SDG 8)
“Build resilient infrastructure..”upgrading it as to be sustainable and equipped with clean technologies (SDG 9)
“by 2030 empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status”with the aim of reducing inequalities and discriminatory practices for wages as social protection policies (SDG 10.2)
“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”enhancing capacities for participatory and sustainable human settlements as to strengthen the efforts for safeguarding the world’s cultural and natural heritage while providing universal access to the public spaces particularly for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities(SDG 11)
“Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”for the efficient use of natural resources, through a sound management and reduction of chemicals and wastes and the promotion of sustainable public procurement practices (SDG 12)
“Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”preventing and reducing marine pollutionalso from land-based activities, addressing the impacts of ocean acidification and conserving coastal and marine areas. Blue Flags also contributes in increasing the economic benefits to SIDS and LDCs with the sustainable use of marine resources through tourism (SDG 14)
“Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems… halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss” for halting the loss of biodiversity and preventing the extinction of threatened species, also through the integration of ecosystem values into local planning policies (SDG 15).
The implementation of the Blue Flag programme also work towards the aim of several more SDGs:
• “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” (SDG3)
• “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”as education has a central role in the programme and reaches out for all the persons involved in it as well as for theusers (SDG4)
• “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”(SDG5)
• “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable,and modern energy for all” to help increasing the share of renewable energy and energy efficiency(SDG7)
• “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”(SDG 13)
• “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development..”enforcing non-discriminatory policies for sustainable development (SDG16)
• Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”through a multi-stakeholder partnership, which involves also public partnersand local authorities,where knowledge and expertise are shared (SDG17)
e) GREEN KEY: This eco-label for tourism facilities (hotels, campsites, small accommodations, tourist attractions and restaurants) is a voluntary award that aims at contributing to prevent climate change and reach sustainable tourism by awarding and promoting best practice, with the goal of changing the environmental practices at the awarded establishments but also the behaviour of tourism actors, including guests, staff, suppliers, authorities, local communities so to involve them in increasingly safeguarding their own environment. The focus is on themes such as environmental management, water, waste and energy saving, involvement and awareness of guests and staff, management of food and beverage and open spaces.
For what concerns the part of the programme related to environmental management, the Goals mainly involved are:
“Ensure … sustainable management of water..” improving its quality, having the proportion of untreated wastewater, increasing recycling, safe reuse and sustainable withdrawals of freshwater (SDG 6)
“Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”setting rules for developing or upgrading quality infrastructures to support economic development and human well-being for an increased resource use efficiency and greateradoption of clean technologies (SDG 9)
“Make … human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”paying attention to air quality, indoor environment and waste management as to tackle climate change(SDG 11)
“Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”with rules for achieving sustainable management of natural resources,respecting eco-criteria for food and beverages, reducing waste generationand achieving environmentallysound management of chemicals (SDG 12).
This way the programme “develops and implements tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism which creates jobs, promotes local culture and products” (12.b).
As an eco-tourism programme focused on the environmental awareness of staff and guests, the Goals principally involved are:
“Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being..” where the programme has to encourage the users to take part in green activities (SDG 3)
“..ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights..” as part of the “educational Goal” (number 4), whereby the learners are the recipients of the environmental information expected in the implementation of the programme (SDG 4.7)
“Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, as the Green Key programme sets Corporate Social Responsibility and safety rules for the workers(SDG 8)
“Take urgent action tocombat climate change and its impacts”through a reduced environmental impact but also through the improvement of education and awareness raising for both the facilities’ staff and users (SDG 13)
“..revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” (SDG 17).
Aleksandra Mladenovic of EASD, participated as ECF ECRAN regional representative at the Regional training on the process of designation of potential Natura 2000 sites, November 4-5, 2014; Podgorica, Montenegro.
Training was very useful and interesting, experienced presenters provided quality and sufficient information and discussions were simply and informative.
The training was moderated by Mr. Petr Roth, with experts-presenters from EU: Carlos Romao, EEA; Michael Hošek, Krkonose NP, Ministry of Environment, Czech Republic; András Schmidt, Ministry for Rural Development, Hungary; Erika Stanciu, ProPark Foundation, Romania; Jasminka Radović, SINP Croatia. Specific objectives of the meeting were to provide staff of public administration and expert bodies of ECRAN beneficiary countries responsible for preparation of (future) Natura 2000 network with exhaustive information about the particular steps of its building, their logical order, data, expertise, time and funding requirements, to make them familiar with the requirements of the European Commission, and to provide them with practical examples from current EU MS. All these information have been shared and will serve as a background for preparing roadmaps for each particular country, but also for formulating their requirements for funding, personnel and time needed for accomplishing their tasks.
The UN Secretary-General announced the launch of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) on August 9, 2012. The Solutions Network mobilizes scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector in support of sustainable-development problem solving at local, national, and global scales. This Solutions Network accelerates joint learning and helps to overcome the compartmentalization of technical and policy work by promoting integrated approaches to the interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges confronting the world. The SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, as well as other international organizations. The Network is structured around 12 Thematic Groups of global experts that work to identify common solutions and highlight best practices. They also provide technical support to the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Executive Committee approve EASD membership in July 2013 ( Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development Acceptance ).
Since the first UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 – the Earth Summit – it was recognized that sustainable development could not be achieved by governments alone. This notion is reflected emphatically in the landmark outcome document of that Summit, “Agenda 21”. Section 3 underscores the criticality of harnessing expertise and capacity from all sectors of society and all types of people: consumers, workers, business owners, farmers, students, teachers, researchers, activists, indigenous peoples, and other communities of interest.
Sustainable development goes together with allowing people to broadly engage in development policy making. UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform serves to provide wide access to information and knowledge for sustainable development, through its online and social media. EASD involvement in process is approved by UN. It also helps build the capacity, knowledge and skills base of Major Groups. It supports, facilitates and monitors voluntary Partnerships for Sustainable Development and monitors the more than 750 voluntary commitments registered at Rio+20. It also promotes online and face-to-face knowledge and skills acquisition by stakeholders through its SD-Learning programme.