On July 1-3rd, GC Russia hosted the 14th International Education for Sustainable Development Conference in Velikii Novgorod, Russia. The conference was co-organized by Green Cross, the Public Chamber of Russia, the Socio-Ecological Union and the Russian Environmental Congress.
The aim of the conference is to promote a more comprehensive education system in sustainable development in the region, promote healthier living, and raise public awareness as to the state of the environment. Discussions were held regarding the integration of different forms of education in programs and new forms of public engagement to address issues of public health, natural resources and the role of government in education and energy policy. The issues were discussed in plenary section meetings and round-table discussions with strong conclusions on how to improve education on sustainable development.
The multi-disciplinary conference brought together teachers and experts in education and ecology fields, state representatives, public and academic organizations and other environmental service experts to discuss the effectiveness of current programs and projects in Russia and neighboring countries. Specifically, discussion forums focused on the integration of the informal and formal methods of education in society and solutions were proposed as to how to reach all populations in all segments of society. Emphasis on educational techniques and styles was made in the workshop as well as the motivational techniques and training currently applied to teaching staff.
Development is strongly linked to the proper use of natural resources. This is why topics such as renewable energy and the economical use of non-renewable resources in the resource-saving policy were addressed. Public education on the sustainable use, protection and conservation of natural resources has become increasingly important as societies pressure governments to adopt large-scale shifts in energy-saving policy.
The final outcome of the conference resulted in a consensus to adopt more effective education strategies:
– To boost the activity of public organizations in the initiation of new programs with the aim of reforming public education on sustainable development.
– To strengthen the role of libraries in the provision of environmental information. According to recommendations, GC Russia has also pledged to improve the services and resources available in regional libraries throughout Russia, and to ensure the provision of traditional and electronic media on environmental issues.
– To promote the motivational factors of the educational system in order to increase student interest in environmental studies.
– To pay special attention to environmental terminology, meaning and significance of the theory and basic notions of sustainable development.
– Provide recommendations and integrated content to the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia in the coming years to include in the federal component of environmental education in schools. The content that will eventually be proposed is entitled “Ecology of Russia and sustainable development”.
Overall, the implementation challenges existing today in the formal and informal education sectors have been addressed successfully with agreed strategies and recommendations. Equally, the importance of international collaboration on education for sustainable development activities was also stressed, with special focus on the relationship between health and sustainable development in school curriculums. It is hoped that Russian institutions and neighboring countries will implement the recommendations discussed in the coming years to join world efforts to rasie awareness and understanding on today’s major ecological issues.
Contact information of Alexander Fyodorov, Communications Director GC Russia