Green Cross International (GCI) held the 16th Education for Sustainable Development Conference 25-26 June in at the Gorbachev Foundation in Moscow, Russia. The conference sought to develop proposals for the introduction of Education for Sustainable Development into national standards, analyze existing problems and identify and disseminate best practices.
Key issues covered at the Conference included the conceptual model of education for sustainable development; change of priorities in content and teaching methods; sources of content; integration of schools, institutions and informal education; teaching children in wildlife; and environmental safety as a priority in public policy. The Conference also reviewed Education for Sustainable Development in Central Asia, the European Union, Azerbaijan and other countries, the issues of ecological safety in the modern world, education for sustainable water use and efficiency, for biodiversity conservation, as well as provision of social and medical assistance to people living in ecologically disadvantaged regions. Further discussions included terminology, approaches to the renewal of educational content and innovative pedagogical techniques in teaching.
Reports covering experience in implementing the ideas of sustainable development in early childhood education, the forms and methods of teaching in higher education, the opportunity to use Education for Sustainable Development as a way of modernizing school education and innovative practices in St. Petersburg and Estonia were highlighted.
As a result, the Conference adopted a number of appeals for support of Education for Sustainable Development in Russia and other countries. In addition, concern was also expressed about plans to raise the level of the Cheboksary reservoir in Russia to 68 metres, which could lead to the inundation of vast areas of forests, fields and a number of settlements, including the city of Nizhny Novgorod.
Around 200 people attended representing the government, public and scientific organizations, environmental authorities, the media, environmental education experts, curriculum developers and teachers. Also taking part in the conference were representatives from Green Cross Russia, Switzerland, Estonia, Ukraine and Belarus. Participants came from all over Russia and the world with 38 regions of Russia, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan represented at the conference.
Partners of the conference included Green Cross Russia, Green Cross Switzerland, the Russian Ecological Congress, the Socio-Ecological Union, the Academy MNEPU, the Norwegian Society for Nature Conservation and the Embassy of Finland in Russia.