As the UNESCO decade for ESD draws to an end, UNESCO has reviewed progress, and will this November launch a new Global Action Programme focussed on four key areas which most urgently need more attention.
My own journey, and Bristol's very much reflects the picture UNESCO has found. A decade ago ESD was largely below the radar in Higher Education (HE). Lots of great things were going on, but as local initiatives by keen academics. Typical of the time, we won our first Times Higher Award and Green Gown Award for what was then a very innovative interdisciplinary open unit on Sustainable Development, available to any student, whatever their degree. Nearly a decade later, UNESCO has set us all the challenge of moving from hot spots of excellence to whole institution approaches. Bristol has committed to meeting that challenge.
|The University of Bristol collects|
its 2nd Green Gown Award in
Our UNESCO commitment is to ensure all students encounter sustainability through their formal studies, have opportunities to link theory and practice through informal activity or community based projects, learn subliminally about sustainable lifestyles through the way the precinct is run (estates) and understand how central sustainability in its many aspects is to our research. This autumn in advance of the Nagoya launch, all Bristol students will be encouraged to take the Global Sustainability Literacy Test. As one of the launch partners, the Cabot Institute as a research institute is central to this - showing the importance of living with uncertainty and bringing people together on an interdisciplinary basis to address these challenges.
Whether your expertise is in environmental, social, economic or cultural sustainability you have an important part to play in building both the knowledge and skill sets to help achieve the UNESCO aims.
Bristol has pledged to play its part.
This blog post is written by Cabot Institute member, Chris Willmore, University Academic Director of Undergraduate Studies, University of Bristol
- Education for Sustainable Development at the University of Bristol
- Community Based Learning at the Cabot Institute