News came the other day of a day-long workshop for WEEC participants on the question of what environmental education is, should be, and either might or must become. Such a "is, should be, and either might or must become" confection can only have been dreamt up by a committee tired of arguing. The blurb continues:
Drawing on local to international perspectives, expert contributions and debate, we invite participants to re-engage this question at a critical juncture in the politics of the environment. The workshop uses three distinct markers from historic to contemporary international policy developments to engage these questions:
- it is 40 years since the UN’s Tbilisi Declaration on the framework, principles, and guidelines for environmental education at all levels.
- since the end of the UN’s Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, environmental education has been positioned as central to a wide range of initiatives, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Action Programme, and Climate Change Education.
- on May 26, 2016, the United Nations Environment Programme secured over 200 national signatories to a resolution entitled, “Investing in human capacity for sustainable development through environmental education and training” during the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.
The workshop is for environmental educators, activists, scholars and researchers. It will include invited panels and participatory discussion sessions that:
- investigate how we understand environmental education, including its origins, turning points and contexts for development;
- debate key considerations from the past to present and into the future, from the worlds of practice, policy and scholarship; and
- strategize for impact across a diversity of possible approaches, new directions and future scenarios for the field.
Sadly, however, you have to go to WEEC in order to participate. The email that brought these glad tidings came with a photograph of a woman with her face buried deep in her shawl, clearly distressed at this news.