All those declarations

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I wrote about Tbilisi about 6 months ago, wondering how that eponymous declaration would be celebrated, 40 years on.  And, about 5 years ago, I set out a list of the significant EE world conferences etc.  This was thanks to Alan Reid's very helpful posting to the EE Mailbase: making links to EE declarations / resolutions / reports / charters / strategies /  from 1972 onwards.  For the record, here they are:

The Stockholm Declaration 1972

The Belgrade Charter 1975

The Tbilisi Declaration Report 1977

The Moscow Strategy 1987

The Rio Declaration 1992

The Thessaloniki Declaration 1997

The Johannesburg Declaration 2002

United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014

UNECE Strategy for ESD

The Ahmedabad Declaration 2007

The Bonn Declaration 2009

This is not as long a list as some would like, and the world is full of folk who want to add their own immodest efforts to what's here.  Nothing here either about WEEC or UNECE, for example (whatever happened to UNECE by the way?), or the various COPs or the widening GAP.  I commented at the time I compiled this list: Reading the early [reports] reminds us how little progress we have made, suggesting that we read Tbilisi, and weep.  If only we'd done what we said we would.  If only different factions hadn't been so certain.  If only we hadn't attacked each other so much.  If only, ... .

I note, as the conference season looms, that various groups are out to celebrate the legacy of Tbilisi.  You know how the argument will go: There's a direct line of successful activism from Tbilisi to Paris.  This is another way of saving that if it hadn't been for environmental education, the Paris Agreement would not have happened.  But it's nonsense, and there’s a lot to be said for due modesty.  How about this as an account of how it works:

  1. Effective environmental education (etc) informs and enriches the school experience ...
  2. Resulting in both child and and family learning about sustainability ...
  3. Leading to a higher proportion of people who are aware, informed and concerned about the issues we face ...
  4. Who (can then) bring influence and pressure to bear, as consumers and citizens, on business and government ...
  5. Leading to informed shifts in policy and practice, locally, nationally and globally ...
  6. Resulting in improved socio-economic and environmental conditions – including ...
  7. An education system where environmental education (etc) are no longer needed because they are part of the mainstream.

This is not good enough, in part because it fails the dog-training test, so expect more about this.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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