- Life on Earth is possible because of the warmth of the sun. While some of this incoming solar radiation bounces back into space, a small portion of it is trapped by the delicate balance of gases that make up our atmosphere. Without this layer of insulation, Earth would simply be another frozen rock hurtling through space. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important gas in this layer of insulation.
- Carbon is stored all over the planet — in plants, soil, the ocean, and even us. We release it into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide through activities such as burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) and cutting down trees. As a result, today’s atmosphere contains 32 per cent more carbon dioxide than it did at the start of the industrial era.
- We have released so much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that our planet’s atmosphere is now like a thick, heat-trapping blanket. By disrupting the atmospheric balance that keeps the climate stable, we are now seeing extreme effects around the globe. It’s like a thermostat that’s gone haywire — it just doesn’t work the way it should. The result: the climate changes, and it gets warmer. Extreme weather events also become more common.
- Global warming has already begun. Since 1900, the global average temperature has risen by 0.6 degrees Celsius, and the northern hemisphere is substantially warmer than at any point during the past 1,000 years.
Archive for June, 2012
The food and agriculture sector offers key solutions for development, and is central for hunger and poverty eradication.
Here are some facts and figures:
- Agriculture is the single largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods for 40 per cent of today’s global population. It is the largest source of income and jobs for poor rural households.
- 500 million small farms worldwide, most still rainfed, provide up to 80 per cent of food consumed in a large part of the developing world. Investing in smallholder women and men is an important way to increase food security and nutrition for the poorest, as well as food production for local and global markets.
- Since the 1900s, some 75 per cent of crop diversity has been lost from farmers’ fields. Better use of agricultural biodiversity can contribute to more nutritious diets, enhanced livelihoods for farming communities and more resilient and sustainable farming systems.
- 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity worldwide – most of which live in rural areas of the developing world. Energy poverty in many regions is a fundamental barrier to reducing hunger and ensuring that the world can produce enough food to meet future demand.
June 6th, 2012 / Worldwide
Education for Sustainability invites all schools (that are not already in our network) to join us in a joint effort to put sustainability on the curriculum and thus ensure children and youth have the skills to become citizens of a sustainable future.
Input from schools is essential in developing country specific coherent arguments that will help us advocate this initiative with the ministries and other respective governmental bodies (or, as we like to call them – “the decision makers”).
Many schools are already involved in sustainability projects, usually through extracurricular activities. Sharing your experiences and stories would help inspire other schools to get involved too (maybe even create an extracurricular activity of their own), while together we work towards putting sustainability on the regular curriculum.
We have created a Wiki database (you can access it from our home page – please check out menu tabs in the upper right corner), and this section shares current situation in 30+ countries with regards to teaching sustainability and environment focused subjects.
(Please note that the Wiki page is work in progress. Should you know of a change in the system, update or even a wrong info that we might have misinterpreted, please send us an email to email@example.com and we’ll sort it out.)
To gather more insights and understand your experiences, we have created simple questionnaires that schools’ representatives can fill in and return to us (once you fill them in, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org ). You can also complete the questionnaires online by choosing your country from this menu.
If your country is not on the list, but you’d like your school to be a part of this initiative, or you have experiences you’d like to share with us, please send us an email to email@example.com
Finally, do subscribe to our monthly newsletter for updates, progress reports, free publications and other resources.
posted by Education4Sustainability , photo credits Michigan.gov
The basic idea for this project was triggered during the “Knowledge, Youth and Global Commons” international conference, held at Woerthersee, Austria in mid-September 2011. (this link will provide you with the programme of the conference, but also give you access to our notes from the conference – do read those – as they share both thought provoking and inspiring quotes and insights)
As we discussed and brainstormed the situation in the regions we have been active in thus far (South East Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central and Eastern Mediterranean) one point kept surfacing – in order to make any significant, long term change that would impact the quality of life, the route of development and future generations – we need to educate people on sustainability and related concepts (from sustainable development and sustainable way of life, to sustainability in business, sustainability science, sustainability management).
While in the Western countries sustainable development can be found as a separate subject in schools’ and university curricula, less developed countries, countries in transition, and countries related to as “emerging markets” were still a long way from even considering of introducing sustainable development in schools’ curricula. In most cases this lack of action is caused by other internal (and often external) issues that seem to be more pressing (political turbulence, economic hardship, human rights issues, difficult transition period and similar). Still, what could be more pressing than ensuring the sustainable future for the generations to come? (Not to mention that Sustainable Development “ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges faced by humanity, and that the concept of sustainable development is often broken out into three constituent parts: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and sociopolitical sustainability” / Wikipedia)
When asking ourselves “what would be the most effective way of helping”, we defined our answer as “let’s do our best to help introduce Sustainable development in the schools’ curricula in the countries and regions where that is not yet the case.” And here we are trying to do just that.
This website was created as a hub, a meeting point, if you will, where we will share not only the progress of this project, but also case studies and practices done by different organizations, businesses, municipalities and governments, we will give you insights in sustainable lifestyle, sustainable science, sustainable economy, we will share facts and stories, opinions and ideas, with the hope that some (or all) of it will inspire you to join us in creating a sustainable future for our children.
Please read the Project Brief and Frequently Asked Questions for more information, and there is also the Wiki page, with more detailed data on educational systems, legislative framework, environmental and sustainability issues, green economy.
We would love to have you on board, helping us during implementation of the project – if you’d like to join in, please check out Join Us tab. And that’s not all – check back daily for blog posts, subscribe to our newsletter, and join us on social networks.
Posted by Sandra Antonovic; Sandra is the International Projects Director and Chair of the Board of Nektarina Non Profit. She serves on a pro bono basis.