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Making the Good Things Last - UNESCO

Making the Good Things Last

Kia mau tonu ai, ko nga hua pai

What is the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development about? There can be few pressing and critical goals for the future of humankind than to ensure the steady improvement in the quality of life for our generations and those that follow in a way that respects our common heritage: the planet we live on. The decade or DESD challenges the peoples of the world to combine and coordinate sustainability activities in the three spheres of sustainable development: environmental, social/cultural and economic.

Whose idea was it? The decade is from 2004-2015, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly with UNESCO designated as the lead UN agency to promote the decade. Each member country defines its own priorities, actions and goals to meet local aspirations. In New Zealand the UNESCO national commission (ww.unesco.org.nz) has identified the decade and its promotion as a major focus for coming years.

What is sustainability?

“The future will be green or not at all . . .this truth lies at the heart of humankind’s most pressing challenge . . . to learn to live in harmony with the Earth on a genuinely sustainable basis” Sir Jonathan Porritt

“Improving the quality of life for all without damaging the environment or the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” Vision 21

“Hei Whatu Ngaro Ngaro he Tangata, Ko te Kainga Tu tonu”

“People disappear from sight, But the land remains for ever”

Whakatauki Maori

“Through Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) we should acquire a better understanding of the complex interdependence between human needs and the natural environment, between economics and culture, and between the local and the global. Ultimately, the Decade’s goal is to integrate the values inherent in sustainable development into all aspects of learning to encourage changes in attitudes and behaviour that allow for a more sustainable and just society for all.” Koichiira Matsuura, UNESCO secretary general

What is UNESCO?

United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation is a UN agency formed in 1945 working for world peace and international understanding through education, natural and social sciences, cultural and communications.

Where can I go for more information?

Go to: http://www.phase2.org/2006-undesd.cfm



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