Need for the Conference
ICSE was planned with a view to explore pathways to address current and emerging sustainability challenges through education by empowering learners with new skills, values and attitudes that lead to more sustainable societies. The conference will look into various facets of sustainability education from a broader perspective taking into consideration global issues and challenges as well as regional and national realities. Sustainability education gained importance during the U N Decade of Education for a Sustainable Development (2005-2014) which promoted the integration of principles, values and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and teaching from kindergarten up to university and lifelong learning. The decade was followed up by Global Action Programme (GAP 2015-19) to scale-up ESD and accelerate progress towards sustainable development. Agenda 2030 and associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognized the important role of education by making it as a specific goal (SDG 4.7) and also by including targets on education under several other SDGs. This was also emphasized under UN General Assembly Resolution 72/2227 which recognizes ESD as “an integral element of SDG 4 on education and a key enabler of all the other SDGs”.
While underpinning the importance of global context of ESD, the need for such a conference is particularly important in the South Asian context as the region is facing unprecedented sustainability challenges which urgently require a shift in our lifestyles and a transformation of the way we think and act. The school education system in the region need to respond to these challenges by empowering educators and learners to include sustainability principles in their curriculum and pedagogies in an appropriate manner. The conference besides providing a platform for sharing learnings and experiences from across the spectrum, will come forward with suitable recommendations and action plans for bringing much needed transformation in education for a sustainable future.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges that humanity is facing today, causing extreme weather and climate catastrophes such as rising sea levels, melting glaciers, more frequent and intense disasters, and loss of biodiversity etc. In view of enormity of the adverse impacts of climate change, countries have reached an agreement to take urgent steps to limit the temperature rise below 1.5°C under the Paris Agreement in 2015. However, the recent IPCC Assessment Report (2023) has highlighted the unprecedented scale of the challenge required to keep warming to 1.5°C due to a continued increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The report underscores the need for education to galvanize urgent action by all the stakeholders, governments, civil society, businesses as well as general public to address the global climate crisis and achieve sustainability.
To encourage collective action in order to address the global challenge of climate change, Mobius Foundation is organising the 5th International Conference on Sustainability Education (ICSE) on the theme, “Educating for Climate Action and Sustainability”. The conference will mainly focus on the need to engage the participants toward a shift from dialogue to action for sustainability and to catalyse the transition to build the knowledge, skill and attitude needed to drive meaningful transformation towards climate action and sustainability.
Concept note for International Conference on Sustainability Education.