The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, EAD, will share its efforts on educating for sustainability with Abu Dhabi's educational institutions at the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, ESD, which is being held in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan, from 10th-12th November under the banner: "Learning Today for a Sustainable Future".
The conference will mark the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, ESD 2005-2014, and create a roadmap to launch the Global Action Programme, GAP, a follow-up to the decade that will propose new goals and objectives, priority action areas and strategies.
More than 1,000 participants from over 100 countries are expected to attend the conference, including representatives of UNESCO Member States, NGOs, academia, the private sector, individual experts, youth and UN agencies.
The conference, which is co-organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, and the Government of Japan, which is also hosting and funding the event, will be opened by UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Georgieva Bokova, Naruhito, the Crown Prince of Japan and Princess Lalla Hasna of Morocco, the President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.
The conference will host four plenary sessions and a high-level roundtable over a three-day period. 34 workshops, 25 side events and 44 exhibition booths will give stakeholders and partners an opportunity to showcase their work and discuss specific ESD issues. Successful initiatives from all over the world will help to generate future action under the GAP.
Fozeya Al Mahmoud, Director of Environmental Outreach at EAD, will participate in the conference as part of a high level delegation from the U.A.E. and will also act as a moderator for one of the conference's workshop on "Water".
EAD, with its experience on the Sustainable Schools Initiative, has also been invited by UNESCO to conduct a workshop along with United Nations University of Advanced Study on Sustainability, UNU- IAS, to celebrate the Achievements of the Decade. UNU, with its vast regional and global expertise, has been paired with EAD for its concrete local context and experience.
The workshop will focus on how the multi-stakeholder engagement processes and a cross sector approach can benefit and advance learning on ESD. It will also engage with its participants to examine how this learning could be expanded and extended beyond the decade.
The Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI) and the Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI) are looked upon as a strong examples of how varied stakeholders such as ADEC, ADWEA, CWM, BP and Borouge strongly support EAD in their efforts to reduce the environmental footprint and increase the handprint, which are positive actions towards sustainability, with students and youth in schools and colleges in the emirate.
The workshop will facilitate discussions from 151 participants from 67 countries including GCC and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. Rasha Al Madfai, Section Manager - Environmentally Sustainable Schools and Gayatri Raghwa, Outreach Programme Senior Specialist, will be conducting the workshop on behalf of EAD due to their intense and close involvement with the implementation of the SSI and the SCI.
The EAD education team will also participate in the GUPES Partnership Forum, Global University Partnership on Environment and Sustainability.
GUPES is one of the flagship programmes of UNEP's Environmental Education and Training Unit (EETU) and it has received seed funding from EAD under the Eye on Earth Initiative that is led by the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI). GUPES, which was launched on 5th of June, 2012, is a platform that engages universities globally in responding to the challenges of sustainable development by supporting innovative and relevant approaches to education.
In the forum, EAD will showcase the Sustainable Campus Initiative, which was recently launched in Abu Dhabi, and share its two manuals, Shabab Al Estidama and Basmat Al Shabab Al Beeyia, in addition to introducing its SCI website for the international audience.
EAD is also slated to deliver a presentation on the sidelines of the event organised by UNEP on "Towards a Sustainable Campus" along with international experts from China, UK, Brazil, Japan and Kenya.
The agency will also feature its programmes at an exhibition that is being held alongside the conference, and will showcase successful ESD projects, where EAD was selected to be one of the 23 exhibitors from UNESCO's stakeholders and partners around the world.
At its closing, the conference will announce the Aichi-Nagoya Declaration, which will be an important contribution to the new sustainable development goals that come into effect in 2015. It will also provide input to the World Education Forum, taking place in Incheon, Republic of Korea, next May.