Beyond COP21 Symposium as a Strategy for Promoting Change

Beyond COP21 Symposium as a Strategy for Promoting Change

This guest blog is from Peter Milne, Founder/Director of Target 4 Green and Sustainable Schools Alliance member.

You can read the full article published in the International Teacher Magazine

Peter Milne shares a  full overview of a Beyond COP21 Symposium here.

Strategy for promoting change

The basic aim of ‘Education for Sustainable Development’ is to nurture an individual who is able to solve environmental challenges facing the world and promote the formation of a sustainable society.

The change needed to implement ESD effectively can be broken down into three elements:

  1. The need for physical change: looking at how schools, households and businesses can reduce their waste, water and energy and focus on more sustainable resources in general.
  2. The mindset change: this is all about raising environmental understanding, awareness and action programmes throughout the school and business communities through workshops, cross-curricular activities and presentations, so that everybody is on the ‘same page’, as well as giving students and employees a voice. This leads to a fundamental change in attitudes and the choices people make.
  3. Learning to respect others and appreciate the environment, as well as giving back to society: this is focused around the opportunities to learn beyond the workplace and home, and connect to nature, as well as helping communities in need. In a nutshell, it about being more caring.

Partnerships and action-orientated behaviour, within all three aspects, are crucially important to their success. Environmental awareness in itself is not enough because awareness without meaningful action and behaviour change goes nowhere. This approach can be illustrated in the Beyond COP21 Symposium series, currently running globally with the support of Eco-Schools Global and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. (“COP 21” refers to the 2015 Paris Summit at which a number of crucial climate action targets were agreed)

A symposium consists of themed high impact presentations from, and discussions with, guest speakers on the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) Agenda 2030 and climate negotiations in and beyond the Paris It also involves individual & community action, pledge-making and practical activities/workshops. Local sustainable companies and organisations are invited to showcase their initiatives and engage with students from a variety of schools, both local and expat, in each city or region.

Successfully run in Dubai twice, in the UK once and most recently in Jordan, at the Ahliyyah School for Girls, a 2018 event, to be held at the Tanglin Trust School in Singapore, is now in preparation. Further interest has also come from schools in Malaysia, Laos, Sri Lanka, UAE and Jordan.

Read the full article published in the International Teacher Magazine here.