What is sustainable development about? This is difficult to answer, as sustainable development is a complex and multifaceted concept. The most common definition by the World Commission on Environment and Development states that 'humanity has the ability to make development sustainable - to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (Brundtland 1987). This definition refers to a fair and sound living together and hence to inter-generational as well as intra-generational equity. Sustainable development thus is aimed at fulfilling the basic needs of people around the world; that their lives become more livable; that people realize their responsibility for their own generation as well as for future
The third Training of Trainers module on biodiversity will be hosted by CEIFA Ambiente in Portugal. The training will take place from May 27 to 31 in Torres de Vedra, a small town in the West region of Portugal, about 45 km from Lisbon. The region is an excellent pick for a training on biodiversity as it is home to manifold landscapes including costal zones, forests, farms, mountains and urban areas. The training will be held by Prof. Dr. Boshra Salem from Alexandria University, who is a proven expert on the development of School ESD Kits and specialized in using protected areas as demonstration for Environmental Education and Suhita Osório-Peters, who is scientific coordinator of CEIFA as well as member of the Steering Committee of the Portuguese Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) of Education for Sustainable Development “CREIAS-Oeste”.
The Department of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Limerick, Ireland are hosting 15 visiting Egyptian academics from 1st-5th of May as part of the Training of Trainers module on the ESD kit ‘My life – Our World’. This five day training session aims to increase participants understanding of sustainable development, education for sustainable development as well as innovative teaching pedagogies. Participants will engage in a variety of participatory workshops that focus on education for sustainable development, concept-mapping, case based learning, role of drama in the classroom as well as workshops that will increase participants understanding of the various activities included in the kit ‘My life – Our world’. The group will also gain a greater understanding of the Irish education system through engaging in three school visits to two primary schools and one post-primary school. Different educational philosophies underpin education in these three schools.
The first Training of Trainers module on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has been carried out by the RCE Graz-Styria at the University of Graz, Austria, from March 18 to 22, 2012. It aimed at fostering the understanding and holistic thinking about sustainable development among the trainees. The training focused on Education for Sustainable Development and a total of 13 trainees from Alexandria University, American University Cairo, Cairo University, Fayoum University, Heliopolis University (Sekem), Suez Canal University as well as Zagazig University, participated in the training.
In line with the EC strategy for sustainable development (2008), the UN Decade Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), and the Egyptian Education Reform Policy (2008-2010), this project aims to promote the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in the Egyptian society. The project is the first initiative in Egypt that brings universities and schools together in a structured mechanism. The specific objectives are; a) establishing seven Centres of Excellence inside the Egyptian universities to offer ESD services, b) Developing ESD teaching kits for basic education, c) developing innovative ESD teaching methodologies for school children, d) developing and implementing a training of trainers programme for school teachers, e) constructing a virtual environment for sharing knowledge on ESD.