11th World Environmental Education Congress
Building Bridges in Times of Climate Urgency
14-18 March 2022 PragueCZECH REPUBLIC


Cross-cutting Dialogues

Cross-cutting dialogues are an important part of the 11th WEEC. They aim to link various stakeholders to promote their cooperation and communication to promote positive changes in our field. These are based on discussions of smaller but engaged groups of participants. 

Tuesday 15 March

09:30 AM - 11:00 AM Cooperation and networking in the ESE

Facilitated by Arjen Wals (University of Wageningen) & Judy Braus (NAAEE)

Abstract: To be updated…

11:30 AM - 01:00 PM Linking education with local and regional sustainable development challenges 

Facilitated by Tamara Mitrofanenko (UNEP), Lydia Kater-Wettstädt (Leuphana University), Joanna Zawiejska (S4C, Pedagogical University, Kraków), Monika Reti (UNECE National Focal Point, Hungary), Attila Varga (Eötvös Loránd University)

Abstract: That education is a key to implementing sustainable development is recognized on the international level. The Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (a multilateral environmental agreement, aimed at fostering sustainable development in the Carpathian mountainous region) in collaboration with partners and Convention Focal Points, is working to establish a structure for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within the Convention. Many ESD-related activities are implemented by the Convention partners (e.g. trainings for local residents, informative and educational materials, co-creation of knowledge between different sectors and thematic fields to support decision making). However, the lack of awareness about the links between Convention work, education and learning inhibits synergies and limits transformative potential of this important regional instrument. The envisioned structure, such as a Carpathian ESD Expert network, should strengthen links between education and local / regional sustainability challenges, addressed by the Convention. Based on the process so far, we would like to discuss how such a supportive structure could look like to help the Convention address ESD systematically.

01:40 PM - 03:15 PM Developing ESD competencies of educators

Facilitated by Marco Rieckmann (University of Vechta)

Abstract: To ensure adequate implementation of ESD at all levels requires a focus on teacher education. Teacher education is a key requirement for promoting ESD at school because teachers are powerful change agents for delivering the educational response needed for achieving sustainable development. Whether school education and the schools themselves as educational institutions can become more sustainable depends particularly on the competencies of the teachers. But what competencies do teachers need for implementing ESD and how can these competencies be developed?

03:30 PM - 05:00 PM Creating Healthy Publishing Cultures: Being a Researcher in the Capitolocene

Facilitated by Arjen Wals (University of Wageningen)

Abstract: Many researchers in the field Environmental and Sustainability Education working in higher education institutions find themselves caught in a dilemma. On the one hand there is an expectation that they frequently (co)author peer-reviewed papers in scholarly journals that have ‘high impact’ as expressed by a journal’s Impact Factor. On the other hand they feel uncomfortable in having to ‘produce’ articles for commercial publishers whose main mission is to increase the number of journals, special issues, articles, citations, downloads, etc. to gain market share and to satisfy shareholders.

This pressure to produce is not conducive to high quality scholarship as reviewers have less time to review (often reviewing is not rewarded) and the time to read and write is put under pressure (as scholars also have to teach, supervise and attract research grants). Meanwhile the big publishing companies get free labor from the mostly public universities, after all editors, assistant editors,  reviewers and authors are mostly paid, not by the publisher, but by their universities.

In this workshop we explore this dilemma by sharing experiences but also and foremost, by exploring alternative publishing options that are more inclusive, less-exploitative and better aligned with notions of sustainability.

05:00 PM - 06:30 PM Mainstreaming sustainability at the university 

Facilitated by Veronika Šafránková (UNEP)

Abstract: A workshop to highlight the work and initiatives of UN Environment Programme in the field of higher education, including an introduction and closing from Veronika Šafránková, Head of UNEP Brussels Office, the presentation of a range of engagement opportunities in programmes around behaviour change on the campus, decarbonizing universities and creating Green jobs and skills, as well as Environmental Education. The workshop will showcase concrete case studies and achievements of higher education institutions from around the world.

Wednesday16 March

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM Learn for our Planet, Act for the Climate: ESD and climate action through Regional ESD Strategies 

Facilitated by Wondwosen Asnake (UNECE Steering Committee on Education for Sustainable Development), wondwosen.asnake@un.org 

Abstract: This workshop is submitted by the Chair of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Steering Committee on Education for Sustainable Development together with UNECE, UNEP, and UNESCO. The main aim of the roundtable is to showcase how the UNECE Strategy for ESD 2021 – 2030 can help to scale up the role of education and learning in the fight against climate change, with a focus on taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts and enable people to learn, live and work in a planet that is more prosperous, just, creative, healthy and sustainable.

Building on the Berlin Declaration on ESD, the G20 Catania commitments on ESD, the Co-Chairs conclusions of Education and Environment Ministers Summit at COP26, the Glasgow Climate Pact and the Action for Climate Empowerment agenda, the event will illustrate how a regional ESD strategy like the UNECE Strategy for ESD 2021 – 2030, through its four strands (Quality Education and ESD, Whole Institution Approaches, Digital Education, ICT and ESD, and Entrepreneurship, Employment, Innovation and ESD), can help advance, amplify and scale up transformative education for climate change, and promote cross-cooperation between the education and environment sectors.
The following questions will be addressed in the presentations and discussions:
• What concrete commitments can be taken to ensure climate change becomes a core element of formal and non-formal education programmes?
• How can we ensure ESD and climate action are carried out holistically and not in siloes, with education more connected to other sectors and multiple stakeholders to enable local action and the green transition of society?
• What steps can be taken to enhance multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary collaboration on ESD at all levels to ensure a whole-of-society approach, with strengthened cooperation between the Education and Environment sectors at the core, as well as with other relevant stakeholders including civil society, private sector, youth?
• What good practices can stakeholders follow in implementing cross-sectoral collaboration for climate education?


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