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Contributions to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

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Edited By Fernando J. Gonçalves, Ruth Pereira and Walter Leal Filho

This book presents essential learning approaches. It introduces educational and training activities, as well as various innovative methods aiming at the development of practical skills, in order to strengthen the continuous process of environmental education, and in particular the education for sustainable development (ESD). In doing so, it focuses on three dimensions (social, economic and environmental) as a means of achieving an effective change of behaviour and «tries to bridge the gap between science and environmental education by describing a set of projects, initiatives and field activities». A special emphasis is put on teacher training programmes, conception, and implementation, highlighting the problems and barriers, which prevent development as far as integration of sustainability issues in higher education is concerned.

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Chapter 3: Implementing Sustainable Development in Higher Education

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Chapter 3 Implementing Sustainable Development in Higher Education Walter Leal Filho, Evangelos Manolas Abstract The implementation of sustainable development in higher education is a global trend. However, the intensity and the depth with which higher education institu- tions are taking on the challenge of sustainability differs significantly. This paper presents a global analysis on how higher education institutions are including sustainability issues in different areas (e.g. teaching, research, outreach and institutional management) and describes the progress made in this field during the last 10 years. A special emphasis is given to the problems and barriers which prevent developments in respect of the integration of sustainability issues in higher education. Finally, some concrete steps are outlined which may be undertaken in order to enable universities to integrate sustainable development in their activi- ties along with regional development. Introduction: Higher Education and Sustainability Sustainability is today one of the most widely used words in the scientific field as a whole and in environmental sciences in particular, the analysis of the evolution of such a concept is a difficult exercise. This is because the records of the systematic use of such an expression, whose reference in the current vocabulary and political discourse is nowadays so popular, are scattered around. Until the late 1970s, the “word” sustainability was only used occasionally, in most cases to refer to ways in which forest resources should be used. It has, in other words, strong connec- tions with the forestry sector from where, some believe, it originated. A...

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