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Sustainable Development at Universities: New Horizons

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Edited By Walter Leal Filho

This book, prepared in the context of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as Rio+20, contains the papers submitted to the World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities (WSSD-U-2012), which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 5 and 6 June 2012. It pursues the following main aims: to document and disseminate experiences from universities all round the world regarding education for sustainable development; to foster the exchange of information, ideas and experiences acquired in the execution of projects; and to introduce methodological approaches and projects which aim to integrate the topic of sustainable development in the curriculum of universities. Last but not least, a further aim is to document and disseminate the wealth of experiences available today, providing a truly global coverage. Sustainable Development at Universities: New Horizons is a highly comprehensive publication on sustainability in higher education. It is meant to go beyond a description of the current state of knowledge, and shall open the way for new thinking and new horizons in what is a rapidly expanding field, of central interest to both industrialised and developing countries.

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Foreword

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Forty years after the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, and twenty years after the first “Earth Summit” (UN Conference and Environment and Development) held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, the world community came together again in Rio to review pro- gress and outline the future steps we need to take towards a more sustainable world. The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as “Rio+20”, was a his- toric event in the sense that it secured renewed political commitment to sustainable develop- ment and addressed new and emerging challenges. The summit was also important in moving forward two specific themes: the green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development; and the institutional framework for sustainable development. UNCSD also offered a unique opportunity to discuss the extent to which universities have been providing a meaningful contribution to efforts towards shaping a better world and, perhaps more importantly, to discuss what remains to be done. It was against this background that the World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities (WSSD-U-2012), organised by the Research and Transfer Centre “Applications of Life Sciences” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and London Metropolitan University (UK), under the auspices of the RCE Hamburg and Region, took place in Rio de Janeiro on 5 and 6 June 2012. The aims of the World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities (WSSD- U-2012) were: i. to provide universities all round the world with an opportunity to display and present...

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