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Sustainable Development at Universities: New Horizons


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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II. Implementing Sustainable Development in University Activities


Chapter 29 Implementing Sustainability at the Campus – Towards a better Understanding of Participation Processes within Sustainability Initiatives Antje Disterheft, Sandra Sofia Ferreira da Silva Caeiro, Ulisses Manuel de Miranda Azeiteiro and Walter Leal Filho Abstract Participation is seen as a fundamental pre-requisite for the achievement of sustainable devel- opment. Applied to the university framework, participation refers to student and faculty in- volvement, giving the institutional community the opportunity to shape an institutional trans- formation process toward a more sustainable campus. This ongoing research project intends to analyse how universities involve students and fac- ulty in their efforts towards campus sustainability, and how these efforts are assessed. It aims to contribute towards a better understanding of the complexity inherent to sustainable devel- opment and the participation processes used in higher education for promoting sustainability practices and for fostering citizenship and democratic values. This paper presents the project’s methodological approach, based on an intensive literature review about participation and sustainability assessment tools, with a focus on tools applied in the higher education sector. Eleven of these tools, of which some use indicators, were se- lected, systemised and verified against the extent to which the participation of the campus community is captured and evaluated. The results are used as a starting point for further discussion and research that shall lead to the development of an assessment tool for participatory approaches. Introduction Sustainable development (SD) and the question of how to overcome global challenges such as climate change, social inequality, loss of biodiversity, overpopulation,...

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