Authors: Violeta Vasquez and Harita Jeong
17th May 2019
The knowledge exchange on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) case in Germany aims to inspire the international practitioners of sustainable development to understand further about the advantages of ESD at the global scale and innovate ideas at the local context. The added value of the seminar was to enable the alumni network members to self-reflect what has been done at a global scale and what can be improved in their home countries.
There is an appreciation of the work regarding ESD in many different ways, and it leads to the promotion of sustainable development as a broader context. ESD is an intriguing yet relatively abstract concept as the main focus of discussion. The seminar managed to transform ESD into a comprehensible learning experience for the members and inspire the members to recreate a ‘ripple effect’ or ‘domino effect’ at local setting, replication in the global south countries. The understanding of value of the cases studies are forefront and can give a reviving impulse for the continuity of practice in the context of ESD.
We noted that practitioners may achieve such common understanding on ESD only when it is approached through multidisciplinary perspectives in the learning process of human.
A social understanding of economics is also raised when talking about the benefit sharing of national parks management as a way to become an awareness as 'homo sustinensis' practitioner. In this way, learning experience confronts alumni to face a new situation in reflection to what they have known and to what they could possibly do in the future. They shared the different perspectives of the practice in their countries as well as motivated and encouraged by others with a similar vision to be an agent of change for sustainability in regards to education and efficient resource use. This awareness crosses the boundaries of ESD as a concept and mobilizes the concept into practice – what could be done in reality. Since there is a necessity of institutional review of our practice in education, ANESCo attempted to revisit the institutional ethic of ESD to cope with sustainable development at the local context.
The following interviews represent the views of the participants regarding their own reflection of the learning experience and their impression regarding the case studies of ESD in the schools and in the national park in Germany.
1. What were your key lessons learnt and insightful takeaways from the ANESCo 2019 seminar?
“The seminar was fruitful especially because I was able to learn about great ESD practices in Germany. Those were not completely new but refreshed a lot of my experiences in Europe before. I realized that it is very important to reconnect to previous experiences.” (Gao Heran, China)
“This year’s seminar confirms, once again, the strong asset of our alumni network – exchange and collaboration among researchers from diverse disciplines. I will continue to pursue interdisciplinary cooperation when I return to Taiwan, to my work. I also enjoyed so much the feeling of reconnecting with nature” (Yu-Jung Tai, Taiwan)
“The key lesson that I learned from the seminar is the importance of international cooperation and networking.” (Guilherme Henrique Braga Klaussner, Brazil)
“I must say that I appreciate and learn a lot from cultural diversity that we have in this group. It was very interesting that participants had a quite different interpretation of the same ESD example based on their backgrounds as well as the context of their knowledge and experiences. Also, I find the method of the workshop is helpful, making the group projects to be more productive. Lastly, the learning atmosphere of the seminar, which was dynamic and balanced, reminded me of the importance of managing everyday stress at work.” (Indra Sapotka, Nepal)
“In my understanding, the seminar raised us a question of what are the common needs in different ESD approaches. To answer that, we need to strengthen and maintain the alumni network.” (Pablo Roger Moreno Romani, Peru)
“There are two key lessons from my side; firstly, I was impressed with diverse ESD cases especially because they contributed to the actual transformation of the organizations, community and furthermore to the society. ‘education for transformation’ is my keyword. Also, we need to learn more about how to achieve international collaboration to effectively solve problems. (Adesipo Adegbite, Nigeria)
“Running a school garden project in the remote area in Nepal, I learned a lot by practice. ESD frameworks and concepts that were presented at the seminar gave me some new perspectives. I would like to integrate them into my existing projects.” (Nishad Malla, Nepal)
“It was very powerful to have loads of living experiences through excursions, workshops and so on. I had so much fun not only in gaining scientific input but also, the whole seminar showed me how valuable interdisciplinary knowledge sharing is.” (Violeta Vasquez, Peru)
“To me, it was very meaningful to see how the ESD concepts worked in the specific project. Networking possibilities were important to me as well.” (Hoang Thi Ha, Vietnam)
“I was highly impressed with self-motivated researchers and education practitioners. I believe that those self-driven people served as a project’s success factor as well as the role model of good ESD. This seminar also gave an insight that importance of adult education (life-long education) has been increasing.” (Gabriela Nicoleta Dragne, Romania)
“In regards to the specific content input, junior ranger program was impressive to me because I have been conducting educational projects in the protected area in Kazakhstan. I am inspired to do something similar with our children. The junior ranger program that we were introduced in the Island of Rügen is an effective education tool because it promotes practical knowledge as well as providing an interactive format in the field. Another lesson from the seminar is that we need more south-south cooperation. Listening to the presentations, it was striking to me that there are more in common between projects in the global South. We are rather in similar development stages, so it will be valuable to share more success stories and methods.” (Rustam Murazakhanov, Uzbekistan)
Commonly Mentioned Keywords
1) South-South Solidarity Interdisciplinary Cooperation Networking and Partnership
2) Cultural Diversity
3) Education for Transformation
4) Integration of Old and New Practices
5) Knowledge Sharing
6) Interactive Education Lived
7) Experiences Life-long Education
Questions addressing Education for Sustainable Development in pilot schools in Germany:
According to the interview with participants, they see a strong relationship within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG);
SDG 4: Quality education,
SDG 15: Life on earth,
SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals.
1. What is your vision in regards to education methods and tools after the seminar?
“I think it must be the one in ESD part, because before I was living at the nature school project, and from the pedagogic point of view of nature and environmental education, all this time we clarify the definition of ESD by learning from the German best practices in different schools. I will be looking at our nature school practice from a more comprehensive way approach.” (Gao Heran, China)
“This topic was not completely new because I was working in a kindergarten with
this concept, but not completely 100% like the schools that we visited here, so it is an interesting topic. I want to apply this approach in the project where I came from, in a Kindergarten. Maybe, I can draw a linkage with the English version and put something regarding the conservation of nature. As for the school garden practice, I can apply in a small group.” (Jorge Paredes, Peru)
2. Do you have any new insight regarding the concept of “Think global, act local?”
“In my program, I linked the concept already with the international volunteers, in the future I would really like to link more closely, first with my alma mater, Greifswald University and to combine with the existing resources from my university with nearby regions like Freie Schule Rügen, and then I would consider organizing more close collaborations with other alumni in countries like Nepal and Taiwan and other regions as well” (Gao Heran, China)
“In my country, I was thinking about an educational project and in my master degree, I make an educational project in a rural area in Peru. But I didn't put any of this concept, so maybe I can adjust with some new things I have learned here.” (Jorge Paredes, Peru)
“Though I have various impulses, I do not think differently at all. There is no vision as long as the Institutionalized Public Basic Schooling (IPBS), which is a one-fit-all educational system is completely deconstructed and replaced by the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). ESD expressed nothing else but the failure of the standardized formal educations systems. It should be community-based, environmentally related and culturally specific in order to act locally for the global challenges.” (Abdel Kader Barounga, Cameroon)
3. What is your vision in regards to local partnership and fair benefit sharing after the seminar?
“The most important part of benefit sharing is equity. If benefit sharing is equity, its goal is approached. “(Dr. Indra Sapkota, Nepal)
“The benefits getting the dynamic relationships between the investors, the communities in the protected areas. One who takes the highest risk maybe is the one who takes the most benefits of it. “(Pablo Moreno Romani, Peru)
“I was working in a particular area in central Mexico, the NGO was trying to promote benefit sharing and they were trying to promote community management in the area. This was a way to encourage the participation of the local community and the maintenance of the area but also the production of economic inputs of the protected area beside the protection. And besides the economic incentives how to produce different goods in the protected area, there was also a component of environmental education. I would not say that this would be typical in all the protected areas in Mexico but at least there were different groups in that area they were trying to give incentive to a lot of work because there was a lot of work still not being done. And they promote it in different areas. “(Dr. Carlos Ramirez, Mexico)
“Protection Areas (PAs) is an important topic to share in terms of benefits. What people can take from protected areas is important. As for benefits, we call it, ecosystems services. But the benefit is not for a private person but for all the community as well. That means these benefits should be shared between the different families, persons who have been benefitted from the ecosystem’s services. If this is not the case, it can create conflicts in the community. People living in the city mostly they don´t know how is water coming from, for instance. People living in the cities should pay for this benefit in order to protect the areas. (Dr. Olman Quiroz, Costa Rica)
“The partnership and benefit sharing must be provided on a transparent and fair way. Communication among partners and stakeholders is a key element of a partnership. Anyone has to be aware of benefit sharing. “(Rustam Murzakhanov, Uzbekistan)
4. Could you describe your vision in relation to the topic “Linking tourism and conservation?”
“Linking tourism and conservation, we have to preserve nature to compensate for the cost of the maintenance. You have to enhance the non-consumptive value which is the revenue or the return value to this approach.” (Dr. Indra Sapkota, Nepal)
“In my experience from various expeditions, there is a virtual circle. The students that we arrange to go to rural areas in Peru are learning much more soft skills and to respect nature to know other languages, cultures around the world.
The communities are placed to get this visitor. First, they get an economic profit of their relationship but they also release the value that they could offer in the form of tourism. The value has to be kept for the future.
For example, anthropology, culture languages, the way they harvest, for example, the potatoes. In the way, they use to weep and paint with natural colors. This is the value of the communities and should be kept going. And do not forget, those take place at the high Andes in Peru and one can see the amazing geography landscape, mountains, lagoons.” (Pablo Moreno Romani, Peru)
“Mexico has a lot of opportunities to develop the tourism of industry, however not everybody can participate in the tourism industry. Like I am sure you can diversify the industry but also have a lot of impacts so there should be a lot of regulations on it. I am thinking on the Yucatan Peninsula where the tourism industry is developing in super-fast pace and brings a lot of effort and getting out of control in the area so there is a lot of pollution-driven into the water bodies. There is a lot of deforestation happening because of the necessity of the tourist coming to the local area. And the benefits of tourism are taken into very few hands. There are very few companies that profiting into all that.
There should be a mechanism that prevents the monopoly of tourist areas especially in the proliferation of those that can impact in a bad way the protected areas.” (Dr. Carlos Ramirez, Mexico)
“Because there are trade-offs between the conservation and the tourist. If you preserve you conserve the natural resources. If you degraded the natural resources the tourism will lose interest and you cannot go there and you cannot invite tourism to visits to those areas. That means there should be a relationship between these protected areas and tourism but positive tourism.” (Dr. Olman Quiroz, Costa Rica).
“I would put more focus on sustainable and environmental-friendly local or national tourism. International tourism despite economic attraction is responsible for a significant share of greenhouse gases emission. Local nature tourism still should be implemented on safe and wildlife-friendly manner.” (Rustam Murakhanov, Uzbekistan)
“After this seminar, I plan on installing the learned methods of sustainable education in my home – especially with my son. I now understand that children are capable of motivating themselves to learn new things and thereby apply
the learned skills and knowledge in their daily lives sustainably!” (Maria Tereza
ANESCo Experience 2019
The theme for ANESCo 2019 is Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The activities involve creative methods; teambuilding, logical framework approach for project proposal development, and site visit: schools, oceaneum, and protected areas. More visuals are in the following video.