4th International Conference on Environmental Education – Partners for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

The Fourth International Conference on Environmental Education (ICEE) was hosted by the Government of India and co-sponsored by the UNESCO and UNEP. The Conference was held at the Centre for Environment Education. 4th ICEE, an important milestone in the field of Environmental Education, saw over 1500 participants from 97 countries coming together to share and exchange experiences and ideas on environment education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD). It reviewed the progress of ESD over two years since the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development was launched in 2005 and aimed to enhance understanding of EE in the context of ESD.

The world’s first Intergovernmental Conference on Environmental Education held at Tbilisi, Georgia (USSR), in 1977, highlighted the important role of EE in the preservation and improvement of the world’s environment, as well as in the sound and balanced development of the world’s communities. Ten years later, in 1987, the second International Congress was organised in Moscow, to determine an international strategy for ‘action in EE and training’. This was followed by a third conference held at Thessaloniki, Greece in 1997 which highlighted the role of education and public awareness for achieving sustainability.

The 4th ICEE emphasized that through education, human lifestyles can be achieved that support ecological integrity, economic and social justice, sustainable l i v e l i h o o d s and respect for all life. Human rights, gender equity, social justice and a healthy e n v i r o n m e n t must become global i m p e r a t i v e s . ESD is essential in making this transformation.

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