Education for Sustainable Development — Guidelines for Action in Botanic Gardens

Botanic gardens have always been important centres for environmental education and in recent years there has been a growing interest in education for sustainable development (ESD) amongst botanic garden educators. As a holistic process, ESD attempts to represent the complex and dynamic relationships between the natural and social sciences thus providing a means of addressing the environmental and development issues of the 21st century.

BGCI has produced these Guidelines to support botanic gardens in developing and implementing ESD strategies. The Guidelines provide a rationale for why botanic gardens need to be involved in ESD, highlighting the importance of botanic garden education in implementing sustainable development initiatives and offering a range of ideas for educational approaches.

Case studies are included throughout the guidelines, focusing on the excellent ESD work already going on in botanic gardens, while the final section focuses on the botanic garden as a model for sustainability, proposing a framework for conducting a green audit.

These guidelines are intended for use by those responsible for education in botanic gardens. They will also be of interest to:

  • Directors of botanic gardens
  • People with overall responsibility for botanic gardens – trustees, government policy makers and advisors, local authorities, university administrators
  • People who use the botanic garden for education – schools, colleges, universities, community groups, etc.
  • People working in site-based education centres – eg. National parks, biosphere reserves.
    Willison, J., 2006 Education for Sustainable Development: Guidelines for Action in Botanic Gardens, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Richmond, UK
    Download the report (pdf format1MB) from the Education link in the website of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Green Teacher Diploma in Environment Education
A Distance Education Course

CEE, in association with Commonwealth of Learning (COL), offers a distance education programme that empowers teachers and educators with the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively transact EE. This one-year programme orients teachers towards concepts of environment and environment education, and provides them with useful resources and approaches for enhancing the effectiveness of teaching environment related concepts.
The course includes two compulsory contact sessions of about 5 days each, and a five month course project. The self study hours are approximately 240 (60 hours/module). The course project would require another 40-50 hours. Learning material:
The Green Teacher learning package consists of:
1. A Learners handbook
2. A set of four Self-learning Modules with two essential readings
3. An interactive CD, titled ‘Green Teacher’
Each module contains a set of study notes, associated reading material and self assessment exercises.

The call for applications for the 2007-08 course will be made in December 2007. More details on the course can be found on and
Write to

Education for Sustainable Development in Formal Education

CEE, in partnership with Ramboll Natura, Sweden and Wildlife and Environmental Education Society, South Africa, has been offering the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) sponsored advanced international training programme ‘Environmental Education Processes in Formal Education’ since 2003.

The training programme occurs in two phases, with the first component happening at Sweden. The second component takes place in South Africa for African participants and in an Asian country for the Asian participants. CEE conducts this Asia component at its Ahmedabad campus.
The programme is intended for decision makers, planners, specialists, trainers and managers involved in formulation and implementation of ESD in formal education. The aim of the final selection is to create a group representing the different roles and functions in the education sector i.e. policy makers, curricula developers, teacher trainers, material developers and inspectors.

The main objective is to provide an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences in ESD in the formal education sector. It is designed to further increase the understanding of the three dimensions (environmental, social-cultural and economical) of Sustainable Development and the educational responses required. The programme has a rights perspective including human rights, democracy, equity and poverty reduction.

The total duration of the programme is 9 months out of which 5 weeks are scheduled. The Swedish component will take place between September 15 and October 3, 2008 in Stockholm and Uppsala. The two regional follow up sessions will be in South Africa and India.

For more information contact:

Ms. Shivani Jain, CEE coordinator
Centre for Environment Education
Thaltej Tekra, Ahmedabad 380054
Ph: 079-2685 8002 to 9; Fax: 079-2685 8010

Distance Learning Programme
Masters in Sustainable Development

The course is offered in distance mode by the Sikkim Manipal University. Graduates in any discipline may enroll for the course.

The duration of the programme is of two years. The first term consists of four papers: sustainable development, biodiversity, energy and habitat and population. The second term consists of one specialization subject that has three papers, and a maters thesis. The specialization topics are as follows:

  1. Climate Change Specialization with papers on atmospheric pollution, sea level rise, global warming and ozone depletion.
  2. Natural Resources Conservation Specialization with papers on small island development, protected area networks and wildlife, wilderness and forest conservation.
  3. Greening and Development Specialization with papers on green movements, green philosophy and environmental policies.
  4. Pollution Control Specialization with papers on marine pollution and control, atmospheric pollution and control and toxic, hazardous and nuclear wastes.

The University help students choose thesis topics. Flexibility is given to students to start work on thesis in the first year itself but it is advisable to learn the content of first term and them go on with the thesis. Exams are conducted twice every year in July and February. Printed lessons and assignments are sent to individuals once they are enrolled for the course.

For more information contact:
Sikkim Manipal University of Health, Medical and Technological Sciences,
New Delhi Extension Campus, Green Gate, A 15
Paryavaran Complex, South of Saket,
Maidangarhi Marg, New Delhi 110030

Post Graduate Diploma in Environment and Sustainable Development
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

IGNOU offers a one-year distance mode diploma in Environment and Sustainable Development. The course starting in January consists of 32 credits covered in 8 courses. The courses include understanding the Environment, Sustainable Development: Issues and Challenges, Environment and Development, Towards Participatory Management, Integrated Environment Management: Urban and Rural, Natural Resource Management: Physical and Biotic, Agriculture and Environment, Globalisation and Environment and Energy and Environment. The instructional package consists print and audio-video material, as well as a teleconferencing option.
Student progress is assessed in two ways:

  1. Tutor Marked Assignments, this is a continuous evaluation process and carries 30% of the assessment weightage.
  2. Term End Examination, which carries 70% assessment weightage.

For more information contact:
Project Coordinator
Room No.14, Block 8
IGNOU, Maidan Garhi
New Delhi 110068

MA in Sustainable Development

Staffordshire University in partnership with the University of Madras and Jadhavpur University offers this part-time Masters Degree of three years. Students are expected to complete 8 modules and a research project dissertation. Graduates in any discipline from a recognized University may enroll for the course. The modules include:
• Introduction to sustainable development
• Sustainability strategies and indicators
• Sustainability, participation and education
• Globalisation, environment and development
• Sustainable cities
• Food, agriculture and sustainability
• Understanding sustainability research
• Sustainability issues and case studies.

Competence in English, computer literacy and access to computer and Internet facilities are essential. The programme is structured in a way to facilitate 'virtual learning environment' accessed over the Internet. Students meet twice in a year, at the University of Madras or Jadhavpur University for face to face interactions.

For more information visit: resource

Web resource

Explore the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005- 20014) at The website aims to establish a strong online community for networking and sharing of knowledge on sustainable development among learners, practitioners, academicians, researchers, policy-makers, and activists interested in strengthening environment and sustainable development education. Website Features:

  • Information related to the ESD activities across the globe, such as upcoming events, seminars and reports of the past events.
  • Resources such as toolkits, case studies, presentations, conference papers, videos, etc.
  • Discussion forum-a platform to discuss ESD issues.
  • Queries can be posted in the “Write to Us” section of the Website.
  • Share your ESD activities in the “Post an Event” section of the Website.

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