Here and Now! Education for Sustainable Consumption: Recommendations and Guidelines
Recommendations and guidelines aimed at policy-makers and educators on how to best integrate and implement Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC) in the formal education sector.
Despite increased awareness of the human impact on the environment and a greater focus on personal as well as global consequences of individual lifestyle choices, sustainable development and sustainable consumption are still not central topics in educational systems today. Here and Now! Education for Sustainable Consumption provides recommendations and guidelines organized into two main chapters:
(I) Addressing the challenges: is meant for policymakers and contains rationale for education for sustainable consumption, including suggestions for action plans;
(II) Optimizing opportunities: is aimed at educational authorities, teacher trainers, teachers and educators. This chapter contains core curriculum suggestions;
Annexes to Here and Now! have been developed to present an overview of Relevant Resources and teaching materials providing references to theoretical research and practical materials, as well as web links.These annexes are available online at www.unep.fr/scp/marrakech/taskforces/education.htm education as a separate document.
The two main chapters of this publication have a common goal but it is expected that they will also be used separately. Some repetitions in the definition of ESC and other key concepts are therefore intentional and meant to allow each chapter to stand on its own.
Thus, the purpose of Here and Now! is:
1. to provide policymakers with an instrument to understand the importance of education for sustainable consumption in supporting other policy goals such as citizenship and democratic participation, environmental protection or energy and climate policies.
2. to give policymakers guidance on how to integrate ESC into existing educational and sustainable development strategies
3. to provide educators with tools and instruments in order to include ESC in curricula.
Here and Now! recognizes that sustainable consumption requires rethinking definitions of human needs and desires. Sustainable consumption encompasses the principles of moderation and sufficiency as means of curbing social, economic and environmental imbalances and of stimulating responsible citizenship. Sustainable consumption is founded on the principle of the oneness of humanity and the right of all to have their basic needs met. It is also evident that incorporating the concept of responsible consumption into daily actions is a process and must be developed and modified over time.
Education for sustainable consumption consists of the acquisition of knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for functioning in today’s society. It is responsibility learning, which aims to contribute to the individual’s ability to manage his or her own life while also participating in the stewardship of the global society’s collective life. Although the contexts and methodology used in education for sustainable consumption may vary, there are many common learning outcomes and competencies. Identifying competencies and outcomes is an ongoing process which needs to move with changes in society.