“Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)” means educational activities that intend to empower each citizen to take part as a sovereign to proactively participate in building a sustainable society. The idea of ESD first clearly appeared in the Thessaloniki Declaration of 1997. At the “World Summit on Sustainable Development”, Johannesburg in 2002, the Japanese Government and NGOs proposed 10 years from 2005 as the “Decade of Education for Sustainable Development” (DESD) and DESD was adopted at the United Nations General Assembly 57th meeting in the same year, passed by unanimity. Since then, the numbers of studies and practical reports on ESD have increased. Also in Japan, unique and diverse ESD efforts have been made. The Japanese government has been promoting ESD by arranging several laws and systems concerned with ESD. Furthermore, educators and practitioners have also endeavored to implement ESD in many fields, such as school education, higher education, social education, and local communities. However, ESD has not yet obtained recognition in the Japanese society. The broad range of the ESD concept is one of factors making ESD difficult to understand. On this point, it is necessary to make ESD easy to understand, to “visualize” by establishing media strategies, and share good practices. In order to make progress in ESD, “All Japan” collaboration among all stakeholders such as government, NGOs and the business sector is essential, and the government of Japan is expected to organize the national ESD promotion structure.
In this paper we argue that sustainable natural resource management is the key to sustainable development. Sustainable natural resource management can only be achieved if environmental stability, socioeconomic productivity, and social acceptability are all achieved. We also argue that agroforestry is a strategy that can help achieve sustainable development in the Philippines. Agroforestry is a land use management system that combines the production of woody perennials and agricultural crops, which may also include livestock husbandry or aquaculture, with the aim of meeting both ecological and economic objectives. From what began as a simple farm practice, agroforestry has evolved into a field of science and academic discipline. We highlight the historical developments and milestones in the progression of agroforestry as a development strategy and in agroforestry education programs in the Philippines. Agroforestry education and training developed in response to the need to rehabilitate and restore degraded upland environments. Programs in this field aim to train and produce people equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to promote the science and practice of agroforestry at all levels to promote sustainable natural resources management. Because of the immense potential of agroforestry as a development strategy, a number of local development organizations have expressed the need for trained workers who are equipped with knowledge and skills in various aspects of agroforestry. However, fewer students are selecting agroforestry education programs. Finally, in this paper we claim that there is a clear link between agroforestry education and sustainable development. Agroforestry addresses the socioeconomic production needs of farmers, while at the same time ensuring environmental stability. These are the prime concepts of sustainable development.
Sustainable agriculture is one of the major policy reforms that have transformed agricultural development in Thailand since the turn of the millennium. From the Seventh to the Tenth National Social and Economic Development Plans of Thailand (1992 to 2011), sustainable agriculture has been increasingly adopted and has gradually become the nation's most important reform agenda. In addition, Thailand's highly respected King has proclaimed the concept of “sufficiency economy”, which integrates the new farming systems with the Buddhist concept of self-restraint. These impulses are behind the widespread acceptance of sustainable agriculture by Thai society. Thai agricultural education has been revised to better conform with the national reform plans. Higher education on sustainable agriculture and development has been initiated at many Thai higher educational institutions. For example, Kasetsart University offers an international master's degree program on sustainable agriculture. The Asian Institute of Technology has partnered with the Norwegian Government to offer a program called “Education for Sustainable Development” for students pursuing master's or doctoral degrees. Thammasat University has also developed a master's degree in sustainable agriculture. In northern Thailand, Chiang Mai University offers a joint master's degree program entitled “Sustainable Agriculture and Integrated Watershed Management” in partnership with Germany's Universitat Hohenheim. This program provides students with in-depth knowledge of the complexity of watershed agro-ecosystems, sustainable agricultural practices, and new pathways of integrated watershed management. The Faculty of Social Sciences at Chiang Mai University also offers a program on sustainable development. Despite this progress, the roles of Thai universities in developing these programs must be strengthened and further developed. Direct or indirect partnerships with other local educational institutions, their surrounding communities, and other stakeholders are the keys to successfully implementing sustainable agriculture and development programs both in Thailand and in the country's higher educational system.
Indonesia's Protection and Management of the Environment Act stresses the importance of environmental education in protecting and managing the environment. Environmental education is defined as efforts to change behaviors and attitudes of individuals to improve their knowledge, skills, and awareness of environmental values, issues, and problems and to motivate people to participate in efforts to preserve the environment for the present and future generations. Environmental education can be carried out through monolithic and integrative approaches, including the infusion and block methods, which incorporate the study of conservation, the environment, and natural disaster mitigation. Secondary and higher environmental education can be formally conducted as separate courses or as parts of other subjects. No explicit environmental education for sustainable agriculture is depicted in the curricula of secondary schools in Indonesia. Environmental education is delivered by either curricular or extracurricular activities. In universities with agricultural faculties, environmental education is generally integrated into several supporting competency courses (e.g., plant ecology). An exception is Bogor Agricultural University, where specific primary courses on agriculture and the environment are offered. Many sustainable-agriculture field schools have been run by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and foreign organizations to specifically deal with agricultural problems. Examples include field schools on integrated pest management, soil and water conservation, and watershed management.
Agricultural development in Afghanistan is challenging, with farmers often facing limited access to appropriate technologies as well as weak institutional support. Problems with the organization and management of research, education, and extension systems are significant obstacles confronting development of agriculture. Agriculture in many parts of the country thus remains starkly underdeveloped in the face of major constraints on the utilization of knowledge and innovation for development. While agriculture accounts for a large proportion of gross domestic product, numerous challenges constrain efforts to provide adequate food supplies. Policy makers and donors have thus devoted more attention to the agriculture sector, concluding that its development is essential for national economic regeneration. Education and training are widely recognized in research as contributors to national economic growth. Agricultural education affects directly agricultural productivity and the performance of ancillary businesses and trade. Progress and advances in the knowledge arena, including knowledge dissemination, are thus among the important factors contributing to productivity growth and the attendant change in the quality of labor. Education and training are especially important for activities requiring adaptation to change. The discipline of rural development recognizes the crucial links between agriculture, natural resources, human settlement, and biodiversity. Sustainable development clearly requires the cooperation and inputs of sectors other than agriculture, including infrastructure, education, health, and energy. To bring about significant change, reformers of agricultural education systems and institutions will need to fully appreciate the complexity of the environment in which the shift in focus from agriculture to rural development must take place.
Eleven laboratory schools are attached to the University of Tsukuba—six ordinary schools, including Senior High School at Sakado, and five special needs education schools. Established in 1946 as the Sakado Business School and the Sakado Women's Business School, the name Sakado Senior High School, University of Tsukuba, was adopted in 1978. At that time, the school incorporated departments of agriculture, technology, home economics, and environmental studies. In 1994, Sakado Senior High School was reorganized as an integrated course school. As the Ministry of Education's prototype for the promotion of education reform, it also was the first high school in Japan with an integrated course in science. Sakado Senior High School was subsequently designated a research collaboration school by the Ministry of Education. Practical research in various aspects of integrated course education then began on a continuing basis, as did development of courses, such as the Industry course and the ICT information and communication technology Human Resources Development Project. While its basic focus is on education for career development, the integrated course Sakado Senior High School pursues research topics in experimental practice.
Modern farming technologies have kept agricultural production apace with population growth, but inequities in the food distribution system still plague many families, countries, and regions. A growing awareness of the finite nature of critical nonrenewable resources, the undesirable impacts of the current conventional agriculture system, and the costs and other shortcomings of a globalized food system are causing us to rethink our basic assumptions about how and where to grow food. To ensure the sustainability of agriculture, the responsibility of improving the farming system is not only for those on the production side but also for consumers as well. At the cutting edge of this critical awareness is “agro-ecology,” a new approach for establishing a sustainable farming and food system based on ecological methods and theory and community management. Achieving this agro-ecological approach will require a gradual phasing in of new farming practices and changes in consumer activities. To develop and adopt eco-specific, eco-friendly, and integrated agricultural resource management, education and research projects within communities and between countries and/or generations will be necessary.
The Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea [L.] Verdc.) has a large number of landraces throughout Africa, where small-scale farmers have preserved its genetic diversity on their farms. In 2004, we surveyed farmers in the Upper West Region of Ghana to determine their strategies for managing crops and for maintaining varieties of neglected Bambara groundnut landraces. We collected 22 landraces from the region, and conducted field experiments in 2005 and 2006 to evaluate their phenotypic variability with respect to agronomic and morphological traits. Important characters correlated with grain yield that could be used for selection and improvement of Bambara groundnut varieties were the 100-seed weight (the most important character influencing grain yield; r=0.95) and shelling percentage (r=0.86). There were negative correlations between grain yield and canopy spread (r=-0.62) and between grain yield and days to maturity (r=-0.37), providing evidence that spreading landraces have a longer vegetative phase, take longer to mature, and therefore suffer declines in yield due to the low soil moisture levels in the savannah zone. Late flowering also has a detrimental effect on seed yield of the Bambara groundnut in the savannah zone (r=-0.39). Landraces have local names based on their maturity period, growth habit, and seed coat colour or on their use. Some of the neglected landraces are common to more than one ethnic group. Local farmers largely prefer fast-cooking, early varieties of Bambara groundnut with large, cream-coloured seeds. Further improvement of Bambara groundnut must take these selection criteria and farmer preferences into account.
The Rural Development Academy (RDA), Bogra, Bangladesh, runs a poverty alleviation project at the village of Hatea under Gaibandha district in the northwest of the country. This study was conducted in Hatea to identify the major underlying assets contributing to changes in the livelihood patterns of people in the community. A participatory approach was used for both qualitative and quantitative data collection between May and August 2010. Participants interviewed were engaged in income-generating activities such as livestock rearing, beef fattening, poultry rearing, biogas sales, organic fertilizer packaging and selling, fish farming, fish marketing, and agricultural and home gardening. An asset based community development (ABCD) approach might help to reduce adverse impacts on the Earth due to climate change. People, families, communities, villages, countries, and continents may be limited resources, but the world has generous resources that we can manage and nurture properly in order to lead sustainable lives for present and future generations. However, a single person, family, community, village, country, or continent cannot manage global resources at a desirable level. In light of this situation, a comprehensive effort by groups of these entities through ABCD would help to open the window of community opportunity. In addition, the provision of interest-free working capital would especially help small and marginal farmers. Keeping in mind Bangladesh's national program of “One House One Farm,” communities should be motivated by the benefits of multistory efficient housing for human and also for livestock, Use of such housing, with waste management amenities (e.g., biogas plants) and other modern facilities, should save land, encourage sustainable development, and preserve environmental quality. To ensure the healthy ecosystems of all beings, we should all bear the responsibility of sustainability, in which many windows of opportunity for present and future generations remain to be opened.
Malawi is highly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and extreme weather and has experienced numerous adverse climatic events since 1980. The most serious events have been dry spells, seasonal droughts, intense rainfall, riverine floods, and flash floods. Droughts and floods have increased in frequency, intensity, and magnitude and have adversely affected food and water security, water quality, energy, and the sustainable livelihoods of rural communities. With increased incidences of droughts and dry spells, one of the major coping and adaptation strategies emerging is wetland use. Wetlands, locally known as dambos in Malawi, are defined as permanently or seasonally wet land in valleys, depressions, or floodplains with open herbaceous vegetation (mainly grasses and sedges) and no trees. They are important sources of the water and nutrients needed for biological diversity and support the livelihoods of many rural communities in developing countries. Wetlands contain numerous goods and services that have economic value not only to local populations but also to people living outside the wetland periphery. In Malawi, the total irrigable area of dambos is 480,000 to 600,000ha. Upland dambos constitute about 70% of this area, whereas floodplains constitute about 25%. Despite their importance, wetlands are increasingly coming under threat of modification or reclamation. Recent climate-change-associated global phenomena have brought more challenges to wetland management as rural communities have been resorting to wetland use as a coping and adaptation strategy. This paper focuses on community findings on wetland utilization for food security in the Simulemba Traditional Authority in the Kasungu District, Central Malawi. Using the Striking a Balance approach, it focuses on the differing roles of different players in communities, families, and households in wetland management. It also outlines the policies and development strategies that can turn wetlands into valuable ecosystems for food security.
The need for sustainable development arose from overexploitation of natural resources. One of the significant roles of humanity is to ensure proper utilization of such resources, and fulfillment of this role requires an understanding of the global consequences of local actions. An integration of instruction about the consequences of exploitation into educational curricula will be an advantage to make people aware of the need for humanity as stewards of the environment. The second United Nations Millennium Development Goal is “Achieve universal primary education.” Increased use of information and communication technology (ICT) in schools can be expected to attain progress towards this goal and to prepare students for participation in the information society. The use of ICT as an innovative approach to teaching sustainable development is a challenge, especially in the primary education sector, where the foundation for human development is being laid I surveyed 10 public high schools in the Philippines (Camarines Sur Province) that served as participants in the Commission on Information and Communications Technology Human Capital Development Group (CICT-HCDG) iSchools Project in 2009, and I found that the project made major contributions toward the integration of ICT into the educational programs of these schools. For example, before project intervention, 1 desktop computer served 256 students, and 1 desktop computer served 7 teachers; after intervention, 1 desktop computer served 1 or 2 teachers, and 1 desktop computer served 19 students. After the implementation, almost half (42.3%) of the teachers became regular, confident computer users. Many (40.6%) regularly and confidently used word processing software, and some occasionally used spreadsheet software (33.9%), presentation software (30.8%), and the internet (33.8%) for classroom instruction, communication, and research. All the surveyed schools were able to establish computer laboratories. The schools had partnered with state universities and colleges and deployed student-teachers on practicum to help teachers integrate ICT into basic subject teaching. After the implementation, they started to develop institutional websites and were preparing for the adoption of computer-enabled library management systems.
In a developing country like the Philippines, it is important to understand the challenges involved in feeding a rapidly increasing population and dealing with environmental concerns, and it is vital to include agriculture and environmental education in the basic curriculum. Agriculture, industrial arts, and entrepreneurship are included in the secondary curriculum of both public and private schools, as prescribed by the Philippine Department of Education, and topics related to the environment are required to be integrated into different subjects being taught in these schools. The University of the Philippines Rural High School (UPRHS), one of the basic education units of the University of the Philippines (UP), was originally established as a vocational agricultural school. Historical events as well as outstanding developments in the UP College of Agriculture (now UP Los Baños) led to the evolution of UPRHS from a vocational school to a science-oriented college preparatory high school. The school continues to offer agriculture as one of the major subjects for all grade levels. The students are encouraged to undertake research projects addressing agricultural and environmental issues. In support of its science and agriculture programs, the UPRHS maintains a strong connection with UP Los Baños and other nearby research institutions. The school also sends participants each year to the Asian Agricultural High School Student Exchange Program sponsored by Gunma Prefecture, Japan. The UPRHS aims to popularize its agriculture and environment-related programs through academic requirements, co-curricular activities, and community-based involvement.
Population increases have been accompanied by advances in agriculture and agricultural technology, but starvation in developing countries and environmental problems caused by agriculture remain serious concern. Agricultural development is often not sustainable, resulting in damage to both the environment and to agricultural product. The agriculture sector presents a series of paradoxes. Food from agriculture is a basic necessity of life yet, over the last century, agriculture has declined in relative importance. The number of farmers and farm workers has decreased and left agriculture for more profitable work. If this continues, a food crisis is likely to develop that could lead to increase starvation. The importance of agriculture and sustainable development needs to addressed through environmental education, and fundamental to the success of environmental education is children. Elementary and secondary schools are strategic places for introducing the basics of agriculture to students, particularly if the sessions are designed to be innovative, interesting and involve active participation. By involving students in agricultural activities, students will obtain and retain a positive perception that agriculture is essential and interesting. Environmental education can also build environmental ethics, while trying to improve agricultural output. With environmental education, students will have good environmental awareness to benefit environment and agricultural development.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn emphasized in her book “Suan Prueksasart Rong Rian”(School Botanical Garden) that “In order to educate and train children to be aware of plant conservations, the children should be taught and trained to appreciate the aesthetic values, the interesting aspects and the happiness of plants by studying and conserving the plants. Conventional routine teaching and training procedure whose emphasis is on the shoulds and should-nots and the negative impact will put the children under stress, which will not benefit the country in the long run”. The school board of the academic year 1995 founded the botanical garden at Kasetsart University Laboratory School (KUS) to raise children's awareness of the importance of the plants. Students have the opportunity to observe a variety of plants to create awareness of plant conservation in students' hearts. Moreover, the KUS botanical garden can be an outdoor lab for many classes. Each year, the botanical garden committee, appointed by the school board, assigns seven different species of trees to be planted in the school. The students from Grade 1 to Grade 11 are engaged in such activities as observation, research, experimentation, data and sample collection, interviewing, drawing, data processing, result evaluation and a conclusion about their findings. At the end of each project, the assigned groups of students must submit a report and present their work in front of their classmates. The students in Grade 9 conduct a school exhibition of the 7 projects. Feedback obtained from the questionnaires conducted to the students from Grade 1 to Grade 12 on the KUS botanical garden has been positive. The students found the working together part of the experience beneficial. The other benefits and skills gained are adaptation to working in a team, systematic way of working, planning, data researching, responsibility, self discipline, knowledge about nature, importance of plants and the necessities of conserving plant species for sustainable society.
Sakado Senior High School, University of Tsukuba (UTSS) is an integrated curriculum high school. The educational goal is to provide students with a comprehensive general and specialized education so that they become life-long learners who are able to adapt and continue making contributions in an ever-changing society. As one means of achieving this goal, UTSS offers several environmental education activities, including in-school programs, cooperative activities with other institutions, and international educational opportunities. Students can study useful animal and plants and acquire knowledge and skills for utilizing them, while also learning how to conserve and protect nature, wildlife, and the environment. A wide range of agricultural and environmental activities are carried out at the school's large operational farm. Many students raise and harvest vegetables for the first time in the required class Industrial Society and Human Beings. UTSS students also participate in cooperative activities with other institutions. For example, students can conduct field work in cooperation with the Agriculture and Forestry Research Center at the University of Tsukuba. UTSS also works with various non-profit organizations, national institutes, and local communites to provide a broad range of educational experiences to UTSS students. Every year, students have the opportunity to interact with visitors from foreign countries (e.g., Thailand, Indonesia, the United States, and Afghanistan). Some students do research projects on international issues and receive financial support from the Education Bureau of Laboratory Schools at the University of Tsukuba. UTSS teaching staff also is offered the opportunity to work in developing countries through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.