|Gaia Education, Sustainability Education, UNDESD|
Gaia Education promotes a holistic approach to education for sustainable development. It develops curricula for sustainable community design drawing from good practice within ecovillages worldwide. It works in partnership with urban and rural communities, universities, ecovillages, government and non-government agencies and the United Nations.
Gaia Education was created by a group of educators called "GEESE" (Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth) who have been meeting over a series of workshops in order to formulate their transdisciplinary approach to education for sustainability. These meetings took place at:
* Fjordvang, Denmark in 1998
* Findhorn Foundation, Scotland in 2004
* Galgafarm, Hungary in 2005
* Wongsanit Ashram, Thailand in 2007
* Solheimer, Iceland in 2008
* UMAPAZ, Brazil in 2010
* Duesomegaard, Denmark in 2011
* Rio+20, Brazil in 2012
Gaia Education Timeline
Ecovillages around the world offer valuable experiences and lessons about the design and creation of sustainable communities in rural and urban settings. Gaia Education is united in the effort to make the knowledge and skills developed in ecovillages accessible to a wide audience.
The second was the launch of Gaia Education Design for Sustainability virtual programme in partnership with UOC - Open University of Catalunha - in October 2008.
The third milestone was the launch of the post-graduate programme Gaia Education Design for Sustainability, again in partnership with UOC, in October 2011.
The Ecovillage Design Curriculum is an official contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development- UNDESD 2005-2014.
Since 2006 Gaia Education has successfully supported the delivery of more than 135 programmes on five continents. Internationally, the number of four-week long intensives and other course formats are increasing steadily along with a sharp increase in the number of applicants and participants of these courses. These vocational courses are open to a diverse group of people with a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds who are interested in taking an active role in the sustainability transition.
With regard to higher education and academically accredited courses Gaia Education has so far endorsed a series of semester-long undergraduate programmes offered by Living Routes and the University of Massachusetts which are taught at various ecovillages worldwide.
In December 2002, resolution 57/254 on the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO was designated as lead agency for the promotion of the Decade. The Decade aims to integrate the values inherent in sustainable development into all aspects of learning to encourage changes in behaviour, which will enable a more viable and fairer society for everyone.
During this decade, education for sustainable development will contribute to preparing citizens better equiped to face the challenges of the present and the future, and decision-makers who will act responsibly to create a viable world. Thus, five kinds of fundamental learning will be enhanced: learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, learning to live together, and learning to transform oneself and society. www.unesco.org/education/desd