these last years, educational institutions have been focusing
more and more on environmental issues even in view of some
Teaching methods are being criticized all around the world
to varying extent according to geographical latitude, and
show deep areas of inadequacy towards social educational requirements.
Educational processes are often constructed to indoctrinate
the young generation and transmit pre-established social models.
Students are passively subjected to flows of information rather
than learning though direct experience and develop their own
In addition to instructing the youth on the natural processes,
on the species which populate our planet as well as on the
ecosystems in which they live, it is essential to promote
critical learning through the understanding of the common
roots of local cultures, the territory, natural and cultural
resources in which they live. It is important to introduce
the notion of sustainable development across all traditional
subjects of learning. In this formative work it is equally
necessary to sustain the terrestrial identity for which biodiversity
of the cultures and the quality of the rapport with the biosphere
is are the core components.
The possibility to gain easy access to information and to
analyze data opens a whole new ground for discussion in which
the use of modern digital technologies can become a useful
instrument to achieve the aforementioned objectives. This
is because the potential of every individual is only marginally
stimulated and expressed. One should bear in mind the concrete
example of how the education of young girls contributes to
raising the threshold of wellbeing of all those communities
in which this objective is followed.
These considerations are presented and upheld by a privileged
observatory: the competition "Earth Charter Youth
Contest" conducted in conjunction with the association
Verdi Ambiente e Società - VAS, at the end of its thirteenth
edition and which we discuss further in another section of
this web site. In this context, there are few experiences
in which one does not find traces of documents elaborated
by institutional conferences of non-governmental organizations
as well as of reports of the European Union and Unesco.
There is a widespread demand to discuss these issues and to
improve training of educators as well as to overcome rigid
and bureaucratic educational systems. These questions are
met by two emblematic answers: the postponement sine die
of the National Conference on Environmental Education and
the organization of the Third World Congress on Environmental
which will be held in Turin from 2 to 6 October, 2005.
All of this is taking place in conjunction with the United
Nations ten years program dedicated to Education for Sustainable
Development, which started on 1st January 2005.
A long-term perspective for future generations and programming
for tomorrow seems not to be taken into account by contemporary
decision-makers. Environmental education is the first to suffer
the consequences of this reasoning. Societies, which live
without worrying about future perspectives for sustainable
development inevitably face social decline. This is exactly
what we are trying to avoid by giving young generations a
hope towards sustainability and wellbeing.
Green Cross Italia Vice - President