The 4th International Conference on Environmental Education was held at Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad from November 24th to November 28th, 2007. The five day Conference was attended by over 1500 participants from 97countries.
The Conference was hosted by the Centre for Environment Education on behalf of the Government of India. Two ministries of Government of India, namely the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Environment and Forests were co-organizers of the event. The event was co-sponsored by UNESCO and UNEP.
The Conference was the fourth in the series of Conferences on Environmental Education since the first Inter-governmental Conference held in 1977 at Tbilisi, Georgia. The aim of this Conference was to understand what has emerged out of the discipline of Environment Education (EE) since Tbilisi and the role of EE within Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The conference provided a forum for practitioners to consider how EE and ESD can partner and strengthen each other towards building a sustainable future.
The Conference followed a format of simultaneous plenary and working sessions. During the inauguration representatives from Government of India, UNESCO and UNEP gave their respective special message for the conference addressing issues like Climate Change, Water besides discussing the key Conference Objectives. A special plenary for governments titled ‘Government Session: Sharing Experiences and Promoting Collaboration’ was also held. The focus of the session was on sharing experiences in the development of national approaches to education for sustainable development and identifying areas for potential collaboration.
There were 30 working groups debating and discussing on various themes. The thematic Working Group Sessions reflected EE and ESD concerns and issues which have evolved in these areas over the last 30 years since Tbilisi. Every Working Group Session was responsible for taking stock of its specific area in the context of ESD and identify the role of EE within this. Working group themes were cross-cutting and covered issues like values and ethics, health, culture, arts, media, education and environment reflecting the EE and ESD concerns and issues that have evolved over the last 30 years. There was an Exhibition of products which demonstrated EE/ESD experiences of various organizations. Side Events included book launches, special sessions, guest lectures and cultural programmes. Some organizations and forums chose to have their official meetings also as part of this event.
The conference brought together over 1500 participants from 97 countries. The participants were from a variety of stakeholder groups including government officials from UNESCO Member States, representatives of UN agencies, civil society/NGOs, Corporates, academics and media. Efforts were made to get representation from diverse fields including environment, health, water and sanitation, human rights, gender, peace, citizenship, social justice and others.
There were three major outcomes of the conference. These included overall conference recommendation based on the working group recommendations of the 30 thematic discussions, and a special set of recommendations from the Government Session.
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