Education for a Sustainable China
The China Association of Education for Sustainable Development (ESC) was established to develop, promote and disseminate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) practices and theories that are relevant to China’s sustainable development needs in terms of China’s specific social, economic, environmental and cultural conditions. The ESC association will help to build awareness of ESD in China, collate best practices, disseminate ESD learnings, develop ESD guidelines and resources, integrate ESD into the national curriculum and expand ESD through linking and learning with other ESD organisations and DESD initiatives nationally and internationally.
SISC is supporting ESC development through the implementation of ESD programmes in both the formal and non-formal education sectors in China. In the formal education sector, the Water School for a Living Yangtze Programme embeds ESD concepts, principles and methodologies into the Chinese school system at primary and secondary levels through: resource development, teacher training and programme implementation in 33 pilot schools along the River Yangtze.
Through cooperation with the National Center for School Curriculum and Textbook Development, Ministry of Education China (MOE-NCCT) new educational materials for teachers and students on conservation, water resource management and biodiversity are being developed and will be incorporated into the national curriculum. The programme will impact some 60,000 students in the first three years of implementation, with broader impacts for ESD in the surrounding communities and ultimately on national and international levels.
At the higher education level SISC is supporting ESD in the following institutions: Beijing Normal University, The Central University for Nationalities, East China Normal University, Institute for Sustainable Development at Tibet University, Qinghai Normal University and The Southwest University for Nationalities, through shared learning, training opportunities, the development of ESD materials and the establishment of an ESD Master’s programme at Beijing Normal University.
In the non-formal education sector, SISC’s Community Education for Sustainable Development programme focuses on community empowerment and citizen participation in sustainable resource management. Working alongside other local NGOs, monasteries/nunneries, Community Learning Centres, community nature reserves and local government bodies, initiatives include training in traditional handicraft making, nature reserve conservation, small enterprise management skills, basic healthcare projects, community-based ecotourism and renewable energy resources including biogas and solar power. A short ESD training programme is being developed for local communities and small organisations at the BMXS Community Training Centre, Diqing Vocational School and at Community Learning Centres.