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International Day of Education

The right to education is article 26 of the UDHR which aims for free and compulsory elementary education for all, with vocational education generally available and higher education accessible by merit. It also states that “education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups….” The later Convention on the Rights of the Child develops this further to make higher education accessible to all. Education is fundamental to all human activity but what we must realize is that education needs to be properly prioritized if we are to have a chance of reaching the goals of the 2030 Agenda – essentially to survive as a species. This means not only that universal education needs to be achieved but that sustainability education needs to become standard in all curriculums . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Ocean heat is at record levels, with major consequences (The Conversation) Meat and dairy gobble up farming subsidies worldwide, which is bad for your health and the planet (The Conversation) Despite COP26 forest vow, one third of commodity firms have no plans to halt deforestation (Eco-Business) Natural disasters cost world US$280 billion in 2021 — a third more than in 2020 (Eco-Business) Nearly quarter of world’s population had record hot year in 2021, data shows (The Guardian) Plants at risk of extinction as climate crisis disrupts animal migration (The Guardian) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Research shows both local and global impacts

It may have taken a couple of decades to break through but it is probably safe to say that significant numbers of people now understand the link between atmospheric carbon, especially carbon dioxide and methane, and global temperature. Hopefully, this allows the majority to realize that the transfer of carbon to the atmosphere is now mostly caused by human activity. Those with a slightly deeper understanding will know that deforestation plays a part by reducing the natural mechanism that remove carbon from the atmosphere and therefore contributes to global heating. But research now confirms that deforestation also has a clear local climate impact as well by leading to more frequent storms at the local scale and these in turn have an amplified impact as the removal of trees means there is a greater likelihood of those storms leading to flooding. See more here . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

The massive impact of period poverty

Amazingly there are still millions of women and girls in the world who menstruate but struggle to afford proper, modern, hygienic products that would make their period easier to deal with. It doesn’t take much thought to realize that this period poverty reflects failure across six SDGs. It is a function of both poverty [SDG1] and gender inequality [5]. Addressing it would also help improve health [3], reduce water issues [6] and represent greater equality [10]. Achieving it would also means improved education [4]. These are the obvious ones but I reckon you can also draw links to others as well. So, why not do something about it? . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

UNGA to Hold Five-Part Consultation on Our Common Agenda (IISD) Global, Regional Workshops Supporting 2022 VNR Countries (IISD) Trillion Trees debuts guide for investing in forest restoration (BusinessGreen) More trees means healthier bees, new study on air pollution reveals (Eco-Business) England’s farmers to be paid to rewild land (The Guardian) Filipinos count cost of climate crisis as typhoons get ever more destructive (The Guardian) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Bottom-up initiatives not a panacea

A report by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has found that there has been no aggregate deforestation reductions from rollout of community land titles in Indonesia yet. You can see the details in full in the report but it goes to show that we cannot assume that community-led projects will and must always be successful at achieving sustainability aims. To my mind it helps illustrate the importance of what the UN calls FUR – follow-up and reporting - so that impacts can be measured and assessed and then programmes can be changed if they are not working as intended. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

The intersection of demographic change, economic change and the environment

A recent article in Eco-Business highlights very well an issue that we have taught in Geography and Development Studies for a while now. One of the biggest sustainability issues is the potential disaster of the emerging economies developing in the same way as the HICs did, or at least trying to. This could play out in all kinds of immediately obvious bad ways such as too much waste, over-consumption, pollution of all kinds and so on. When it comes to food, most countries demonstrate a shift to high meat consumption as they develop and with population increase this means more people eating more meat more frequently and all the land use impacts e.g. deforestation, water disruption and water and air pollution that come with it. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability listicles for the New Year

11 sustainability buzzwords of 2021 (Eco-Business) Destroy and deny: climate villains that made the headlines in 2021 (Eco-Business) 7 trends that will shape sustainability in 2022 (Eco-Business) 2021: Data, Climate, and Solutions (IISD) 10 Sustainability Trends to Watch in 2021 and 2022 (energywatch) Sustainable Business Went Mainstream in 2021 (Harvard Business Review) 5 Sustainability Themes to Expect in 2022 (Morningstar) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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