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Latin America and the Caribbean

Satellite view from South America

The DESD Latin America launch took place during the Ibero-American Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2005. A Caribbean DESD launch took place during the conference “Education for Sustainable Development: New Approaches for the Future”, held in Kingston, Jamaica in October 2005.

At the strategy-building conference “Building an Education for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean,” held in San José, Costa Rica, in October 2006, UNESCO and the Earth Charter jointly stressed the need for the development of a region-wide strategy for the DESD for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Strategy acknowledges that the concept of sustainability has a potential to integrate and create synergies between diverse educational themes and other UN educational frameworks that have been important in the region, namely, environmental, inter-cultural, peace, human rights, poverty alleviation, health, HIV and AIDS, literacy, and gender equity education.

In the region, ESD is based on a shared vision that education policies should contribute to counteracting acute processes of environmental damage and destruction, as well as to building fair societies. Some priority actions identified include: involving key individuals who, because of the position they occupy, can act as barriers or drivers of processes in the promotion of ESD, such as leaders of syndicates, communities, civil society organizations, religious organizations, communicators and journalists, coordinators of networks, coalitions and social movements; as well as giving particular attention to vulnerable sectors including children, youth, the elderly, indigenous populations and other excluded groups.

Ensuring an adequate financial and resource base for the development of ESD in the region requires that all actors, including governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society organizations, make a joint commitment. Therefore it is imperative to incorporate ESD as a priority issue in the agenda of the forums of ministers of education and environment in the region. Hence, DESD activities must be coordinated with ongoing programmes such as the Regional Project of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (PRELAC) and the Latin American and Caribbean Programme for Environmental Education (PLACEA).


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