LIVINGSTONE – The President of the Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa says the association needs to make its voice heard in the promotion of Education for Sustainable Development in the region.
Mumsie Gumede made this call Last week Monday at the official opening of the 36th Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa (EEASA) conference, which was being held in Livingstone, Zambia.
“We should not just meet here and go home. We should be a strong working networking promoting education for sustainable development. Our voice should be well-heard,” she said.
“EEASA’s voice should be heard through its publications and activities, nationally and sub-regionally,” she told the conference.
Gumede said the conference’s theme: “Rethinking Education for Sustainable Development: A Key to Our Future’’, is extremely relevant at a time when plans for taking Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to 2030 are underway.
She said in re-thinking the future, “let us ensure that firstly, we have a voice and, secondly, our voice is heard. We need to know what needs to be re-thought, why we need to re-think, who is doing the re-thinking and how we re-think.”
Professor Eureta Rosenberg from the Rhodes University in South Africa said Africa will have a good future if the continent’s developmental decisions carry the sustainable use of water resources, energy efficiency, waste management and food security.
She said Africa needs to take strong actions to address environmental challenges such as climate change, unsustainable land use management and soil erosion.
“When farmers are no longer farming as the land has been degraded that will lead to rural-urban migration. And science tells us that Southern Africa will be severely affected by climate change,” she said.
Rosenberg said ESD should not just be for the educated people, but it should also include the civil society and industries too. We need to tell them what needs to be done to make the production of their products more sustainable,” said Rosenberg.
Officially, opening the conference, the Permanent Secretary in Zambia’s Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation an Environmental Protection, Dr Ed Chomba, said the conference’s theme calls on EEASA to re-think and to make sure that no person is left behind in ESD.
“Everyone is valuable. Our people also need to be taught in the language in which they can express themselves better. Our humble mothers need to be asked how they can contribute to environmental protection. When we come together, we can achieve much as one,” he said.
Chomba said environmental policies in Southern Africa also need to speak to the people. He said some of the major environmental challenges facing Zambia at the moment are ecosystem degradation, climate change and the unsustainable harvesting of forests.
“Trees and wildlife are very important to our livelihoods on Earth and there is no other Planet like Earth, which can entertain us. When you cut down one tree, plant two,” he said.
EEASA is a voluntary membership-based multi-sectoral organisation of educators, researchers, policy-makers, students and practitioners, which was founded in 1982.
New Era Reporter
2018-10-01 08:17:10 4 months ago