Develop a Global Agreement for Environmental Education (GAEE) with the objective for all countries to incorporate mandatory environmental education and sustainable development into their Constitutions.
Goals: Ensure 100% of the signatory countries of the Paris Agreement to incorporate into their Constitutions mandatory environmental education programs in all classrooms at all education levels as a State policy.
Action Plan: Throughout 2020, we suggest to hold an international event in Mexico with the objective of drafting a global agreement to incorporate environmental education into each country’s educational systems for all signatory governments of the “Paris Agreement,” aiming it to be signed at COP26 in Glasgow in 2020.
Implement Environmental Education for Sustainable Development at all education spaces worldwide, formal and informal, as a strategy to reach sustainability in 2030.
Goal: Achieve during the first stage that one thousand schools in Mexico and ten thousand schools worldwide become “Schools for the Earth” committing and incorporating specific environmental education actions or programs, presenting the results on Earth Day, April 22, 2020.
At a second stage in 2030:
- All schools and universities of the agreement’s signatory countries incorporate an Environmental Education certification at all education levels.
- Companies and NGOs to incorporate Environmental Education programs for their employees and collaborators.
- By 2012, achieve that the agreement’s signatory countries implement high-impact mass communication strategies for raising environmental awareness and forming alliances with mass media to promote the initiative.
Action Plan: First Stage:
Mobilize schools to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2020 by implementing concrete actions for the Planet, through “Schools for the Earth” program, promoted in Mexico by Earth Day Network and EDUCA Foundation,
- “Schools for the Earth”: A program focused on implementing actions as a preparatory stage for certification. This methodology is composed of three key steps:
- Form a Green Committee, run by students, supported by teachers, parents and school authorities.
- Implement at least one concrete meaningful action by January 2020 and present progress on Earth Day April 22, 2020. Examples: school gardens, recycling programs, zero waste, energy saving, saving water, cleaning natural areas, and others involving the community.
- Incorporate environmental education programs and commit to implement a recognized “green” certification.
- Schools: Implement a recognized environmental education certification. We propose “EcoSchool” certification promoted by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). FEE has the world’s largest Environmental Education network and holds 51 thousand certified schools in 67 countries.
- The EcoSchool international methodology is a certification comprised of seven steps in which students are central actors in the process of building proposals. It also involves their families and school authorities to build a solid environmentally oriented community.
- As an alternative to EcoSchools, schools can join similar local certifications, such as the “Green School” certification by SEMARNAT in Mexico.
- In order to maximize results, we recommend certifying teachers on climate change education with “eduCCate Global”, an NGO accredited by UN
- For universities, we invite them to join the “Climate Emergency Pact.” An initiative launched by Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education (EAUC), Second Nature and the Youth and Education Alliance of UN Environment. This initiative, already joined by 7,000 universities worldwide, collectively declared a climate emergency with three commitments:
- Become carbon neutral by 2030, or no later than 2050,
- Mobilize more resources for climate change research geared towards actions and developing skills, and,
- Raise the role of environmental education through school curricula as well as activities on campus and at communities.
- Companies and NGOs: incorporate Environmental Education programs for their employees and collaborators. As an alternative, get a certification by international sustainable standards from private sector, such as B-Corp or other recognized local or regional certifications such as Socially Responsible Company (ESR) by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (CEMEFI) in Mexico.
Articulate strategic alliances with key actors to influence, implement and transform environmental education for sustainable development
Goal: By 2021, for each of the countries signing the agreement, have a clearly defined group of strategic actors from NGOs, public and private sectors to design and supervise the progress of each country’s strategies.
Action Plan: Identify strategic and relevant actors nationwide with the purpose of establishing a work alliance among all sectors: NGOs, private and public sector, communication, media and other key players, in order to turn education for sustainable development into a reality for the countries.