Education for Sustainable Development Initiatives in North America    

North America is one of the most developed regions in the world, with rapid growth and industrialization that puts tremendous pressure on natural resources within the continent and other regions from which raw materials are regularly imported in bulk to feed the ever-increasing demand for development. Thanks to increased awareness concerning biodiversity loss and ecological degradation, environmentalists are now advocating the concept of sustainable development. Likewise, curricula at school, college and university level is being revised to integrate sustainable development imperatives.

With the launch of DESD in 2005, many North American countries have launched ESD initiatives at the regional and national levels.

Learning for a Sustainable Future
Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) is a Canadian initiative to promote DESD in various provinces by developing better understanding of linkages between economic, environmental and social issues and enhancing required skills among stakeholders for consensus building and informed decision making. The LSF team comprises a strong board of directors representing government, education, business and civil society.

National Education for Sustainable Development Expert Council
The Canada-based National Education for Sustainable Development Expert Council comprises representatives of provincial Education for Sustainable Development working groups and other key provincial and national players. The council seeks to address cross-cutting issues to encourage research, communication and sharing of best practices among key stakeholders.

Education for Sustainable Development Resource Database
The Education for Sustainable Development Resources Database has been developed to assist


teachers access relevant resources to meet curriculum needs. All resources on the site are screened for appropriate quality and content. To pre-empt protracted searches, the resources are developed on the basis of issues, school subject, grade, curriculum strand and geographic region that are linked to the curriculum in each province.

Canadian Sustainability Curriculum Review InitiativeThe primary motivation behind the Canadian Sustainability Curriculum Review Initiative (CSCRI) is to strengthen sustainable literacy, identify curricular expectations and instructional strategies that facilitate Education for Sustainable Development learning. In light of DESD, CSCRI identified 12 sustainability themes that will be used by education ministries as a tool to review curriculum policies.

Toronto Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development
Regional centres of excellence number among the many United Nations initiatives to promote DESD. Toronto was selected as a Regional Centre of Excellence (RCE) tasked with enhancing access and quality of education for ESD. In addition to taking stock of existing ESD initiatives in the region,Toronto’s RCE plans to strengthen communication, coordination and collaboration among relevant stakeholders in the region by identifying gaps and opportunities and addressing them in an integrated manner.

Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future
The Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF) works to build capacity of colleges and universities to make sustainability and environmental literacy a major focus of teaching, research, service and operations through advocacy, membership support and facilitating international partnerships to advance ESD.

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