RATIONALE TO THE OVERALL THEME
IAU recognizes the key role higher education and research could and should play in the overall process of achieving sustainable development. Leaders of higher education institutions, the academic and administrative staff, the students and other stakeholders are in a key position to contribute to an equitable and ecologically sound future by making sustainable development a central academic and organisational focus.
This requires the generation and dissemination of knowledge through interdisciplinary research and teaching, policy-making, capacity-building, and technology transfer. It is critical that higher education institutions understand and accept their responsibility within the broader context of social and economic development, and the building of democratic, equitable and ecologically-minded societies.
Against this backdrop, and noting a sense of urgency, IAU adopted Higher Education and Sustainable Development as one of its priority themes since 1993 (See: IAU 1993 Kyoto Declaration on Sustainable Development). This was confirmed in particular at the IAU 2014 International Conference on Blending Higher Education and Traditional Knowledge for Sustainable Development, Universidad Cientifica del Peru (UCP), Lima, Peru, which resulted in the drafting and adoption of the IAU Iquitos Statement on Higher Education for Sustainable Development.
For over twenty years, the Association developed projects, took part in international or regional initiatives and regularly organizes events on this theme to promote and facilitate universities' responsibility with regard to sustainability and mobilises the higher education community it represents to develop initiatives relevant both locally and globally.
The IAU 15th General Conference on Higher Education a Catalyst for Innovative and Sustainable Societies took place in Bangkok in November 2016.
More can be found on in the IAU portal on HESD:
IAU GLOBAL PORTAL ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT (IAU-HESD)
The IAU HESD global portal contributes to facilitate exchange and networking on HESD across the world. Actions and initiatives developed and undertaken by Universities, other Higher education institutions and organisations from around the world are showcased in a synthetic way. The HESD Portal is accessible online at: www.iau-hesd.net.
Comments, suggestions, news and initiatives are published on the portal – precedence is given to IAU Members.
RECENT IAU ACTIVITIES
IAU actions and initiatives contributed in substance to the United Nations - Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (UN-DESD) - 2005-2014. IAU took an active part in the UNESCO World Conference on Education for sustainable development (Aichi-Nagoya, Japan, 2014) and is now in a key partner network of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) . IAU’s work plan for the next decade is to contribute to address the Sustainable Development Goals and to the 2030 Development Agenda.
All through, IAU develops initiatives and projects, contributes to key international events and focuses its international conferences entirely or in part on this topic.
IAU represents its Members on several committees, including: • the UNESCO GAP; • the Ubuntu Committee of peers; • the Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs); * the SULITEST • UNEP / GUPES
To learn more and to get involved please contact:
Dr. Hilligje van’t Land, IAU Director Membership and Programme Development
Frédérique Herzog, IAU Programme Officer
The first edition of the IAU Global Survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) was developed in 2016 in order to: connect with IAU Members; research and analyze what their approaches are to sustainable development; determine how IAU can exchange and enhance such initiatives; advocate for HESD worldwide. The survey was opened from June 2016 to October 2016 and the results were presented by Dr. Hilligje Van't Land, IAU Deputy Secretary General, in various fora, including during the IAU 15th General Conference in Bangkok in November 2016. We received 120 responses in total (97% from IAU Members); 18% of our Members participated and all continents were represented. Take a look at the results here.
From November 13 to 16 2016, the IAU held its 15th General Conference in Bangkok; it was hosted by a consortium of Thai universities. More than 300 participants from 85 nations worldwide took part in the event and engaged in lively debates. The Conference presentations and other conference materials are available on the Conference website.
IAU is Key Partner to the UNESCO Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (GAP) on Action Area 2: Transforming learning and training environments
IAU 2014 International Conference on Blending Higher Education and Traditional Knowledge for Sustainable Development
Organized in collaboration with the Universidad Científica del Perú, Iquitos, Peru, the Conference addressed key Education for Sustainable Development issues and helped shape IAU’s position with regard to the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Presentations and other conference documents are available online.
Following the IAU 2014 International Conference on Blending Higher Education and Traditional Knowledge for Sustainable Development, held in Iquitos, Peru,and through this Statement, Members of the International Association of Universities (IAU) as well as representatives of the broader higher education community, reaffirm their commitment to the role of higher education in the transition to more sustainable societies and to pursuing sustainable development within and through their respective institutions.
As the United Nations Decade on Education for Sustainable Development comes to an end, and the Millennium Development Goals near their scheduled completion, the post-2015 Agenda is being shaped. The higher education community is ready to contribute to the development and implementation of the post-2015 Agenda.
It is IAU's community's shared belief that only with the full engagement of higher education in the post-2015 Agenda will it be possible to create the intellectual, economic, environmental and cultural conditions required for a sustainable future for all. IAU applauds the commitments and promises made at the world events held in Stockholm, 1972, Rio de Janeiro, 1992, Johannesburg, 2002 and "Rio + 20", 2012, to make our world better for all, for present and future generations. It renews its commitment to Higher Education for Sustainable Development and agrees to develop new actions and strengthen current initiatives to respond proactively to these resolutions and recommendations.
The Global University Network for Innovation (GUNI), the International Association of Universities(IAU) and the Association of African Universities(AAU) developed a project on the Promotion of Sustainable Development by Sub-Saharan African Higher Education Institutions. The project was financed in part by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation.
The final report of the project is available on the GUNi website. It presents an overview of actions, experiences and practices developed at sub-Saharan higher education institutions (HEIs) to integrate sustainable development considerations within their activities; it identifies the emerging trends and the priority lines of action for the integration of sustainable development considerations in the work of Sub-Saharan African HEIs and raises awareness about the important role of HEIs for promoting sustainable development in the region.
Global Survey on Sustainable Lifestyles
A research project aiming at analyzing student perspectives on Sustainable Lifestyles was undertaken in 2009. The Project, coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with the support of the Swedish Ministry of the Environment, was developed in partnership with the IAU. The Global Survey on Sustainable Lifestyles was an ambitious initiative meant to explore how sustainable lifestyles, a challenge for present and future generations, are perceived, envisaged and shaped by young adults from different cultures and backgrounds around the world.
The project was part of the activities carried out in the framework of the Marrakech Process, a global multi-stakeholder platform aimed at promoting the shift towards Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP). The Marrakech Process builds cooperation between governments and various stakeholders for the development of SCP tools, methodologies and concrete activities such as the Global Survey on Sustainable Lifestyles.
A selection of 50 Higher Education Institutions, Members of IAU, took part in this project.
The publication: Visions for Change - Recommendations for Effective Policies on Sustainable Lifestyles: Country Papers is available online
Sustainability Communications - A Toolkit for Marketing and Advertising Courses- A IAU-UNEP CD-Rom.
IAU and the United Nations Environment Programme - Paris (UNEP) jointly produced a CD-ROM on Sustainability Communications - A Toolkit for Marketing and Advertising Courses.
It provides resources on Sustainability Communications for educators training tomorrow's marketing and communication professionals as well as for marketing and advertising trainers in the corporate field. It is a flexible, interactive tool which provides a synthesis of theoretical and methodological knowledge illustrated by specific case studies. It offers numerous pedagogical resources - short presentations, campaign analyses, exercises, web links, bibliographies and more than 300 downloadable documents - to encourage students and communication experts to engage with sustainable development-- one of the major issues facing society today.
The CD-ROM: 1. Demonstrates and analyzes the marketing and communications potential of sustainable development in the framework of corporate social and environmental responsibility; 2. Allows the current and future marketing and communication professionals to become fully aware of the key role they could and should play by responding to new consumer demand for sustainability through the promotion of sustainable products and services; 3. Provides the necessary tools to develop both effective corporate communications strategies that build confidence in greener brands and powerful marketing campaigns on sustainable goods.
The CD-ROM contains both English and French versions. It is downloadable online
GHESP - Global Alliance to promote higher education for sustainable development (2002-2007)
In 2002, four international organisations with a strong commitment to making sustainability a major focus of higher education formed a Global Higher Education for Sustainability Partnership (GHESP).
The four founding partners of the initiative - the IAU, the University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF) and UNESCO - joined forces to mobilise universities and higher education institutions to support sustainable development in response to Chapter 36 of Agenda 21.
The partnership which came about as a result of the work program of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and in anticipation of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), was based on the consensus that higher education must play a central role within the overall process of achieving sustainable development. The partnership ended due to lack of funding yet former partners are still convinced that the leaders of higher education institutions and their academic colleagues in all disciplines are to adopt sustainable development as a central academic and organizational focus to create a just, equitable and ecologically sound future. This requires the generation and dissemination of knowledge through interdisciplinary research and teaching, policy-making, capacity-building, and technology transfer. It is critical that higher education institutions understand and accept their responsibility within the broader context of social and economic development, and the building of democratic, equitable and ecologically-minded societies.
The objectives of the partnership were to:
After having initiated projects and other activities for more than 5 years, the partnership ceased its activities due to lack of financial support.
IAU 2003 International Prague Conference on Education for a Sustainable future Shaping the practical role of higher education for sustainable development, was hosted by Charles University, in Prague, and helped shaped IAU work in support of HESD.
IAU 1993 Kyoto Declaration on Sustainable Development
Following the Ninth IAU Round Table, in Tokyo, Japan, on 19 November 1993, Participants adopted, the IAU Kyoto Declaration committed to the following:
It is recommended that each university, in its own action plan, strive to:
In adopting this Declaration, delegates underlined specifically the following points:
Propose and elaborate new actions and projects the Association could undertake to mobilize and assist its membership to share information and learn from each other as they develop strategies to:
Advise the IAU Secretariat on requests for partnership and collaboration on SD related projects;
IAU works on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) since it adopted the Kyoto Declaration on Sustainable Development in 1993. Since then, IAU develops initiatives and projects, contributes to key international conferences and focuses own conferences on this topic. Key partners for IAU in this area are UNESCO, UNU-IAS, UNEP, AAU among others.
IAU Working Group Members sit on several committees (such as the Ubuntu Committee of peers, the Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs); the UN-DESD Reference Group).
The IAU Portal on HESD is a collaborative platform centralizing and disseminating information on activities and actions promoting sustainable development undertaken by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) around the world.
The portal provides links to as many examples that HEIs can consult and use to develop their own strategies / activities / actions.
The HESD Portal is accessible online at: www.iau-hesd.net
The HESD Portal is a collaborative portal, it will be all the more useful if leaders, academics, students and other HESD stakeholders enter information on their projects, expertise, theses and publications, and share their news with the IAU Working Group on HESD. Your input is the key to success.
A second reason to contribute is: the portal is a direct contribution to the UNESCO Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (UNESCO GAP). IAU is a key partner network to Priority Action 2: Transforming learning and training environments.
The portal offers your institution and your work to become know and shared. Become involved and send us information on the work you undertake to respond to the SDGs and the 2030 Development agenda.
Participation is free of charge with full visibility for IAU Members; your input will not be re-used without your prior consent.
Dr. Hilligje van’t Land, IAU Director Membership and Programme Development
Frédérique Herzog, IAU Programme Officer