By Ingrid Stefanovic and Kim Peters
In 2006, the Centre for Environment joined the City of Toronto and other local organizations to participate in the United Nations’ Toronto Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. Citing the Memorandum of Understanding, the Toronto Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) is a “coalition of formal, informal, and non-formal educators collaborating to promote the objectives of the United Nations Decade for Education for Sustainable Development in the Toronto region, and in doing so, empower students, the general public, and professionals to transform the Toronto region to a sustainability-oriented society.”
The Education Alliance for a Sustainable Toronto, the official name for the Toronto RCE, is currently chaired by Professor Ingrid Stefanovic, Director of the Centre for Environment and is a collaborative effort, bringing together the Centre for Environment at U of T, the City of Toronto, York University, the Toronto District School Board, the Toronto Zoo, Citizens’ Environment Watch, the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority, Seneca College, and the Education Alliance for a Sustainable Ontario.
Starting in January 2008, the Toronto RCE will be conducting a survey of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programs in the Toronto region. The objective is to determine the degree to which ESD programs in Toronto reflect the United Nations’ themes for the International Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). Learning for a Sustainable Future (www.lsf-lst.ca) is distributing the survey across Canada, and hopes to use the results of the survey to develop an on-line searchable database of ESD programs. The survey will also be available at the City of Toronto website (www.toronto.ca/esd).
In addition to this inventory, the Toronto RCE will also focus on expanding formal and informal educational initiatives relating to the recently released City of Toronto’s Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan.
Local initiatives of the Toronto RCE will help coordinate and strengthen local community efforts to enhance awareness and education in the field of sustainable development in Toronto. At the international level, the RCE will feed into the “Global Learning Space for Sustainable Development” coordinated by the UN University. Nationally, it will contribute to Canada’s response to the UN Decade for Sustainable Development and the province’s Education Alliance for a Sustainable Ontario (EASO).
For more information on Education Alliance for a Sustainable Toronto, please visit https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ817180.
For more information on the International Regional Centres of Expertise network, please visit the United Nations University website (https://ias.unu.edu/en/)